Being raised a Catholic, Sunday mass was a compulsory ritual during my childhood. The holy city of Lourdes was familiar to me from an early age, as I had been informed about the miraculous stories that had occurred there. Family or friends who had visit this sacred place would return with the Holy Water, which was sparingly distributed between relatives and then significantly used for healing reasons when needed.
Ultimately Lourdes became a place I felt needed to be visited, hence two years ago on our Europe holiday, we decided to visit Lourdes as a day trip.
The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes attracts large crowds of not only devout Catholics, but other religious denominations as well. Those seeking to be healed physically, mentally and spiritually congregate for personal reasons and connect with a greater force beyond. There have been more than 7000 cases of incomprehensible miraculous cures, though sixty-nine cases of these miracles have been recognised by the Catholic Church.
Personally, I felt an immense connection visiting the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes. A powerful feeling, leaving me emotionally drained. Walking through the grotto where you can touch the damp rock faced wall and experiencing “The Pools”, brought me to tears for some unexplained reason. I could not control myself and eventually emotion took over. Bathing in the pools was an experience I will never forgot. Walking into the icy water, only wrapped in a sheet accompanied by two other lovely female volunteer attendants, and then emerging from the pool and not needing a towel to dry off, because you are somehow miraculously dry, was something I could not and still cannot understand. Nevertheless, it does not matter if I cannot understand this, because it was the whole experience which I embraced and was completely grateful for. I did not want to know the “how’s” and whys” of the whole situation.
The perfect peacefulness and finding oneself at such a sacred place was unconditionally fulfilling.
A complete mindful journey.
The view from the top of the Basilica
The statue of the Madonna at the Grotto
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes
(open 24 hours a day, free admission)
- Basilica of Immaculate Conception – consists of an Upper and Lower Basilica
- Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary – Basilica covered in Venetian mosaics
- Basilica of St Pius the X – This is where International mass is held
- The Crypt – only seats 120 people
- The Grotto – This is where Mary first appeared to Bernadette in 1858 when she was 14 years of age. There is a Spring in the rocks where the water then leads to the Holy Water taps for public use.
- The pools – open morning and afternoon with a break at lunch time
- Stations of the Cross – 15 stations are located on the grounds
- Processions – public candlelit processions at 9pm every evening and Blessed Sacrament procession every evening at 5pm
Believers reaching for the holy water that drips from the rocks under the Grotto
Entrance to the Basilica
Beautiful Mosaic tiled outdoor Alter
Burning candles in the chapel
Flowers are placed at the statue
To find out more information and schedules about Lourdes, click here.
Love the world we live in and be grateful for the little things @ #Forgiving Fridays
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