Historical Lourdes is a Christian Marian Pilgrimage Shrine in Southern France

I never miss an opportunity to visit a Christian Pilgrimage Shrine or Church in Europe; especially a Marian Pilgrimage Shrine. A shrine to the Virgin Mary (or Marian shrine) is a shrine marking an apparition or other miracle ascribed to the Blessed Virgin Mary, or a site with a historically strong Marian devotion (such as Lourdes in France and Fátima in Portugal). I have visited both places and this post is about my trip to The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes.

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Lourdes, is a Marian Pilgrimage Shrine town in the Hautes-Pyrénées départment of the Occitanie région of southwestern France near the Spanish border.

Lourdes - Students | Britannica Kids | Homework Help

Located in the magnificent Pyrenees Mountain region of France, Lourdes is the home of one of the most important shrines in the Catholic Faith: the Grotto of Massabielle.  It is located southwest of Toulouse and situated at the foot of the Pyrenees, on banks of the Gave de Pau River.

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The Basilica of Lourdes at Gave de Pau river - Crossroads Initiative

Basilique Notre Dame du Rosaire’

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Exterior of the ‘Basilique Notre Dame du Rosaire’

Interior of the Basilica (above and below)

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During the Hundred Years War, the French captured this region from the English in 1406 after an 18-month siege. Since 1933, it has been listed as a Monument Historique by the French Ministry of Culture.

Sunrise-2-Sunset Tours - Pilgrimage, Place of Worship, Bruges ...

The exterior of the dome is surmounted by a dramatic gilded crown and cross; a gift from the People of Ireland in 1924 made from the gold  wedding bands of Irish married women.

This thousand-year-old fortress, offers exceptional views of the city, the Sanctuaries and the Pyrenees.


The town and its fortress provided protection against foreign forces during medieval times; is strategically placed at the entrance to the seven valleys of the Lavedan, on top of a hill in the middle of the city. The ‘Château Fort de Lourdes’ was held by English kings for centuries. In the 17th century, it became a royal prison until the start of the 20th century when it became a museum devoted to the history and cultures of the French and Spanish Pyrenees.

Travel Guide For Chateau Fort of Lourdes | Lourdes Tour Packages

This Historical Monument presents a well-preserved defensive architecture (dungeon, drawbridge, harrow, and watchtower ). Enjoy a 360 ° panorama of the city from the rampartsAt the heart of its walls, a museum invites you to discover the . in the botanical garden with sculptures and architectural models. ”


Château fort de Lourdes - Wikiwand

Costimes - Picture of Musee Pyreneen de Lourdes - TripAdvisor

Lourdes - The Reader Wiki, Reader View of Wikipedia

The castle was built on a rocky promontory, in the center of the city. There’s a botanical garden at the foot of the 14th-century tower.

Our Lady of Lourdes Pilgrimage - 7 Days - 2019 ~ Parvis Tours

Take the Funiculaire du Pic du Jer, ; it links Lourdes with the summit of the nearby Pic du Jer. The funicular was constructed in 1900.

Discover the Pic du Jer in pictures

Lourdes, (Mt.) Pic du Jer Funicular Railway, in the French ...

Here are some interesting videos about Lourdes:

The medieval castle was used as a state prison from the reign of Louis XIV (1643-1715) until the beginning of the 19th century. In 1858, Lourdes’ importance as a military and state stronghold ended and its spiritual significance as a Marian Shrine began.

On February 11,1858, Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year-old peasant girl, her sister Toinette and a friend, Jeanne Abadie, went to look for wood in a cave, called Massabielle, beside the Gave River.

The Blessed Virgin Mary Appeared in Lourdes Over 160 Years Ago ...

“While Toinette and Jeanne gathered wood, Bernadette heard a noise like a gust of wind. Lifting her head, she saw, in the hollow of a rock, a small lady, bathed in light, looking at her and smiling.”

This was the first apparition, which would be followed by 17 more apparitions of the Virgin Mary in the nearby Massabielle grotto. During the 9th vision, an underground spring with healing powers was revealed. The statue of the Immaculate Conception that currently stands in the niche within the Grotto of Massabielle was created by the Lyonnais sculptor Joseph-Hugues Fabisch in 1864.

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The Holy See recognizes 67 miracles attributable to the miraculous healing holy water that flows from the underground spring. The visions were declared authentic by Pope Pius IX in 1862, and veneration of Mary as Our Lady of Lourdes was authorized.


65 Best Lourdes images | Lourdes france, Our lady of lourdes, Lady ...

Eventually, Bernadette left Lourdes and joined the Sisters of Charity at the Saint Gildard Convent in Nevers, north of Lourdes.

St. Bernadette: Saint Marie-Bernarde Soubirous (7 January 1844 – 16 April 1879) was a miller's daughter born in Lourdes, France and is venerated as a Christian mystic and Saint in the Roman Catholic Church.She lived in relative seclusion until her death from tuberculosis at the age of 35. Bernadette achieved sainthood in 1933 and was enshrined at the Saint Bernadette Chapel on the grounds of Saint Gildard.

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Her body is still on display in the Chapel of St. Bernadette in Nevers, France

Saint Bernadette Soubirous

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You may want to visit the Sanctuary and Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes and bring home some holy water and rosaries for your friends; especially if they have seen “The Song of Bernadette Movie” with Jennifer Jones; one of my childhood favorites. This drama focuses on Bernadette Soubirous (Jennifer Jones), a young French woman who experiences the vivid visions of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes.

The Song Of Bernadette(1943 - Henry King, Jennifer Jones, William Eythe) DVD NEW

House of St. Bernadette - Lourdes, France

“The popularity of Saint Bernadette was likely due to Franz Werfel’s 1941 book, The Song of Bernadette. Werfel, a German Jew, and his wife, Alma, former widow of famed composer Gustav Mahler, were sequestered in Lourdes for five days during their escape to America after France fell to the Nazis. They were hidden by local families who shared the story of the Saint’s visions and subsequent miracles. Werfel vowed that if they reached America, he would write the story, which was subsequently made into the film starring Jennifer Jones.”

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The first sanctuary to be built was the Crypt, which is below the Basilica of the Immaculate conception. Construction started in September 13, 1863 and was consecrated in May 1866, by the Bishop of Tarbes.

11/2: Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes… | Catholic Truth

On the day of the Annunciation, March 25, 1858, (the date of the 16th apparition); that the Lady says her name to Bernadette Soubirous: “I am the Immaculate Conception.”

Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes O most beautiful lady, who appeared to the humble little Bernadette in the Grotto of Lourdes, look with pitying eye upon the sick and the afflicted. Let me remember to say to you each day as do the pilgrims at Lourdes, “Ave, Ave, Ave Maria.” Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.

25th march: The Lady says her name "I am the Immaculate Conception"

February 11th, Celebration of Our Lady of Lourdes.
February 18th, St. Bernadette’s Day

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes and the Grotto of Massabielle

During the 18 Apparitions, the Virgin Mary spoke to Bernadette suggesting that this sacred place should become a pilgrimage site.

For nearly 150 years, Lourdes has been welcoming over 6 million pilgrims and visitors each year.

The authentic pilgrimage in Lourdes

May your pilgrimage to Lourdes be a great blessing for you as it was for me.

Our Lady of Lourdes, Feast day February 11th


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St. Pius X: “The unique glory of the shrine of Lourdes lies in the fact that people are drawn there from everywhere by Mary to adore Jesus Christ in the August Sacrament, so that this shrine – at once a center of Marian devotion and a throne of the Eucharistic mystery – surpasses in glory, it seems, all others in the Catholic world” (Brief of April 25, 1911).

24 Captivating Southern France Cities (and Towns) for Your List

When you leave Lourdes, check out the Jurancon wine region:

Here is the complete list of the 21 Marian shrines and pilgrimages in the European Marian Network

    1. Altotting (Germany) – Our Lady of Grace
    2. Banneux (Belgium) – The Virgin of the poor
    3. Brezje (Slovenia) – Mary Help of Christians
    4. Csíksomlyó (Romania) – Our Lady of Csíksomlyó
    5. Czestochowa (Poland) – Our Lady, Queen of Poland
    6. Einsiedeln (Switzerland) – Our Lady of the hermits
    7. Fatima (Portugal) – Queen of the peace in the world
    8. Gibraltar – Our Lady of Europa
    9. Knock (Ireland) – Our Lady, Queen of Ireland
    10. Levoca (Slovakia) – Our Lady of the Visitation
    11. Loreto (Italia) – The Santa Casa
    12. Lourdes (France) – The Immaculate Conception
    13. Mariapocs (Hungary) – Our Lady of Máriapócs
    14. Mariazell (Austria) – The Big Mother of Austria
    15. Marija Bistrica (Croatia) – Mary of snow
    16. Malta – Our Lady of Mellieha
    17. Vilnius (Lithuania) – Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn
    18. Walsingham (England) – The Holy House of Annunciation
    19. Zaragoza (Spain) – Our Lady of Pilar
    20. Zarvanyzia (Ukraine) – The Mother of God in Zarvanyzia
    21. Mátraverebély (Hungary) – Our Lady of Mátraverebély

We have Marian Pilgrimage Shrines in the US too.

Marian Pilgrimage: New Dates and Developments - Marge Steinhage ...


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