On February 11, 2014, Queen of Peace had a service of the Blessing of the Sick in imitation of this blessing of the sick in Lourdes, France. Fr. Josephjude Gannon of St. Gerard Majella parish (Brooklyn Diocese) presided over the service. We were invited into pray during the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament to ready our hearts and minds for the blessing. In his homily, Fr. Josephjude reminded us to keep close to Mary and trust her like a young child as St. Bernadette did so that her love may open us up to God’s grace of healing. He asked us to pray during the blessing not only for ourselves, but for all to be healed. During the recitation of the rosary, Fr. Josephjude went around the chapel to bless the Residents and Sisters with the sacred monstrance. He also went from floor to floor to bless the Residents who were unable to come to the chapel. Our Lord’s healing presence could be seen and felt. Each Resident responded to the blessing with joy and reverence – something that you could see on their faces – perhaps not unlike Bernadette’s reaction when Mary appeared to her at the grotto.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, Virgin Immaculate, you appeared 18 times to Bernadette at the grotto in Lourdes to remind Christians of what the truths in the Gospel require of them. You call them to prayer, penance, the Eucharist and the life of the church. To answer your call more fully, I dedicate myself, through you, to your Son Jesus. Make me willing to accept what he said. By the fervour of my faith, by the conduct of my life in all its aspects, by my devotion to the sick, let me work with you in the comforting of those who suffer and in the reconciliation of people that the church may be one and there be peace in the world. All this I ask, confident that you, Our Lady, will fully answer my prayer. Blessed be the Holy and Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. St. Bernadette, pray for us! Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!