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Rome Reports

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Shrine of Lourdes: Hospitality of Our Lady of Lourdes celebrates 125th anniversary

Antoine TiernyPresident, Hospitality of Our Lady of LourdesThroughout the year, more than 40 thousand people from 70 countries an 5 continents work at our hospital. They’re people who come from Australia, Japan, China or Russia and donate their time and engergy. They are very generous.”José Luis MorenoService Saint JosephFor us it’s an honor. As volunteers we probably enjoy this more than the patients. ; You see the joy on their faces and their strong sense of faith.”About 3 thousand of the volunteers are Italian, another 2,700 French and about 470 are American. Over the last couple of years the number of volunteers from Asia grew. In 2008 about 200 of them signed up. The people who work here go though four year of an intensive practical and spiritual formation. It is only after they have completed the work that they are ready to care for the sick. Pilgrims visit for about 5 days. During this time the volunteers take care of pilgrims who are receiving rehabilitation treatment. They also bathe them using water from the Spring of the Lourdes Grotto in France.José Luis MorenoService Saint JosephOutside of the shrine they are people who really struggle, but inside they are full of joy, they can move and do things they normally wouldn’t be able to do.”Antoine TiernyPresident, Hospitality of Our Lady of LourdesOur goal is for the pilgrims but more specifically the patients and the disabled to come to Lourdes to finish their pilgrimage and leave a little happier.”So on this anniversary, the association is looking to the future and hopes to modernize the techniques of hospital so it can continue offering the best service.PVB/MCFF-DC/JM-WP