Lourdes, France, May 16, 2019 / 11:00 am
Over 12,000 soldiers from over 40 countries are set to arrive in Lourdes, France on Friday as part of the 61st Annual International Military Pilgrimage. The pilgrimage goes throughout the weekend before concluding on Sunday.
The International Military Pilgrimage, known as the PMI [Pèlerinage Militaire International] first began in 1958, the 100th anniversary of the Marian apparition at Lourdes. The theme of this year's pilgrimage is Cherche la Paix et poursuis-la, "seek peace and pursue it."
The pilgrimage programme includes Masses in a variety of languages, sporting programs for military members, and a candlelit Marian procession. Pilgrims will also visit the baths near the Lourdes Grotto.
Throughout the weekend, military bands parade through the streets of Lourdes, and the soldiers from different nations are encouraged to interact and get to know one another.