Jaclyn Marshall pressed pause on her Lourdes pilgrimage - so she could graduate from Edinburgh University.

The new qualified primary school teacher will catch-up today (Saturday) with fellow pilgrims from the Archdiocese, including twin sister Melissa, who flew out yesterday for the annual trip.

Speaking on Friday, Jaclyn, 22, from Edinburgh, said: “The graduation ceremony is at 11am. I’ll have my graduation meal then head to Stansted Airport for an overnight stay, before flying out on Saturday.”

It’s the fifth year that Jaclyn has been to Lourdes, while Melissa has been six times. Both are parishioners at St Patrick’s, Cowgate.

Jaclyn (right) said: “We just love it. It renews your faith every year.

“You feel close to God when you’re there. Lourdes is for everyone, especially those who want to get closer to their faith.”

Jaclyn and other volunteers help disabled and elderly pilgrims have a fantastic week.

She said: “You take care of them the same way you hope someone would take care of you some day.

“The placebo effect is phenomenal for the rest of the week – you would think they were cured! It’s so lovely.

Melissa added: “It’s an emotional time too, because a lot of people making the pilgrimage have been through a lot. The support everyone has for each other is incredible.”

Jaclyn will start teaching at St Margaret’s RC Primary School in South Queensferry in August. Melissa is currently studying Primary Teaching at Strathclyde University.

This morning's opening Mass at the Autel Esplanade (Irene Furlong).