How to make a pilgrimage to Lourdes

A pilgrimage to Lourdes is an annual event for our Jumbulance coaches. Here Sue Mullane describes their experience of this very special trip. If you’d like to find out how to travel to Lourdes on a Jumbulance please contact us.

“In early October I joined the Hampshire/Berkshire group of the Jumbulance Trust as a voluntary helper to take some special needs, disabled and sick people (known as VIPs) to Lourdes on a Pilgrimage.  This was a special trip because of the location but the Berkshire/Hampshire group also organise other holidays to a variety of places both home and abroad 3 or 4 times a year.  Many VIPs would never otherwise have the opportunity to travel without the support that the Trust provides with its’ specially adapted accessible vehicles known as Jumbulances.”

Where is the pilgrimage to Lourdes?

“Lourdes is located in southern France in the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains, it is a peaceful and spiritual place.  We found ourselves being drawn back to the Grotto several times but also spent one day in the mountains and another by the beautiful Lourdes lake.  I am thankful that our weather was perfect and feel for those who were affected by the flooding which occurred only a week after our return.”

What is a pilgrimage to Lourdes like?

“The experience was rewarding and fulfilling and at the same time humbling and inspiring.  Over the course of 8 days I witnessed VIPs, their own carers, relatives and the helpers find their lives enriched and enlightened, bonds were formed, barriers broken down, lasting friendships made, some found the peace they had been searching for, or comfort and the strength to carry on.

“This was humanity at its very best and in spite of sometimes quite challenging and hard work, it was a privilege not a chore.  Knowing that we the helpers were making such a difference more than made up for the work involved.”

Who goes on a pilgrimage to Lourdes?

Anyone! We provide our accessible Jumbulance coaches to charity groups, care homes and hospices to make sure that anyone can make a pilgrimage to Lourdes, regardless of their specialist needs or health condition.

Where to stay on a pilgrimage to Lourdes?

There are a number of accommodation options available to those making a pilgrimage to Lourdes. One of our favourites is La Solitude, which is located on the bank of the river Gave and at the entrance to the shrines of Lourdes.

A stay at La Solitude is a great option for those on religious pilgrimage or those seeking a relaxing break in the French countryside.

La Solitude has been accredited with the French Tourism and Handicap quality label and has 24 rooms specially designed for the less-mobile traveller. Duplex rooms offer the chance for residents and one-to-one carers to stay together and a heated pool and solarium is ready for guests’ use.

If you’d like to make a pilgrimage to Lourdes, either as a group leader or an individual, please get in touch to discuss your requirements.