In 1904, Edward Joseph LeBreton, a benefactor of the Little Sisters of the Poor, vowed to gift an exact replica of the Lourdes Grotto to St. Anne’s Home if the Blessed Mother answered his prayers to spare the life of a Little Sister who had fallen gravely ill. Within days of his fervent prayers, the Little Sister recovered, and within months a Lourdes Grotto became a part of St. Anne’s Home. Over the last 114 years, this Grotto has been the site for everything from rosary processions to Easter Sunrise Masses and Easter Egg Hunts to serving as the annual recreation site of the Lourdes Pilgrimage for the Order of Malta.
This May, in honor of our Provincial Superior, Mother Maria Christine’s Feast Day, St. Anne’s Home held a very special day of pilgrimage to not only our Lourdes Grotto, but also to our contemplative prayer space for Our Lady of Fatima. Under beautifully blue skies with not a trace of fog, over 230 people, including Residents, staff, Jeanne Jugan Associates, Auxiliary members, and children from St. Thomas the Apostle Elementary School joined the Little Sisters in prayerful procession from the main chapel, through the halls of our Home to the Fatima Shrine, ending at the Lourdes Grotto for Mass. It was not only the sounds of reflective hymns that struck a powerful presence, but also the vision of communal kindness that was exhibited among participants throughout the day.
Our less mobile residents were tenderly escorted in wheelchairs and walkers, by those more able, through halls and paths allowing all to participate in the pilgrimage fully and equally.
The special day concluded in the same fashion over a shared meal with the serenity of knowing that when it comes to prayer all are on the same page. There is no age, no physical limitation, national origin or religious affiliation, just FAITH.