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 | Mitchell Palmquist

In a Time of Illness, a Novena for Healing

10th Annual Lourdes Novena for Healing Celebrated at the Cathedral in the Midst of the Pandemic

The 10th Annual Lourdes Novena for Healing comes to a time and world in need of healing. Bishop Thomas Daly preached on the first evening of the novena, saying, “This last year taught most of America that life is difficult. Whatever our social or economic circumstances may be, hardship entered the lives of millions of Americans, most of it caused by a virus that originated across the globe.” In that world, the Lourdes Novena of Healing reminds the local Catholic community that God desires to heal, and in the miracles at Lourdes, we see God’s providence in drawing people who are sick and suffering to him.

Bishop Daly, in his homily, posed a question about the Christian attitude toward suffering: “A devout Christian is a person who's willing to take up his or her cross every day and follow Jesus to Calvary. Early on, we learn in life that following Christ involves pain and struggle faced with this reality. How should we react? … If you and I are overburdened with problems and worries and sufferings and illness and pain, Paul tells us first to turn to God in prayer, and two things will happen. God will either take away our burdens, or more likely, he will help us carry them. And something else will happen—something that I've experienced myself after visiting Lourdes—that when we turn to God in faith and ask our Blessed Mother's intercession, we are given a grace, an insight.”

The community that gathered daily at Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral from Feb. 3-11 came seeking these exact things: healing, help in carrying the burdens of life, and most of all, for grace to operate in their lives. The cathedral was packed to the COVID-19 safety limits, and people sought out various blessings and devotions throughout the nine days of prayer. The final night was well attended, and many priests were on hand to anoint the sick. Many attendees took advantage of the sacrament of anointing. Sanitation was key, with so many approaching for laying on of hands. Hand sanitizer abounded. The masks, social distancing, and other precautions were poignant reminder of illness and the need for healing at this year’s Lourdes Novena.

Archives of the Lourdes Novena homilies may be found at

Lourdes Novena Prayer

O Blessed Virgin Mary, we thank and praise you for your appearance to the child Bernadette in the Grotto of Lourdes where you declared to her and the world, “I am the Immaculate Conception.” By appearing in the Grotto, you made it a privileged sanctuary where many have obtained miraculous cures for physical and spiritual infirmities. O Loving Mother of us all, you know our wants, our troubles, and our sufferings. We come before you with complete confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain for us, O Sweet Mother, the granting of our request:

(silence - mention your intentions here).

O Blessed Lady of Lourdes, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine Son while upon the earth. You have that same influence now in Heaven. Pray for us that we may obtain from your Divine Son our special requests - but only if they be in accord with His holy will.

We make this petition through the same Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.

Saint Bernadette, pray for us.