American Warriors to Lourdes to Join Thousands of International Military Pilgrims Pilgrimage to French Marian shrine held for the first time in three years after hiatus due to COVID-19

Members of the U.S. “Warriors to Lourdes” delegation to the International Military Pilgrimage in Lourdes, France, in May 2019.

WASHINGTON, DC – This week, more than 230 active-duty and retired U.S. Military personnel, caregivers, companions, and friends will take part in the annual Warriors to Lourdes spiritual journey dedicated to individual healing and a more peaceful world. The May 10-16 entourage will provide substantial U.S. representation to the 62nd annual “Pèlerinage Militaire International” (PMI), or International Military Pilgrimage, taking place at Lourdes May 13-15.

The PMI will draw thousands of troops, veterans, and others from around the world to the famous shrine to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The theme for this year’s PMI is “Pacem Meam do Vobis” (“My peace I give to you”). The Warriors to Lourdes journey is co-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus (K of C) and the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS). His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, will accompany the Warriors to Lourdes.

The PMI, which has not been held since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will include an international opening ceremony and events with the color guards of many countries in attendance. The pilgrims will also have daily Mass, times of reflection and reconciliation, and the opportunity to bathe in the waters of Lourdes from which many seek spiritual, physical, or emotional healing.

Since its founding by Father Michael J. McGivney in 1882, the K of C has established a long tradition of support for military personnel and veterans. In World War I, for instance, the Catholic fraternal service organization established a system of “Army Huts” in America and Europe that provided social, recreational, and spiritual resources for Allied servicemen, with the motto “Everybody Welcome. Everything Free.”

The PMI was inaugurated after World War II to foster “reconciliation, peace, and healing.” It has grown to become a prayerful and festive occasion. In addition to the military and religious pageantry at the famous site where Our Lady visited Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pilgrims also have the opportunity to meet fellow servicemen and women and veterans from around the world — many attired in colorful dress uniforms.

Additional information about the Warriors to Lourdes spiritual journey is available at warriorstolourdes.com. Daily video and photo recaps will be posted at www.kofc.org as well as on Facebook at facebook.com/milarchusa/ and facebook.com/KnightsofColumbus. See also Twitter, @KofC; Instagram, kofc_official; and the Knights of Columbus Social Media Hub at kofc.org/news-room/social-media-hub.html.