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5th Jun 2020 - Memories of Lourdes 2014

Seeing as all plans of pilgrimages have had to be put on hold for the moment, Mary Moyles has taken a trip down memory lane and with lyrical dexterity tells the tale of the trip to Lourdes in 2014.


Our Pilgrimage


On a fine day in August, our journey did start,

With a trip to Newcastle where our coach would depart.

Our good Mercy Family set off with a prayer,

To Manchester City to take to the air.

The flight it was calm and our spirits were high,

There wasn’t a cloud in the lovely blue sky.

We laughed and we joked and partook of the booze,

And very soon landed in lovely Toulouse.


Our luggage collected on the coach we did climb,

We made it to Lourdes in fairly good time.

The peace and the beauty of that special place,

Put great expectation on each weary face.

The Manager met us with accent so soft,

But then I discovered me room in the loft!

But in spite of the stairs I was happy to be

Where the sweet River Garv runs down to the sea.

After breakfast next morning to Mass we did go,

From the dear Canon Alan the music did flow.

The Sisters of Mercy and friends did all pray,

For blessings from Mary to help us that day.


We went to the Grotto petitions to take

With our thoughts and our prayers said for everyone’s sake.

It was clear all the Pilgrims were happy to be

Where the sweet River Garv runs down to the sea.

The hotel itself was a joy to behold,

With the wonderful service from waiters so bold.

Attention to detail was second to none

Fine dishes of food were soon eaten and gone.

Then the Manager called me with manner discreet,

And told me he'd moved me into a big suite.

As soon as I saw it I was happy to be.

Where the sweet River Garv flows down to the sea.


Our candles were lit and we walked with devotion.

Each 'Ave' we sang filled us all with emotion.

With people from countries all over the world,

Their banners to Mary were proudly unfurled.

We processed with her statue to Rosary Square

With lanterns held high and our hearts filled with prayer.

It was clear to be seen we were humbled to be'

Where the sweet River Garv runs down to the sea.


On Saturday night such a treat was in store

When the Reverend Ray Kelly, he took to the floor.

His wonderful singing by U-tube had spread

And the crowd with the old songs, he gallantly led.

He sang Alleluia so tuneful and clear,

That the crowds that were passing did come into hear.

They cheered and they clapped for as long as can be,

Where the great River Garv sweeps down to the sea.

When Sunday arrived with a day bright and clear,

We boarded the coach for a sight-seeing tour.

It was up to Gavarnie we headed that day.

Up the high winding roads, our coach made its way.


We stopped at the bridge with Napoleons name.

Tried hard to get May in the bungee-jump game.

The 'birthday girl' faltered and wanted to flee,

Down the great River Garv right down to the sea.

When we got to Gavarnie we gazed with delight,

At the Pyrenees Mountains a beautiful sight.

So tall and majestic and covered in snow,

Where the spring of the Garv once started its flow.


There were donkeys and horses for all to try.

And people so happy watching others go by.

Amid all the beauty it was easy to see.

Why the clear River Garv runs down to the sea.

We then found a bench and to May’s great surprise,

We opened a bottle to toast her bright eyes.

She really enjoyed it for this we could tell.

We all had a great day just full of great cheer.


And felt very happy with all our friends near.

We were filled with the beauty of scenes we could see.

Where the cool River Garv runs down to the sea.

With our bags all packed ready we headed for home.

No more to the Grotto we were able to roam.

It was sad to be leaving that most holy site,

So long ago started by Bernadette slight.

To think that a young girl a peasant so poor.


In spite of the pain and the scorn to endure.

Could bring millions of people to this holy place,

With faith never failing in the whole human race.

With hearts oh so heavy our time here complete,

We left holy Lourdes and Grotto so sweet.

We asked Blessed Mary to help guide our way.

With all souls, God willing to come back some day.


To Bridie and Betty our thanks we do send.

And also to Damien, our guide and our friend.

With God’s grace and mercy again we will be.

Where the sweet River Garv runs down to the sea.


By: Mary Moyles


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