28 February 2017

Eleventh Apparition, 159 Years Ago

Sunday, February 28, 1858: penance

Eleventh appearance. More than a thousand people are witnessing ecstasy. Bernadette prays, kisses the earth and crawls on her lap as a sign of penance. She is then taken to the home of Judge Ribes who threatens her with prison.

27 February 2017

Can You Help Us?

Group 101 has got an Amazon wishlist for supplies for our pilgrimage to Lourdes in 7 weeks time. Can you help us?

Tenth Apparition, 159 Years Ago

Saturday, February 27, 1858: Silence

Tenth appearance. Eight hundred people are present. The Apparition is silent. Bernadette drinks the water from the spring and performs the usual gestures of penance.

25 February 2017

7 Weeks To Go!

Ninth Apparition, 159 Years Ago

Thursday, February 25, 1858: The source

Ninth appearance. Three hundred people are present. Bernadette says: "She told me to drink at the spring. I found only a little muddy water, and on the fourth try I could drink, and she also made me eat a herb that was near the fountain then the vision disappeared and I went away." In front of the crowd who asks: "Do you know that you think you are mad to do such things?" She replies: "It is for sinners."

24 February 2017

Eighth Apparition, 159 Years Ago

Wednesday, February 24, 1858: "Penance!"

Eighth appearance. Message of the Lady: "Penance, penance, penance, pray to God for sinners, go and kiss the earth in penance for sinners!"

23 February 2017

A Look Back At The 2011 Lourdes Pilgrimage

Group 101 Having Fun In The Lourdes Cafes In 2011

Seventh Apparition, 159 Years Ago

Tuesday, February 23, 1858: The secret

Seventh appearance. Surrounded by a hundred and fifty people, Bernadette went to the Grotto. The Apparition reveals a secret "just for her".

21 February 2017

Group 101 At The 2011 HCPT Trust Mass

Coffee Morning Cancelled

The coffee morning planned for tomorrow has unfortunately had to be cancelled.

The Sixth Apparition, 159 Years Ago

Sunday, February 21, 1858: "Aquero"

Sixth appearance. The Lady introduced herself to Bernadette early in the morning. A hundred people accompany her. She is then questioned by Police Commissioner Jacomet. He wants to make her say what she has seen. Bernadette only speaks to him of "Aquero" (that).

20 February 2017

Coffee Morning Fundraiser For Group 101

On Wednesday 22nd February, friend of HCPT Anne Kelsall is hosting a coffee and cake morning to raise funds for Group 101. If you are a current or past helper or supporter or know someone who would like to go, please contact Phil and Marge for more details on 01302 868816. Let's raise some money!

Rise And Shine At The 1996 HCPT Trust Mass

Group 101 At The 2010 Trust Mass

A Look Back To The 2010 Pilgrimage

The Fifth Apparition, 159 Years Ago

Saturday, February 20, 1858: The sadness

Fifth appearance. The Lady taught Bernadette a personal prayer. At the end of the vision, a great sadness came over Bernadette.

19 February 2017

A Look Back To The 2009 Pilgrimage

We're Going To Be Pirates!

There will be a pirate theme for the fancy dress for Group 101 on this year's pilgrimage. Get your costumes ready!

Brilliant Group Meeting Yesterday!

Group 101 had a brilliant group meeting yesterday as part of our preparation for this year's pilgrimage. Only eight weeks to go and we will be in Lourdes! The next meeting will be the Group 101 preparation day on Saturday 25th March.

The Stations Of The Cross For Group 101

The Fourth Apparition, 159 Years Ago

Friday, February 19, 1858: The first candle

Fourth appearance. Bernadette comes to the Grotto with a lighted and blessed candle. It was with this gesture that the custom was born to wear candles and to light them in front of the Grotto.

18 February 2017

A Look Back To The 2008 Pilgrimage

Meeting For The 2017 Pilgrimage

AT 3pm today there is a meeting at Phil and Marge's house for all helpers on this year's pilgrimage.

The Logo For The 2017 Pilgrimage

The 2017 Lourdes Theme

The Lourdes theme for 2017 is 'The Lord Has Done Great Things For Me'.

In 2017 the Sanctuary of Lourdes invites pilgrims to follow the path opened by the 25th World Day of the Sick celebrated in a special way in Lourdes this year for the anniversary of its first celebration on 11th February 1993. 

We are invited to look at suffering through the eyes of Mary. From the first moments of the Gospel, in Cana, she knows how to make known to Jesus the needs of men, and she knows how to make known to men the path of Jesus1 . Throughout the ministry of Jesus, She remains the one who accompanies Him in faith, a faith which is manifested in her willing presence at the foot of the cross: she then receives the disciple as her son (Jn 19:26). 

The hour of Jesus is also the hour of the woman (Jn 16:21). For her, every suffering becomes the pain of childbirth. She is "the mother" who welcomes and passes on the gift of love of the crucified Christ. It is she who reveals herself to Bernadette, deep inside the dark recess of a Pyrenean rock. Bernadette is facing a dead end. She can see in front of her "a real abundance of wood and bone," precisely what she came for, but this is made inaccessible to her by the cold water of the stream. That moment sums up her existence, fated by illness, poor harvests and mismanagement, unable to attend school and catechism lessons. At 14, she is an outcast, on the periphery of Lourdes. She could disappear from Lourdes without anybody caring... 

But someone has seen her in the depths of her void. A girl "as young and as small as me," she says. Someone similar to her, someone who was insignificant like her in the eyes of men, but whom God saw in the depths of her lowly house in Nazareth. "God does not see as man sees: for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart”. (1 Sam 16:7) 

Through her eyes and her smile Mary shares with Bernadette the joy of the Magnificat, the fruitfulness of a life that allows itself to be touched by God. Mary shares with the Church the joy of hearing again "a sound like a gust of wind," the breath of Pentecost, the breath of new beginnings. "She looked at me as one person talking to another person”. I exist for someone! It is the joy experienced by little children, the same joy of the Trinity of Divine Persons who exist one for the other!

The Prayer For The 2017 Pilgrimage

Lord Jesus,

Thank you for calling each one of us to
visit you on pilgrimage here in Lourdes.

We also come in answer to Our Lady’s invitation
to ‘come to the water to drink and wash’.

On this Pilgrimage we ask you to transform us
through the waters of the Grotto,
and the ‘living water’ of your Word,
into the people you want us to be.

May the love we show each other on these
days of Pilgrimage be a reflection of the love
you have for each one us.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.


The HCPT Theme For 2017

The 2017 HCPT pilgrimage theme is being coordinated by HCPT’s Westcountry Region and is “Come to the Water”.

From the beginning of the Creation story, throughout the Bible and particularly in the Gospels, the theme of water is very strong; it is no surprise, as water is essential to life on Earth. There are hundreds of references to water in the bible: water in Creation; water in the Flood; water, or lack of it, in the desert Exodus, and the parting of the Red Sea; the restful waters of the psalms;  the waters of baptism in the Jordan; the tempestuous waters of the Sea of Galilee calmed by Jesus; and the ‘water of life’ revealed to the Samaritan woman by Christ at Jacob’s well. Christ, the ‘water of life’, the ‘living water’, is essential for our earthly life, and the heavenly life to come.
The story of the Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to St Bernadette is strongly influenced by the theme of water and this continues to our days of Pilgrimage in Lourdes where we we will taste and feel the waters that still gush forth from the spring revealed to Bernadette by Our Lady on 25th February 1858. Our Lady asked Bernadette to tell people ‘to come to the water to drink and wash’. We come to Lourdes ‘to drink and wash’.
Great miracles of healing have been attributed to the waters of Lourdes but the greatest miracle is for everyone to experience – the love of God found in pilgrimage at this holy place. Once again in 2017 the HCPT pilgrimage offers the opportunity to celebrate the joy of ‘the Risen Lord’ as we come together on Easter Day; once again we have the opportunity to encounter God through the life, prayer and liturgies of our days in Lourdes; once again we shall experience the love and joy of God in our fellowship in the presence of the Lord.
The prophet Isaiah tells us: ‘Everyone who is thirsty, come to the water’ (Isaiah 55:1). We come to Lourdes in answer to that call.

The theme of water also plays a huge part in the life of the Westcountry. Being a peninsula, every part of life is connected to water. Indeed it is life itself.

8 Weeks To Go!

The Third Apparition, 159 Years Ago

Thursday, February 18, 1858: The Lady speaks

Third appearance. For the first time, the Lady speaks. Bernadette presents her a writing-desk and asks her to write her name. She said, "It is not necessary," and she adds: "I do not promise to make you happy in this world but in the other. Will you do me the favor to come here for a fortnight?"

14 February 2017

Second Apparition, 159 Years Ago

Sunday, February 14, 1858: Holy Water

Second appearance. Bernadette feels an inner strength that pushes her to return to the Grotto despite the prohibition of her parents. After the first ten rosaries, she sees the same Lady appear. She throws her holy water and the Lady smiled and nodded. The prayer of the rosary ended, and the lady disappeared.

11 February 2017

Group 101 In 1979

This incredible photo shows Group 101 in 1979, on the second pilgrimage by the group.

Group 101 In 1989

From the archives of a former helper, we have this photo of Group 101 in 1989.

Feast Of Our Lady Of Lourdes

Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes - marking the day when Our Lady first appeared to Bernadette Soubirous.

On Thursday 11 February 1858, a 14-year-old Bernadette Soubirous was out gathering firewood with her sister and a friend at the grotto of Massabielle outside Lourdes, when she reportedly had the first of 18 visions of what she termed "a small young lady" standing in a niche in the rock. Her sister and her friend stated that they had seen nothing.

On realising that she alone, and not her companions, had seen the apparition, Soubirous asked her sister Toinette not to tell anyone what had happened. Toinette, however, was unable to keep silent, and told their mother, Louise Soubirous. Because their mother had suspected the children were lying, both girls received a beating, and Soubirous was forbidden to return to the grotto again. A few days passed and Soubirous asked for permission to go again with her siblings and the permission was granted.

9 Weeks To Go!

The First Apparition, 159 Years Ago

Thursday, February 11, 1858: First meeting

First appearance. Accompanied by her sister and a friend, Bernadette went to Massabielle, along the Gave, to collect bones and dead wood. Removing her stockings to cross the stream and go to the Grotto, she hears a noise that sounded like a gale, she looks up at the Grotto : "I saw a lady dressed in white: she wore a white dress, White sail also, a blue belt and a yellow rose on each foot ". Bernadette makes the sign of the cross and recites the rosary with the Lady. When the prayer is finished, the Lady disappears abruptly.

01 February 2017

Photos From The 101 Archives #40

Preparation Day For Helpers

The preparation day for helpers going on the 2017 pilgrimage will be at Marge and Phil's house on Saturday 25th March.

Photos From The 101 Archives #39

Stunning Shots Of Gavarnie Taken By Drone