FREE Lourdes Virtual Pilgrimage Experience - get a plenary indulgence and a free Pilgrimage Kit, and tour Lourdes without leaving your home

Apparently Lourdes is offering FREE virtual pilgrimages that one can attend by watching and praying along from home, on one’s device, and Pope Francis has authorized a Plenary Indulgence for this activity under the usual conditions. This has been going on since July, but I just found out about it tonight as it was publicized on the Archdiocesan Rosary Zoom meeting.

If you RSVP you can get a special Pilgrimage Kit (one per family) with some Lourdes Water and other stuff.

Then you just watch the live broadcast on the day you picked out.

Here’s the info from the Pope granting the Plenary Indulgence for this activity. Looks like it will be in force until 2027 so you can do it next year too.

No charge for any of this. Of course you can hit the “Donate” button on their website if you wish to support the work of the Lourdes Volunteers.


Thank you for sharing


Thanks, Bear!


Thank you - I have never done a pilgrimage, so this will be very special.


This is really neat!


Thanks for posting this, if I can ever get my spiritual life enough in order to obtain this plenary, I shall do it. That renunciation of “attachment to all sin, even venial” is the hard part for me.

One question, though — are we sure the “2027” isn’t a typo? When the letter “1” is handwritten by a Frenchman/woman, it looks a lot like an American “7”, in fact, when the French write a “7”, they put a slash through it. I’m wondering if they meant “2021”.


Seven years seems like a long time to keep an “indulgence window” open, however, if the Church does indeed mean to grant this plenary for the next seven years, I’m all for it.

I think it’s a seven because 7 was repeated a couple of times.

I noticed that as well, but again, I have to wonder if the dates were handwritten by a French-speaker, and the “1” ended up looking like a “7” to the person who transcribed the flyer.

Guess I could check with Lourdes themselves and find out.

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Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

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It’s 2027. They say it’s 2027 elsewhere on their website as well.

Today also begins a new opportunity of a Plenary Indulgence granted from the Holy Father to all faithful who make a pilgrimage to Lourdes or experience Lourdes in a Virtual Pilgrimage with us between July 16, 2020 and July 15, 2027.

I think when the Pope grants your organization a plenary indulgence opportunity, it would be rather bad form to misstate the end date all over your very professional-looking website. I believe we can trust that it is indeed 2027. But feel free to e-mail them if you like.

Nothing makes me happier than to know that the Church has opened a seven-year window for a fairly easily-obtained plenary indulgence. I didn’t know they had a website. To tell you the truth, I didn’t even read the flyer that closely, the “2027” just jumped out at me. I thought — and, granted this would be pretty far-fetched, I found the idea pretty far-fetched myself — that perhaps, just perhaps, someone in France could have written out the information in longhand, and an American editor saw the French “1” and took it for a “7”.

Everybody makes mistakes. I was blessed with a high IQ and I received the gift of almost-free and relatively easy college (I am keenly aware every day that many others have to work their fingers to the bone, or bleed themselves white with debt, to get what I got for chump change), but to this day, I constantly misspell words with double consonants — it’s just a mental block, I’ve always had it, at age 60 it’s not going anywhere. And I couldn’t give anyone directions from Point A to Point B to save my soul. Drive across the US (or Poland) blindfolded and get to my destination, yes. Tell you how to get downtown from my house, I haven’t a prayer. Nobody is perfect.

To the infinitely more important point, I hope this indulgence is spread far and wide. American Catholics, immersed as they are in the Protestant and secular culture that canonizes everyone who dies (aside from the likes of a Charles Manson or Ted Bundy), need to be taught, and taught often, from the pulpit and from other places, that even the best of us will have some temporal punishment to satisfy, and it is far easier, and less painful, to get it out of the way now, rather than waiting until our souls will be in a state where they can no longer grow in holiness.

Thank you for your diligent work in this most important apostolate.

I would hope people would be getting the indulgences to give to those suffering in purgatory and not for themselves, since the Church teaches that if we’re in the habit of saying some prayers during our life, we get the plenary when we die, even if there’s no priest and no last rites. One good plenary on death is all we need. We can give all the previous ones we earn away; we still benefit from the indulgenced works we do because they bring us closer to God. Those whom we help will also pray for us so tha’s even less reason for us to worry about helping ourselves.

Plus, if one practices the DIvine Mercy Devotion as Jesus revealed to St. Faustina, then Jesus gives you the gift of erasing all your temporal punishment every year, through His Mercy, no indulgence from the Church needed.

Fr. Heilman is about to start his annual Holy Alliance indulgence drive, as he does every November (the Month of the Holy Souls), so consider this my advert to encourage others to earn plenary indulgences for the Holy Souls.


No doubt. I just think in terms of a sudden and unprovided death. Every time I go to confession, and as an implicit ongoing wish, I make the virtual intention of obtaining every indulgence I can, even if is not “top of mind” when I am performing the act to which an indulgence is attached. But I thought that for the Apostolic Pardon, it had to be a positive act of the mind and will at the near moment of death. I’ll study up on it more.

The Apostolic Pardon and the alternative plenary indulgence in the absence of a priest are explained here:

Obviously we would all like to have a priest present to give us the final sacraments before we die, but it is quite possible that we might die suddenly or alone with no priest. In which case the Church has provided for us even though I am sure Merciful Jesus would do the same. I think the Church wishes to encourage people to pray habitually during their life and also keep them from worrying so much about “Sudden and unprovided death”.

I am totally doing this! Getting some Lourdes water would be cool.


I live daily with the acute realization of my own mortality. Several years ago, I was driving along a stretch of interstate, had just put some STP treatment in my gas tank, and didn’t have two little brain cells to rub together that day, so I went barreling lickety-split through a driving rainstorm, to get the treated gasoline through my engine good and proper. Little did I know that one particular spot was notorious for pooling water. I hit the water, spun out like a fidget spinner, and if a semi-truck had been in the wrong place at the wrong time, I would have been toast, would never even have known what hit me. When I regained my moorings, I pulled into the nearest rest stop, and if I had been prone to a heart attack, it probably would have happened right there on the spot. Thankfully, my heart is stronger than that.

I hear people saying about dying in their sleep, “oh, that is so the way I want to go”. No, it isn’t. We should prefer to die with a priest over us, administering every rite and blessing that it is possible to administer, with our last act in this life being the reception of absolution, the Eucharist, and a crucifix in our hands. But needless to say, we don’t always get our deaths “made to order”. We take what we get.

As for sudden death, I don’t “worry” about it, but I am aware of its possibility. I realize that, if I am not “dirt” right now, as the abbot once told me on retreat, I will be in about 48 hours — or will be on my way there — if I drop dead as soon as I finish writing these lines. Even the mortician’s best efforts — which I’d rather forego, if I hadn’t been forced to acquiesce to family wishes regarding pre-need (it was a financial thing, long story), I told them I would have preferred no embalming and a cheap pine box buried free to the earth — can’t arrest the march of nature, those efforts can only delay it. I much prefer the way the Jews and Muslims do it.

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Do you have any ideas or thoughts on what I can expect? I’ve never participated in a pilgrimage and really have no idea of what is required of me.

Thank you for posting this Bear. Lourdes is on my bucket list. I just signed up for the Nov. 1st pilgrimage. I still plan to go one day but this is exciting to participate virtually.


The website says, “This prayerful experience draws pilgrims nearer to God in the company of Our Lady as they are guided through a prayerful visit to the Grotto, the experience of the water, prayer in a Rosary procession and a Eucharistic blessing.” It further says they will be broadcasting the rosary and blessing from different parishes.

When one goes to Lourdes, typically one visits the grotto where Mary appeared, prays a rosary there, and often you participate in a candlelight procession to the grotto while singing Marian hymns. So I would imagine that the video will show pictures of the grotto and talk about the Lourdes apparition and St. Bernadette, then lead everybody in a rosary and have a priest give a live blessing (which everybody watching live gets as if they were there).


I also bathed in the Lourdes water cave pool, which to me was the best part.

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