By Vatican News
At the invitation of the organizers of the national pilgrimage, Cardinal Pietro Parolin will travel to the Shrine at Lourdes in France to preside over Mass for the Feast of the Assumption on August 15.
The Cardinal had been invited to the shrine before the coronavirus outbbreak, and his attendance was confirmed on Monday.
Due to restrictions related to the pandemic, this year’s national pilgrimage will take place without the presence of the faithful who are sick. They are, however, being invited to unite spiritually with the event and to follow the Mass online.
In spite of the altered programme, the Vatican Secretary of State is making the trip to support the Marian Shrine, which has been particularly affected by the current health crisis.
It will also be the first official visit outside Italy by a senior member of the Curia since the pandemic began. Before arriving at Lourdes, Cardinal Parolin is expected to make a stop at the city of Ars, the town of the Cure d’Ars, St. Jean Vianney.
This is the Cardinal’s third visit to Lourdes since become Vatican Secretary of State. In 2017 he visited the Shrine as Pope Francis' representative for the World Day of the Sick and in 2018 for the St Francis de Sales Days.