Thursday 3 February 2022

Lourdes: Place of Healing and Hope - David Baldwin - CTS Christian Shrines Series

Lourdes: Place of Healing and Hope 
CTS Christian Shrines Series
David Baldwin
Catholic Truth Society

ISBN 9781860822377
eISBN 9781784694487
CTS Booklet D661

Over the last few years, I have read over 250 books and booklets from the Catholic Truth Society. I have greatly enjoyed many of the books in the Christian Shrines Series. This is the twelfth volume in the CTS Christian Shrines series that I have read. It is also the twelfth by David Baldwin. I approached this volume with completely new eyes. I have personally had an interest in Pilgrimage, for as long as I can remember. I have written about personal pilgrimage, and previously written about my desire for pilgrimage. I have a university degree in Religious Studies with a specialization in Roman Catholic Thought I would have loved to have had books from this series, and many from the CTS catalog to use as resources during my schooling. But back to this specific volume on Lourdes. 

The description of this volume is:

“The story of Bernadette Soubirous, a spiritual and practical guide for pilgrims to the best known Marian shrine and its message of hope, healing, intercession and conversion.

Lourdes is one of the best known places of pilgrimage in modern Christendom. This is the story of Bernadette Soubirous, the eighteen appearances of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her in 1858, and her life and trials. In this comprehensive and detailed account, David Baldwin draws out the truly inspirational Message of Lourdes for today: a message of hope, healing, intercession and personal conversion towards a loving Father.”

And the chapters are:

Lourdes - 1850s
Bernadette Soubirous
Our Lady of Lourdes
Sister Marie-Bernard
Saint Bernadette and the Messages of Lourdes
The Lourdes Miracles
Lourdes and Pilgrimage Today
Select Bibliography

The volume was first published in 2004, updated on the 150th Anniversary in 2008. The eBook was released in 2017. And it was rebranded in 2019. This book begins with these volumes:

“Lourdes remains ever young. The Gospel message, in all its simplicity does not date. The natural features which play such an important role in Lourdes are universal and not constrained by time: water, the cave, the rocks and the light. Through the presence of so many of the sick and those who minister to them, through the diversity of languages and peoples, Lourdes has something to say to every person.

During the last few years, television broadcasts have featured Lourdes, and always in a favourable light even if the supernatural element has been obscured. Today, many young people - about the age of Bernadette herself - find peace here. Together with the sick and the handicapped, they form a second privileged group of Lourdes pilgrims.

Like many other pilgrimage destinations throughout the world, Lourdes remains popular. Yet those who come today often arrive as individuals or as members of informal small groups. With religious knowledge in general on the decline, it is necessary to give people of good will as much information as possible, and more importantly, help them enter into the profound reality of Lourdes.

This little book will help to further these objectives. Its modest size reassures the reader who wishes to quickly familiarise him or herself with the Lourdes; the place, the personalities, the events, the message and its history. There is no shortage of larger works available, should the reader wish to pursue his or her interests.

Be assured that the priests and helpers of the sanctuaries will give you a warm welcome.”

This forward is by Jacques Perrier the Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes. This book is a wonderful little read. I know a few priests who visit Lourdes frequently. On their own or leading groups. Some of the stories they tell of pilgrims from all walks of life, and all types of faith or even no faith at all. One of those priests sent us Holy Water from Lourdes prior to my son’s spinal surgery for scoliosis, we used the water to bless his back every night. The surgery went way better than the surgeon expected, and he still smiles and shakes his head when my son has check ups. There is still something about this site that draws people. This book gives us a concise history. A brief biography of Bernadette, and the final section on Lourdes and Pilgrimage Today is a guide for those looking to go and what to expect. 

It is a wonderful volume in an excellent series.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Other Books in the CTS Christian Shrines Series:
Message of Assisi
Message of Fatima
Message of Guadalupe
Message of Walsingham
Santiago: Santiago de Compostela - The Pilgrim Way of St James

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