Monday, May 14, 2012

Princely Pilgrimage to Lourdes

This weekend the "International Military Pilgrimage Mass" was held at the International Basilica of St Pius X (also known as the Underground Basilica) at Lourdes, France and this year there were two special guests that turned many heads, Their Serene Highnesses Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco. The Princely couple came with the Monegasque delegation, not on an official visit or part of a private tour, but simply as two more pilgrims. The Sovereign Prince did not speak at the event but did meet with Bishop Luke Ravel of the armed services and Bishop Brouwet of Tarbes-Lourdes. Before the international mass the Prince and Princess did arrange a private tour of the grotto. The site of the vision of Our Lady of Lourdes holds a special distinction for the Princely Family of Monaco and this was not Prince Albert's first visit, nor will it be his last. Prince Albert II came to Lourdes in 2008 after the visit of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI and hopes to return again this summer with the regular pilgrimage of Monegasque faithful. His father, Prince Rainier III had gone on a pilgrimage to Lourdes to pray that Our Lady would help him find a good wife. Not long after he met and was soon married to Princess Grace who, at her confirmation, had taken as her patron St Bernadette, the little visionary of Lourdes so, it seemed, the hand of the Holy Mother had brought the two together and Lourdes has remained important to the House of Grimaldi ever since.

The Princely couple were quite discreet on this visit, with no fuss or fanfare, Prince Albert II wearing his Princely Rifles uniform and Princess Charlene wearing a subdued cream colored dress and veil. They were able to slip into the Basilica with relatively little notice but, of course, word of their presence spread quickly. In a very touching moment, at the end of the mass, the military personnel present turned out to stand as a guard of honor as the Prince and Princess left the basilica, following behind the military band of the carabinieri from Monaco.

1 comment:

  1. That is truly wonderful!

    I think its beautiful that Princess Charlene is veiled and is bowing to the Queen-Mother of the Universe.

    Pious Royalty makes me proud to be a Monarchist.


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