Congratulations to the seven volunteer helpers from the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh who were awarded the Hospitalité Medal marking five years of service to the annual Archdiocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes.

“Congratulations to all seven recipients,” said pilgrimage organiser, Kris Thomas 12 July, “This medal is not a reward or a sign of status but a sign of their willingness to continue to serve the Church in Lourdes and in our Archdiocese.”

The seven pilgrims decorated today were Anton Dowds, Ronan Dowds and Melissa Marshall from St Patrick’s parish in Edinburgh’s Cowgate; Anna Lynch and Catherine Millar of Our Lady of Lourdes in Dunfermline; Miles Lockhart of St Kentigern’s, Barnton in Edinburgh; and Anne Mulraney of St Margaret’s in South Queensferry.

The presentation ceremony fell on the final day of the Archdiocesan pilgrimage. Suitably, the day included Holy Mass to mark the conclusion of the week in Lourdes with Monsignor Tony Canon Duffy, Pilgrimage Director, preaching the homily.

“It was a beautiful liturgy during which, we gave thanks for the many graces and blessings we have received whilst on pilgrimage,” said Kris, “We

were also challenged to take to heart the pastoral theme “Do whatever He tells you” and try to live this out back home in our parishes and archdiocese.”

Lourdes has been a site of pilgrimage since the year 1858 when a young local girl, Bernadette Soubirous (1844 – 79), received repeated visions of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. These apparitions were subsequently declared “worthy of belief” by the Church.