Thursday: today is a day for a bit of relaxation in each others' company away from the clamour of Lourdes. With an earlier start than normal, we headed off to Bartres where Bernadette spent part of her life working on her Auntie's farm, usually looking after the sheep. We celebrated Mass in the parish Church of St John the Baptist. This is where the young Bernadette would regularly pray before the High Altar. We reflected on the link between John the Baptist and St Bernadette, whose proclamations were quite similar. We then took our packed lunches to the Lac de Lourdes, thanks to Paul Millen arranging the transport. It was another beautiful day and it wasn't long before the lads took to the water for naval battles in pedaloes. Good fun and water fights were had by all. We then returned to Lourdes, calling in at the Parish Church so as it avoid the weddings and funerals that we seemed to clash with on previous visits.
In the evening we decided that it would be good to visit the Grotto as a group and place are petitions there. The Grotto seems to lack a presence of Brancardiers this year so getting through the Grotto seemed to take a lot longer. Having been through the Grotto we then prayed the Rosary before heading back to the hotel for a good night's sleep after a long active day.
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