Lourdes Pilgrimage

Last updated: 22/04/2019

A group of 40 pilgrims from St. Mary's, made up of Year 10 and Year 12 students, make an annual pilgrimage to  Lourdes. St. Mary's have been taking part in the Leeds Diocese Lourdes Pilgrimage since 1993 (the first pilgrimage was led by Miss Murray).

Lourdes is a small town set in the foothills of the French Pyrenees, where in 1858 Our Blessed Lady appeared to the young Bernadette Soubirous. The first apparition took place on 11 February 1858 while Bernadette was collecting firewood with her sister and friend. There followed 17 more apparitions between February and June of that year.

Each year, we join together with those who are in poor health. Indeed, the sick and less able pilgrims are at the very heart of our experience in Lourdes as we celebrate, worship and pray together. 400 young pilgrims from Diocesan schools and colleges come to share their faith and provide enthusiastic and energetic support to dependent pilgrims. These young people are themselves cared for and encouraged by 50 teachers, assistants, clergy and chaplains. 

The annual Lourdes Pilgrimage provides a unique opportunity to gather as a diocese with the Bishop to pray and journey in faith.

There are a series of vibrant displays celebrating our Lourdes Pilgrimage in school, on our 'Main Corridor'.

Each year, there is a pastoral theme for the pilgrimage. 

The pastoral theme for 2019 is:

“Happy are the poor” 

Dates for the next Diocese of Leeds Lourdes Pilgrimage (the 81st):

4–12 July 2019

Lourdes News Stories

Lourdes Group Photos 2006–18

Lourdes Group Photos

Diocese of Leeds Group Photos

Lourdes Diocese of Leeds Group Photos

“Students from St Mary’s, in Year 10 and 12, join with the annual Leeds Diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes. As well as giving a witness to their faith, they also give assistance to the sick and infirm.

The preparation for the pilgrimage starts towards the end of January and the reunion rounds off the Pilgrimage experience in September.

The Lourdes Pilgrimage is a spiritual focus throughout the school year. It is wonderful to see how our young people’s involvement in the Lourdes Pilgrimage each year helps them mature and grow in their faith.

Our Lady of Lourdes - pray for us.

St Bernadette - pray for us.”
— Mr Bob Lavery, Chair of St. Mary's Academy Council

The Words of Our Lady to Bernadette

Our Lady gave Bernadette a number of messages:

Would you be kind enough to come here for a fortnight?

I cannot promise you the happiness this world gives but the happiness of  the other.

Pray for the conversion of sinners.

Would you kiss the ground and crawl on your knees for sinners?

Go and drink from the spring and wash yourself there.

Go and tell the priest to build a chapel here and to have people come here in procession.

I am the Immaculate Conception.

Pastoral Themes of the past

Leeds Diocese Youth Service


The Leeds Diocese Youth Service serves young people in parishes and schools across the Catholic Diocese of Leeds.

They Tweet from the Lourdes Pilgrimage each year: