Wounded veterans seek healing and peace in the waters of Lourdes

Catholic News Agency | 5/23/2018 | Staff
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Lourdes, France, May 23, 2018 / 12:29 am (CNA/EWTN News).- American veterans in search of healing attended a recent pilgrimage to Lourdes, through the Archdiocese for Military Services and the Knights of Columbus.

Among the pilgrims was Charles Baldinger, a West Point-educated infantry officer who had to retire due to Stage 4 brain cancer.

Healing - Side - Speech - Healing - Strength

“We came for physical healing with my right side and speech. We got spiritual healing and strength for the journey instead and it was more important,” he said in a video recap for the Knights of Columbus.

The pilgrimage coordinator, Col. Charles Gallia, USMC (Ret.), said the event gives “the moral courage and spiritual strength to address the issues and problems of your life whether they’re physical, mental, moral. That’s the healing power of Lourdes and the Blessed Mother.”

Wounds - War - Need - Peace - Reconciliation

“Understanding the physical and moral wounds of war, there is a need for peace and reconciliation,” Gallia added.

The Warriors to Lourdes pilgrimage, held May 15-22, drew over 200 pilgrims, including 10 from Ukraine. The pilgrimage included opportunities for daily Mass, times for reflection and reconciliation, and the chance to bathe in the waters of Lourdes.

Pilgrimage - Year - Archdiocese - Military - Services

The pilgrimage, now in its fifth year, was sponsored by the Archdiocese for Military Services and the Knights of Columbus. Knights of Columbus Charities covered expenses for veterans and their caregivers.

Father Mark Bristol, a military chaplain, said the Warriors to Lourdes program gives the pilgrims an experience “to encounter God in a powerful way.” Whatever they are undergoing, “they’re not alone and that more importantly there’s people to walk with them to accompany them along the way.”

American - Lourdes - Pilgrimage - International - Military

The American Lourdes pilgrimage joined the 60th annual International Military Pilgrimage, which was launched after World War II to foster reconciliation, peace and healing. Its theme this year is “Pacem in Terris,” a Latin phrase meaning “Peace on Earth” and the...
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