Delivering the Prayers of Our Faithful Co-Missionaries

When Fr. David Uribe, OMI, visited the Sacred Grotto in Lourdes, France, for the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, he carried with him more than 7,300 prayer intentions from the faithful and placed them on the altar at the Massabielle Grotto of Lourdes.

Father David also carried from the United States a Marian-blue candle to be placed in the Chapel of Candles at the Lourdes Shrine in honor of our donors and supporters. As Chaplain Director of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Fr. David is responsible for ensuring donors’ prayer requests are honored. 

“The people give their petitions to us with a lot of trust that they will be delivered as promised,” Fr. David said. “As Chaplain Director, to carry it through and see to it that they are delivered is a privilege and an honor.”

That honor was magnified by a fortuitous meeting as Fr. David was walking to the Grotto to deliver the intentions. There, walking a few steps ahead of him, was Fr. Martins Obikara, OMI, Chaplain to English-Speaking Pilgrams at Lourdes. He invited Fr. David to lead the recitation of the Rosary that day in the Grotto.

That enabled Fr. David to personally place the intentions of the faithful in the prayer box that was on the altar during this Rosary. The event was covered by EWTN and you can see it here:

“Wherever you are, whether in Lourdes or far abroad, let us join in prayer,” Fr. David told those who gathered in person and online. “Since the apparitions of the Virgin Mary to St. Bernadette in this very same place, millions, including many saints and popes, have come to pray and ask for God’s mercy. Let us join together in praying the Joyful Mysteries of the holy Rosary today.”

Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto commemorates the 18 appearances of Mary as the Immaculate Conception to St. Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year-old French peasant girl. The apparitions started on February 11, 1858.

This was the third visit Fr. David has made to the Lourdes Grotto in France. He said it remains a powerful place for him because of its history as a key part of the faith.

“One of the early messages from Our Blessed Mother to Bernadette in 1858 was for her to tell others that this place will be a place of processions, prayer and healing,” he said. “Now to look at it in 2024 and see it as exactly that—a place of processions, prayer and healing—and to be able to participate in these processions, to touch the water, to see the faith of the people … it’s just really special. May we always be a part of what heaven wishes for us.”