The Vatican Foundation "International Center Family of Nazareth" celebrates the anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady in Lourdes

The Vatican Foundation "International Center Family of Nazareth" recalling the 160th anniversary of the first apparition of the Immaculate Conception, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Hospitalité Notre Dame de Lourdes for a new and lasting collaboration starting April 2018, on the subject of formation and spiritual accompaniment of the volunteers of the Hospitalité and of the pilgrim families.

The intent of the two bodies is to restore dignity to the family in its essential role of hospitality and building up the human being in its integrity. The collaboration will focus in particular on projects designed to increase sensitivity on the theme of the family, giving humanly and spiritually appropriate responses to families marked by suffering.

In recent years the Foundation has worked on the realization of a strategy aimed at creating an international network of Centers that enhance the service to the family from different perspectives. Lourdes was chosen for its focus on: "Family and suffering".

The first project of this collaboration will foresee a first phase of experimentation and improvement of the activities of welcoming families to the pools; a second phase of formation of the volunteers and animators who take care of the reception of the families accompanied by their children in the light of the Apostolic Exhortation "Amoris Laetitia" of Pope Francis.

President Martinez said: "We are delighted to have finalized this agreement with the Hospitalité of Lourdes, a historical institution that has done so well and that has registered volunteers from all over the world. Lourdes can be considered not only "Marian capital", but also a privileged place for families, who need to be accompanied and evangelized on the basis of the great and challenging theme of human suffering. Our commitment will also look to children and to the possibility of making them have a spiritual experience with their parents. In this way, the message of a young girl, Bernadette, will appear familiar and practicable to them. Families need unity and suffering always proves and often divides. We wish to invest in family love to make a place of pilgrimage so desired as Lourdes a wonderful opportunity to rediscover the faith and beauty of the Gospel of the family among generations".


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