The relics of St. Bernadette of Lourdes visit the shrine of Leonie Martin in the chapel of the Monastery of the Visitation at Caen, March 27-28, 2019

In honor of the 175th anniversary of Bernadette’s birth and the 140th anniversary of her death, her reliquary is making a pilgrimage throughout Normandy. At six o’clock this evening (Wednesday, March 27), the relics of St. Bernadette arrived at the chapel of the Monastery of the Visitation at Caen, where the shrine of the Servant of God, Leonie Martin, is located.

St. Bernadette

St. Bernadette

A few moments later Leonie’s webmaster over there generously notified me of the visit and sent the first photos of the welcoming ceremony.

In June 1877, when Leonie was 14, she made a pilgrimage to Lourdes with her mother and her sisters Marie and Pauline. The four had gone there to pray that Zelie might be cured of breast cancer. God did not answer “yes” to that prayer. But Zelie poured the Lourdes water on Leonie’s forehead and begged God to open her intelligence and make her a saint. Are we not seeing the answer to that prayer?

The women of the Martin family did not see Bernadette on that visit, for she was then living in her convent in Nevers. But now Bernadette’s reliquary has come for the first time to Caen, where the body of Leonie is now enshrined in the chapel. We cannot all be there in person, so let’s unite with these two holy Frenchwomen and with Our Lady of Lourdes to beg God to pour out his grace on the whole world and especially on France.

The schedule of prayers and ceremonies is below:

Tuesday, March 27, 2019

6:00 p.m. Welcome and presentation of the Relics after the Office of Vespers (Evening Prayer)

8:00 p.m. The Rosary: The Glorious Mysteries

8:40 p.m. The Office of Compline (Night Prayer)

Wednesday, March 28, 2019

8:30 a.m. The Office of Lauds (Morning Prayer)

9:00 a.m. The Rosary: The Joyful Mysteries

10:00 a.m. The Rosary: The Sorrowful Mysteries

11:00 a.m. The Mass in honor of Our Lady of Lourdes

2:00 p.m. The Office of None (afternoon prayer)

3:00 p.m. Departure of the Relics

Please unite yourself to the prayer of the Visitation nuns and their friends during these privileged hours. Note that the time in Caen is, at present, five hours later than Eastern time in the United States. You can find the exact time at

I received gracious permission from the nuns of the Visitation of Caen to translate and publish this schedule and to publish their photographs. Please see the original story in French at the Web site of the Visitation of Caen.