Pope Benedict XVI travelled to France for an Apostolic visit to mark the jubilee anniversary of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the shrine of Lourdes. It was the first time the Pope had visited the country as the Bishop of Rome. The Holy Father, however, knows the country well and last visited, as Cardinal Ratzinger, for the 60th anniversary of the Normandy landing in June 2004. The visit began in Paris on 12 September 2008 where the Holy Father met with priests, religious, seminarians and deacons in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame before greeting the thousands of young people who gathered in the square in front of the cathedral that evening. It was a chance for many European pilgrims to be with the Pope just two months after 500,000 young people travelled to Sydney for World Youth Day. The visit concluded with the Holy Father's pilgrimage to Lourdes for the 150th anniversary of the apparitions.
Blessed Sacrament Procession. Meditation of His Holiness Benedict XVI, 14 September 2008. Lord Jesus, You are here! And you, my brothers, my sisters, my frie...Read more
Eucharistic Celebration. Homily of His Holiness Benedict XVI, 13 September 2008. Jesus Christ gathers us together in this remarkable place, in the heart of P...Read more