3rd Day –  The Nativity

O Mary, Our Mother
we come to this place
where you who are sinless
appeared full of grace.
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria!

Make the sign of the cross.
– In the name of the Father, and of the Son,
   And of the Holy Spirit.
– Amen.

Luke 2: 1-20

 Now it happened that at this time Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be made of the whole inhabited world.  This census–the first–took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria, and everyone went to be registered, each to his own town.  So Joseph set out from the town of Nazareth in Galilee for Judaea, to David’s town called Bethlehem, since he was of David’s House and line, in order to be registered together with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.  Now it happened that, while they were there, the time came for her  to have her child, and she gave birth to a son, her first-born.  She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the living-space.  In the countryside close by, there were shepherds out in the fields keeping guard over their sheep during the watches of the night.  An angel of the Lord stood over them and the glory of the Lord shone round them.  They were terrified, but the angel said, “Do not be afraid.  Look, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.  And here is a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”  And all at once with the angel there was a great throng of the hosts of heaven, praising God with the words:  Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace for those he favors.  Now it happened that when the angels had gone from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go to Bethlehem and see this event which the Lord has made known to us”.  So they hurried away and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger.  When they saw the child they repeated what they had been told about him, and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds said to them.  As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.  And the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as they had been told.

The Messiah is born in the town of David, Bethlehem.  God is faithful to his promises.  The message of the angels is destined for the whole world: all mankind is called to give glory to God, the Creator; and all men, loved by Him, receive a message of salvation and peace.

Pilgrims in Lourdes have always prayed for peace, in particular during the International Military Pilgrimage.  Often countries at war with each other participate in this pilgrimage.  We offer this decade for peace between peoples, in society, and in our families.

 
Recite the Our Father.
Recite one decade of the Rosary thinking about the Mystery being contemplated.

Hail Mary, full of grace;
the Lord is with thee;
blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus,
conceived through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Holy Mary, mother of God,
Pray for us sinners,
Now, and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit who is now and shall be evermore Amen!

Concluding prayer:

Lord
You prepared Mary to be the Mother of your Son.
By her Immaculate Conception,
You protected her from sin, from all the wounds of sin.
This is why She had the strength to say “yes” in faith,
from the Annunciation to the Cross.
What you realized in Mary, Lord, is admirable.
We give you thanks.

In Lourdes, Lord, you prepared Bernadette
to be a witness to the apparitions of the Virgin Mary.
In the transparency of her heart,
in her humility and courage,
she thwarted all the tricks of the evil one,
What you realized in Bernadette, Lord, is admirable.
We give you thanks.

In these days before our pilgrimage Lord,
Prepare us to receive the grace of the Jubilee.

That we may be ready to receive Your word,
of  which Mary is the echo;

Ready to be reconciled with You
And with our neighbors, close or distant;
Ready to experience this Church event
in fraternal communion, prayer and service.

May Mary guide us to the Grotto of Massabielle,
so that, on our return, we too may say with her
“The Lord has done great things for us”.

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