'Hospitalite de N. D. de Lourdes. Monsieur James Seagrave, Liverpool'



ID: A certificate with a black and white illustration of pilgrims at Lourdes. One corner shows a group of pilgrims carrying a flag, and another shows volunteers carrying a pilgrim on a stretcher. This certificate was awarded to James Seagrave, from Liverpool, by the Hospitalité of Our Lady of Lourdes. It tells us that he was incorporated into the ‘brotherhood of hospitaliers’ there in July 1960. The Hospitalité of Our Lady of Lourdes is an organisation that recruits volunteers (called hospitaliers) to assist and care for people, particularly disabled people, on their pilgrimages to its holy site. This certificate shows that James Seagrave was a fully inducted hospitalier and could accompany sick and/or disabled people to Lourdes. Liverpool has its own branch of the Hospitalité, and its hospitaliers assist pilgrims with a range of different activities, including personal care and mobility needs. Liverpool Archdiocesan organises an annual Liverpool-Lourdes pilgrimage, where pilgrims, hospitaliers and other volunteers travel to Lourdes together. Many people believe that visiting and bathing in the holy water of the sanctuary at Lourdes can cure sickness and disability. This is still one of the most common reasons for visiting Lourdes today. Disabled activists have worked hard to change these negative societal attitudes around disability, recognising that their lived experience is not something that needs to be 'healed' or 'cured'.