t first, the water felt cold — really cold. Like so many other pilgrims before them, Kristina Edel and her 12year-old daughter, Julianna, had come to the baths at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in France to pray for physical healing. Kneeling in the waters before a statue of Mary, Kristina cried and asked God to cure her daughter, who suffers from an aggressive form of bone cancer. In those waters, so cold at first, Kristina felt God grant her another kind of healing: the warmth of his peace.
“I prayed that Julianna’s cancer wouldn’t return, but I know that it’s in God’s hands,” said Kristina, a parishioner of St. Patrick’s Church in Highland Mills, N.Y. “I wanted God to give me the strength, peace and grace to accept whatever was going to happen.” Kristina and Julianna Edel were among 24 pilgrims who traveled to Lourdes June 27-July 6 with assistance from the Knights of Columbus. Nine children with severe illnesses or disabilities, along with parents or caregivers, joined the 59th
♦ C O L U M B I A ♦ 17
Columbia September 2013