The Vatican, Papa Ratzinger Forum and Zenit have translations of Pope Benedict XVI's reflections at the midday Angelus on yesterday's Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Asia News has an article. Here is an excerpt:
"Who can be a better star of hope for us than she, the dawn that announced the day of salvation? (cf. Spe Salvi, n. 49). For this reason, the liturgy has us celebrate today, as Christmas approaches, the Solemn Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary: the mystery of God's grace that enfolded her from the first instant of her existence as the creature destined to be Mother of the Redeemer, preserving her from the stain of original sin. Looking at her, we recognize the loftiness and beauty of God's plan for everyone: to become holy and immaculate in love (cf. Eph 1: 4), in the image of our Creator."
The Holy Father spoke particularly about today's youth, who may risk losing hope when drawn into consumerism. He also remembered the day's beginning of a Jubilee Year celebrating the 150th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady.
Also on the subject of Lourdes, the official website of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes has a page about the yearlong Jubilee celebration, which will run from December 8, 2007 to December 8, 2008. There is also a page about the 18 apparitions.