We are doing every year a special healing novena (meaning "nine days of prayers") in preparation for the feast of the apparitions of Our Lady in Lourdes to St. Bernadette Soubirous on February 11th. We offer this novena for all who asked our prayers, or who wants to join us in this prayer.
February 11 is also the World Day of the Sick, and we feel that it is a good occasion to ask the healing power of the Holy Spirit for the intercession of Mary and St. Bernadette - as it was witnessed by many at Lourdes!
We do it very simple: every day from February 2 to February 10 we say some prayer with our own words for the needs we are aware of and end with some vocal prayers, like Hail Holy Queen, Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be....
If somebody wishes instead of spontaneous prayer can say also a prayer written by others like this:
"O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Health of the Sick, Refuge of Sinners, Comfort to the Afflicted, you know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings. Deign to cast upon me a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors; and already many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal.
I come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain, O loving Mother, the granting of my requests.
Through gratitude for favors, I will endeavor to imitate your virtues that I may one day share your glory".
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
Visit also the official web site of the Sanctuary of Lourdes where for example you can see the Grotto of Our Lady live on a webcam and pray in front of your computerscreen as if you were there. On the Lourdes web site there is a wealth of information about St. Bernadette, the Apparitions and Lourdes itself in six languages.
You may place your prayer intentions in the Grotto of Lourdes through the official site of the Sanctuary of Lourdes here
The only known photo of St Bernadette praying at the grotto (taken in 1862)
The Holy Father each year issues a Message for the World Day of the Sick touching various themes connected with the general topic of caring for the sick.
(Picture: The Wedding at Cana. Fresco, 2001. Vladimir Grigorenko, Ukraine. St. Seraphim Orthodox Cathedral, Dallas TX)
The Messages of Pope Francis for other World days of the Sick are here
Earlier messages of the Holy Father Benedict XVI for the World days of the Sick are available here
The World Day of the Sick was instituted by John Paul II in 1992 and has three permanent themes. First, it reminds the faithful to pray intensely and sincerely for those who are sick. Second, the celebration invites Christians to reflect on and respond to human suffering. And third, this day recognizes and honors all persons who work in health care and serve as caregivers - read more about it here
Additional prayers for healing and for those who care for the sick are to be found on our page for Spiritual Healing