In 1858, the Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubirous in the grotto of Massabielle. The girl was 14 years old. During these appearances, she dug into the ground to collect water there. This source of water was quickly deemed miraculous. Bernadette entered a convent in 1864 and died in 1879. She was canonised in 1933. Meanwhile, a basilica was built over the spring.
The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception of Lourdes soon proved insufficient to accommodate all the pilgrims. The Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary was later built, then a third, the Basilica of St. Pius X. Together they make up the Lourdes sanctuary of mercy, the most important pilgrimage centre in Europe. Six million people gather here every year.
On the huge esplanade, strong emotions are palpable. You will cross paths with many sick and disabled people, who made the trip in the hope of a miracle. Take time to meditate for an incredibly intense feeling is within grasp!
Sanctuaire Notre-Dame de Lourdes
1 Avenue Mgr Théas
+33 (0)5 62 42 78 78