The holiest site at Lourdes is the Grotto Massabielle where Bernadette, a 14 year old daughter of a local miller, experienced 18 apparitions of the Virgin Mary. “Despite being told to keep away from the cave by her mother and the local magistrate, she was guided to a spring with miraculous healing powers. The church endorsed the miracles in the 1860’s and since then, many people claim to have been cured by the holy water.” Bernadette Soubirous was canonized in 1933.
Gave de Pau River .. I could just imagine a young girl tending farm animals beside the river surrounded by lush green pastures, trees and wild flowers ..
Standing in the queue to see, and touch, the holy water ..
The wet rockface was smooth from the millions of people passing by, praying and touching the rock … in most places dampened by the dripping water ..
We did the same …
.. catching the cool drips of water .. I touched my face with damp hands .. I was blessed .. it was amazing ..
Behind the Grotto is a road lined with ‘huts’ where candles are placed and lit ..
… some elaborate ..
.. some ordinary ..
Many fountains containing the miracle waters are available to fill receptacles of all sizes .. we bought small glass bottles to fill to bring home for our children .. brought 2 for Kathy who has gone through breast cancer, chemo and come out the other side free of the disease 🙂 yay 🙂 !!
Lourdes is built up with one hotel after the other .. Mark did tell us how many hotels there were, which I can’t recall … there were hundreds !!
.. and of course, tourist outlets aplenty !!! bottom right pic .. hundreds of plastic containers to buy for filling up with holy water ..
What a swizz this place was !!! we stopped for a bite to eat here .. hubby had a plate of chicken, chips and salad. I wasn’t hungry so shared his salad but put my half on a side plate – we were charged 6 euros for my salad because I ate it !! Shocking!
I’m not a Catholic … hubby is .. but I was truly humbled and blessed to have been there
Next stop .. Biarritz for a sleep-over at the Novotel Anglet Aeroport