Victoria says she began prostituting across the age of 12. Initially from Argentina, “Emy”, as she is nicknamed, has lived in France since 2010. She survives in Paris by “promoting” her physique on the sidewalks of the Bois de Boulogne. His presence in Lourdes is a miraculous encounter.
She as soon as crossed the street of Father Jean-Philippe, the founding father of Magdalena, an affiliation that helps prostitutes at evening. Espresso is obtainable to ladies and transvestites in a camper, “Safety house within the coronary heart of hell”, says Charles, a volunteer of the affiliation, additionally current in Lourdes, on the event of the World Day of the Poor.
Some prostitutes even “requested for baptism”
By taking part within the pilgrimage to Fratello, bringing collectively a number of associations comparable to Magdalena, Lazare or Village Saint-Joseph, on November 15, 16 and 17, Emy appears to search out just a little consolation, friendship ties. “I uncover the sunshine,” she manages to precise.
For Angela, one other prostitute who accompanies the group, that is her second journey to Lourdes due to the affiliation Magdalena. Wearing an enormous winter coat, she is right here this time to say “thanks”. “Earlier than, I had black ideas, I drank,” says this 41-year-old lady. “Right now, I really feel higher. ”
Some prostitutes even “requested for baptism” on the finish of a pilgrimage within the Marian metropolis, mentioned Father Jean-Philippe, keen to point out that the Church can also be current for these ladies who discover their dignity in Lourdes.
“In Lourdes, the norm is the distinction”
For her half, Marie-Caroline, in a wheelchair, confides to dwell one other type of poverty. This Versaillaise 34 years previous is a sufferer, since beginning, of a uncommon genetic illness: “My poverty is bodily. It's my handicap, it causes complete dependence. It imprisons my physique, however not my soul or my thoughts. I’m nicely conscious that this physique, which doesn’t conform to the requirements that society advocates, is disturbing. They have a look at me due to my incapacity. Right here, I’m watched with love, with out being inhabited by disgrace. In Lourdes, the norm is the distinction. “
Marie-Caroline loves life as it’s, she says to be ” honored “ to hold this handicap, such ” a cross “. In addition to, she doesn’t watch for a treatment in entrance of the cave, however comes for “Faucet on the supply” the forces that may enable him to face his day by day life. This English instructor couldn’t do with out Lourdes, this “Sweetness” and that “tenderness” that permeates the place. “I’m with my brothers and sisters, with those that are going via troublesome conditions,” she describes. “The look is of course benevolent, particularly for the little ones. “
Be your self a charity actor
For some, Lourdes can also be the chance to be your self a charity actor. Fell in alcoholism and medicines, Fabrice has managed to bounce again due to the Village Saint-Joseph, which affords small properties to “Those that have chosen to face up”. Not with out satisfaction, this 46-year-old Breton says he has been sober for 5 years now. After having skilled a path of inside therapeutic, Fabrice continues to go to Lourdes, this time as a stretcher. “The sufferers respect my punctuality and my courtesy”, He says. The pilgrim additionally takes benefit of Lourdes to dwell the sacrament of reconciliation. “Confession frees me from my sins,” He explains. “I'm additionally going to the pool to cleanse myself and clear my soul. “
For all these causes, Etienne Villemain, co-founder of Fratello, 'Naturally' chosen Lourdes to have fun the third World Day of the Poor. If the price range to finance such a pilgrimage shouldn’t be but full, Étienne depends on Windfall. “The poor have every thing to show us, Jesus hides amongst them,” he professes. “If we give option to the poor, the Church will heal and be reborn. “
“A spot the place the poor evangelize”
Bishop Olivier Ribadeau Dumas, rector of the sanctuary
“Lourdes has at all times welcomed the poor. It’s a assembly place between the sick and the hospitable, between younger and previous, between folks of all nationalities and all circumstances. Right here we’re all tied. Lourdes heals our bodies and souls. We discover ourselves in entrance of the cave, with out being judged.
Lourdes can also be a spot the place the poor evangelize. The Church has made a unprecedented journey in her relationship with the poorest and most precarious. We first made for, then we did with, now we give the ground! The pope invitations the poor to dwell the prophetic dimension of Lourdes. In a society the place solely particular person success appears to depend, in Lourdes it’s the smallest that’s on the heart. “