The Hospitalité Notre Dame de Lourdes (HNDL) is a Roman Catholic religious confraternity under the spiritual authority of the Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes, and works closely with the Rector of the Sanctuaries and his pastoral team.
The HNDL (and each of its sections) is governed by a President and a council. It is active in Lourdes during the main pilgrimage season (which normally lasts from Easter until November), and it also provides people to welcome pilgrims at the Piscines (Baths) during the winter.

The HNDL was founded in 1885, and through its work aims to pass on the ‘message of Lourdes’. Members, known in French as hospitaliers, strive to do this not only in Lourdes but also in their home parishes and institutions, for the good of the church and the world.

Six million visitors a year are welcomed by the volunteers who work in the sanctuaries of Lourdes.
Some of these volunteers work in the Forum-Information Centre welcoming individual pilgrims and small groups. Other volunteers work in the Youth service, or give of their time and talent
in one of the pavilion tents around the Domaine.

However, the largest group of volunteers (16,000 of them) is known as the Hospitalité Notre-Dame de Lourdes (Hospitality of Our Lady of Lourdes).
In the past a ‘Hospitality’ was a charitable organisation whose aim was to gather,
accommodate and feed the less fortunate in a hostel or hospital.
Today the Hospitalité Notre-Dame de Lourdes (HNDL) builds on that tradition, welcoming pilgrims to Lourdes (especially, but not only, the sick and disabled), and assisting at religious ceremonies. It is an organisation of pilgrims at the service of other pilgrims and Our Lady.All Hospitalités around the world are connected to the HNDL.

A period of service with the Hospitalité Notre-Dame de Lourdes is known as a ‘Stage’.
The name 'Stage' comes from the French for 'work experience', and certainly a week working on Stage in Lourdes is a great experience.
Those on Stage are often known as ‘stagiaires’ or more recently ‘hospitaliters auxiliaries’.
The HNDL encourages people to do a Stage lasting at least 6 days.
The Stage is open to new helpers aged between 18 and 75 (though 65 is the maximum age
for someone to do their first Stage with a view to making their ‘engagement’ as a member of the Hospitalité on their fifth Stage). Doing a Stage requires dedication, willingness to serve, and a certain maturity of character (though that doesn’t mean dullness).
Stage offers tremendous satisfaction and opportunities to enjoy life in a group.

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