It will be Monsignor Hérouard, auxiliary bishop of Lille. The announcement was made by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for New Evangelization
Pope Francis has decided to send his delegate “for the care of pilgrims” to the Marian shrine of Lourdes, in the person of Monsignor Antoine Hérouard, auxiliary bishop of Lille. The announcement was made in the French sanctuary by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, the dicastery that for two years has received from Francis the task of enhancing the pastoral care of sanctuaries. Officially there is no mention of the “commissioner” of the famous sanctuary of the Marian apparitions, destination of millions of pilgrims every year, but the Pope’s decision is very similar to him. And in sending a papal delegate they may have counted, on the one hand, both some excesses in the ‘business’ linked to the Marian town, and, on the other, the sensitive drops in the number of pilgrims who have been registered for some years. –
“The decision is in line with that already taken in 2017 for Medjugorje – the editorial director of the Holy See media, Andrea Tornielli writes in Vatican News -: Pope Francis takes particular care of the pilgrims and wants the centers of Marian devotion “increasingly become a place of prayer and Christian witness corresponding to the needs of the people of God.” This can be read in the letter that the Pontiff sent to Monsignor Antoine Hérouard, auxiliary bishop of Lille, communicating to him the decision to appoint him delegate ‘to nutum Sanctae Sedis’ (ie available to the Holy See) for the sanctuary of Lourdes
“. The papal letter was read in the small center of the Pyrenees, the site of one of the most popular Marian apparitions in history, in front of the chaplains and the administrative heads of the sanctuary. Archbishop Fisichella, chief dicastery for the New Evangelization, made it public. From what we learn from the letter, Fisichella himself has carried out in recent months a mission as a “special envoy” at the sanctuary that every year sees millions of pilgrims coming from all over the world. “Following the verifications” conducted by Fisichella, writes the Pope, “I wish to understand what further forms the sanctuary of Lourdes can adopt, in addition to the many already existing ones, to become more and more a place of prayer and Christian witness corresponding to the needs of the People of God “.
The mandate of Bishop Hérouard, who will not leave his office in Lille, will be limited to the sanctuary alone, while the diocese of Tarbes and Lourdes will remain entrusted to the bishop Nicolas Jean René Brouwet. Note the fact that the appointment of the delegate is not for an indefinite period (as instead was that of Monsignor Hoser in Medjugorje) and this means that, in the intentions, it is not a permanent task but a timed one, aimed at pastoral care and spiritual of pilgrims. “Pope Francis, who is very keen on this care, wants to accentuate the spiritual primacy with respect to the temptation to emphasize too much the managerial and financial aspect, and wants to promote more and more the popular devotion that is traditional in sanctuaries”, adds Tornielli. – See more at: