The Basilica of Lourdes, France

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Lourdes (can be pronounced either “lourde” or “lourdz”) is a small town in the Hautes-Pyrenees department in southwest France. Lourdes is the largest Catholic pilgrimage destination in France, and one of the most popular Catholic shrines in the world.

Lourdes lies 497 miles south of Paris in the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains. The small town of only 17,000 inhabitants receives more than 5 million pilgrims and tourists each year because of a set of visions reported by a young girl named Bernadette in 1858. The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes incorporates 52 hectares of property and 22 places of worship, including the sacred grotto, two basilicas, and a variety of buildings for pilgrims and the sick. Outside the sanctuary, many pilgrims also visit the Lourdes home of the young visionary, St. Bernadette.

The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception

The facade of the basilica bears a circular panel with the image of Pope Pius X smiling and holding in his left hand the decree of November 13, 1907, by which the Mass of the Apparition of Our Lady of Lourdes was extended to the Universal Church.

The lower circular panel, above the entrance to the Crypt, represents Pope Pius IX who proclaimed the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854. At the entrance on the right is a marble plaque containing the complete text of the judgement made by Mgr Laurence, recognising the Apparitions as authentic.

The sanctuary of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception holds 500 worshippers. The altar is directly over the place of Apparition. The stained glass windows recall the story of the Blessed Virgin from the beginning to the declaration of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception, in 1854, by Pope Pius IX and of the apparitions of Lourdes in 1858. Every hour, the Basilica’s bells play the “Ave Maria of Lourdes.”

Grotto of Massabielle

The Grotto of Massabielle is the site of St. Bernadette’s visions of the Virgin Mary in 1858. The Blessed Virgin is said to have pointed out a previously undiscovered spring in the grotto and instructed Bernadette to drink from it.

The spring water from the grotto is believed to possess healing properties, and the Roman Catholic Church occasionally officially recognizes miraculous healings. Faithful pilgrims, especially those in need of healing, flock to the Grotto of Massabielle to immerse themselves in the grotto’s 17 pools – 6 for men and 11 for women.

Basilica of the Rosary

The Basilica of the Rosary (Basilique Notre-Dame du Rosaire) is one of several places of worship at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in Lourdes, France. It is located below and in front of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. Designed in a Byzantine-influenced Romanesque style in the shape of a Greek (equal-armed) cross, the Rosary Basilica features two unique elliptical ramps embracing a square that can hold almost 80,000 people. Above the main doors of basilica, two mosaic circular panels made in the workshops of the Vatican depict Pope Leo XIII (left) and Bishop Schoepfer of Tarbes and Lourdes (1899-1927).

When she appeared at Lourdes, the Virgin Mary was described by St. Bernadette as holding a rosary in her hand. The Basilica of the Rosary is dedicated to this theme. Its three arches depict the joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries. Catholics meditate on these mysteries (events in the lives of Jesus and Mary) while saying the rosary.

Around the central dome, the transepts and the sanctuary contain 15 Chapels of the Mysteries, which are decorated with mosaics depicting the 15 mysteries of the rosary (the five joyous, five sorrowful, and five glorious).

8 thoughts on “The Basilica of Lourdes, France”

  1. Dear Sirs,

    My son George, now he is 19 years old. on MArch 2002 he got Encephalomielitis after the vaccnation on Hepatitis B, so he has first grade disability. Please help us, We are dreaming to visit The Basilica of Lourdes. Please let us know how to arrange it.
    Help us please.
    With respect,
    Nino (Georges mother)

  2. Hi Nino,

    Dont worry. Our Holy Mother will intercede for George and save him. We assure our prayers for him from today onwards.

    About arranging trip, we live in India. You have to contact the travel agency in your country, Georgia (I hope thats ur place as i infer from ur IP address) and make the arrangements with them.

    Be positive and have firm faith in the mighty God you believe in. God Bless You and Your Son.

  3. Dear Sirs,
    My son is an epileptic, I have been asking the intercession of Mama Mary to cure him from this sickness. The doctors say that epilepsy is curable and I know Mama Mary will intercede for my son.
    Also, please pray for Lianne and Hazel that they get pregnant soon. I’ve prayed before for another friend Jane who is now pregnant. I believe in the power of prayers and the power of Mama Mary to intercede for us.

    Thank you so much.


  4. Dear Sirs: I am a catholic. My wife was a catholic but now she says we should not keep statues beause Psalm 115 (4-8) says so. She also says that priests should not be called “Father” beause Matthew 23:8 says so. Could you please explain. Is there any publication which gives answers to such questions? Thanks. J.B.M. Miranda

  5. Hi Miranda,

    OK – I see that your wife has asked you a lot of questions suddenly, even after being a Catholic for so many years until now. I guess she had met some protestant guy lately as they are very much against statues in churches.

    Please tell her to read the article – Do Catholics worship statues or saints?

    She will understand things once she goes through the above linked article. I can see protestants running around, brainwashing Catholics by using the Holy Bible, defining different meanings to verses. Tell Her not to fall in those traps. And please, do pray more for her.

    Georgy N Joseph

  6. Eppure,non capisco perché Dio,che é Amore,Perseguita!el Libro delle Lamentazioni,v’é Scritto<>,quindi non lo capisco,perché M’ha fatto restare orfano di Padre.Capisco quello che Mi Predisse,poiché Mi domandai,pensandoMici<>.Così,il Santo di Dio,fu Informato,essendoMi Placato.Eppure la morte vi é perché Adamo e la Costola di Lui,prima erano Immortali,poi divennero mortali:Bonaserata.

    Italian to English>>

    Still, I do not understand why God, who is Love, Hounds! El Book of Lamentations industries, there Written <>, so I do not understand, why He made me stay orphan Padre.Capisco what I predicted, because I wondered, pensandoMici <>. Thus, the Holy One of God, he was informed, Having Placato.Eppure death because there is Adam’s Rib and Him, before they were Immortals, then became mortal: Bonaserata.

  7. Temo un cartello,che Quando esco per il vetro,da mettere nella Campana,Ricordo una visione che ebbi nell’Incontro con il Dio della Pace.Temo Dio e penso a quando Mi disse una cosa che on volli poi mai + sentirMi dire.

    Italian to English>>

    I fear a sign, that when I go out for glass, to put in Bell, I remember that I had a vision in the Encounter with God, and the God of Pace.Temo I think about when I said something that I wanted on ever + hear Me say.

  8. I would like to know the address of the Lourdes Grotto where I could mail a letter to Mama Mary. Can I have it please? God bless you.

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