Hundreds Flock to the Shrine for Healing Service


HANCEVILLE – People came out in droves to attend a special healing Mass in Hanceville on Wednesday. The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament hosted the service at their beautiful Lourdes Grotto. The weather was perfect and the Mass was beautiful.

“Today we had the Healing Mass at the Lourdes Grotto down by the river,” said Jennifer Prybyla from the Pilgrimages Department at the Shrine. “This is the first one we’ve had in a really long time. We are very excited about it. We will have another one on August 5 as well. There will be a Mass and then we will have the Anointing of the Sick and say several healing prayers.”

The Anointing of the Sick is a Catholic Sacrament, which holds special blessings for the sick and dying. Prybyla explains it further:

“The Anointing of the Sick has different rules in regards to somebody on their deathbed, somebody that is about to have a serious surgery, or for someone who has been critically ill for a long while,” she said. “The priests will actually anoint them with blessed oils. There are different prayers that they will say and will anoint the person on their hands and their foreheads as well.”

It was a lovely day and the service was so meaningful. Thank you to the Lord and the priests and everyone attending.” – Mary Rose Evans, Attendee

The Mass was celebrated on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, which is on February 11th. Our Lady of Lourdes is a venerated title of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was invoked by Roman Catholics in honor of the Marian apparitions said to have occurred on numerous occasions in 1858 in the vicinity of Lourdes, France. The first apparition happened on February 11, 1858, when 14-year-old peasant girl, Bernadette Soubirous, told her mother that a "Lady" spoke to her in the cave about a mile from the town as she gathered firewood with her sister and a friend. Similar apparitions of the "Lady" were reported on 17 occasions that year, until the climax revelation of the Blessed Mother took place.

Bernadette was later canonized as a saint, and Roman Catholics and some Protestants believe her apparitions have been validated by the overwhelming popularity and testament of healing claimed to have taken place at the Lourdes water spring.

Wednesday’s Mass began a series of healing Masses, evening healing services and candlelight processions for the coming months. The healing services will all take place at the Shrine’s Lourdes Grotto. It is a replica of the original miraculous Grotto in Lourdes, France and was dedicated at the Shrine in 2008. The Grotto is handicap accessible and wheelchairs are available, if needed. The Shrine invites everyone to join them as they honor Our Blessed Mother and ask her intercession for the healing of our bodies and souls.

This story was originally published in the Feb. 16 issue of CullmanSense print edition