FOR its first weekend pilgrimage
to Lourdes, which left London at 7 a.m. on Saturday and returned at 10.30 p.m. on Sunday, the AllNight Vigil Group filled two planes. It was only a few days beforehand that the existence of the second plane was discovered; this was hired by the Assumptionist group, led by Fr. Gabriel Slater, who suggested a joint effort in order to obtain the maximum ceremonies at Lourdes accorded to groups numbering over 100.
One of the pilgrims was a sick child suffering from leukaemia. She is five and a half years old, and as she had already made her first Holy Communion, she was able to receive Holy Communion at the Midnight Mass, said by the five priests on the pilgrimage at different altars in the Crypt Church.
The all-night vigil was kept by the Grotto. thanks to the marvellously warm weather which was really like our August.
The pilgrimage arranged for April 5 is already heavily overbooked, and no more applications can be accepted. Applications for future pilgrimages of the All-Night Vigil Group must be made in writing; enquirers are asked not to telephone or call.
St. Clare of Assisi has been proclaimed by the Holy Father as Patron Saint of television. According to tradition, St. Clare was seriously ill and on Christmas Eve prayed that she be allowed to see Midnight Mass being celebrated in the church some distance away.
Her prayer was answered and she saw the whole of the Mass in a vision. St. Clare died in 1253 after founding. with St. Francis, the Order of the Poor Clares.