What is a Lourdes Virtual Pilgrimage ExperienceTM ?
A Virtual Pilgrimage Experience™ brings the actual experience of Lourdes to you! Like an actual Pilgrimage to Lourdes, the Lourdes Virtual Pilgrimage Experience™ is a holy encounter with God under the watchful care of Our Lady of Lourdes. Available in both English and Spanish, Virtual Pilgrimage Experience™ re-creates a pilgrimage to Lourdes. This prayerful experience draws pilgrims nearer to God in the company of Our Lady as they are guided through a prayerful visit to the Grotto, the experience of the water, prayer in a Rosary procession and a Eucharistic blessing.
Lourdes Volunteers takes great care to preserve the reverence and sanctity of the pilgrimage experience as we bring it to those who cannot actually go to Lourdes. Usually, from the parish pew in two hours or in a classroom with a 40-minute program, Lourdes Virtual Pilgrimage Experience™ is a perfect spiritual experience for parishes, schools, universities, nursing homes, convents and prisons! In this time of pandemic when travel and parish activities are restricted, we are blessed to bring Lourdes to you through an online live broadcast experience!
Inspired in a Grace
Lourdes Virtual Pilgrimage Experience™ was inspired in a grace within the mission of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospitality North American Volunteers early in 2002. In the fall of 2002, three pilgrims from Kansas City, KS, met the Foundress of Lourdes Volunteers in Lourdes and Nevers, France. They agreed to be the first Host Team to bring the grace of Lourdes back home to their parish community. After two years of preparation, the first Lourdes Virtual Pilgrimage Experience™ was offered in the fall of 2004 in Kansas, the heartland of America.
As of today, more than 200,000 “pilgrims” have experienced Lourdes Virtual Pilgrimage Experience™ in 45 states, 13 Native American Nations, 21 countries on 5 continents in 16 years.
For the first time in the history of the Catholic Church a Plenary Indulgence was granted for a “virtual experience” as equal to an “actual experience” through the Lourdes Virtual Pilgrimage Experience by Our Lady of Lourdes Hospitality North American Volunteers. In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI granted a Plenary Indulgence. Pope Francis continued this blessing by granting a Plenary Indulgence 2013 through 2020 and recently granting another Plenary Indulgence 2020 through 2027 to faithful who experience a “Lourdes Virtual Pilgrimage.”
Pope Francis Proclaims Pandemic Virtual Pilgrimage Plenary Indulgence
Responding to our plea at the onset of the world-wide pandemic, Pope Francis granted by Apostolic decree an Extraordinary Plenary Indulgence to the faithful experiencing a Lourdes Virtual Pilgrimage via broadcast, live-stream, recorded television or radio program with Our Lady of Lourdes Hospitality North American Volunteers. The usual norms and conditions must be respected, however, exceptionally extended to such time that the faithful have access to the Sacraments and the capability to fulfill the norms and conditions throughout the duration of the Covid-19 Virus Pandemic.
Indulgences have a specific act (i.e., experience a Virtual Pilgrimage) as well as conditions (valid Confession, Reception of the Holy Eucharist, detachment from sin and praying for the intentions of the Holy Father).
It is recommended that these conditions be met on the same day or time of the act. During this extraordinary time of world-wide pandemic, the time allotted to fulfill the conditions is exceptionally extended until such time the faithful have access to and can receive these Sacraments.
Once the conditions can be met, if the disposition is less than complete or if the conditions are not fulfilled, the indulgence becomes partial.