For over 159 years, millions of the faithful have flocked to the small village of Lourdes. Here, nestled at the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains in southwestern France, it’s said that miracles happen…
Sue Aran of French Country Adventures says of Lourdes: “Before the Virgin Mary appeared to local girl Bernadette Soubirous in 1858, this was a rather remote and sleepy little village”. As she takes guided tours around the famous centre of miracles she tells the tale of the young girl whose visions changed the path of life for Lourdes forever.
What to see in Lourdes
Sue’s tour takes you through the streets and squares of centre of Lourdes. You’ll see the famous Grotto of Massabielle where Bernadette experienced her visions and where the healing spring flows. In one of her visions, Bernadette claimed that the source of the therapeutic spring was revealed to her. Shortly after miraculous cures took place, they were investigated rigorously and for some of them, no explanation could be found. More than six million people a year come here and stand beneath the statue of the Virgin Mary that sits in the alcove where Bernadette first saw her.
Visit the Rosary, St. Pius X and Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Basilicas, as well as the healing baths, fed from the spring. You’ll also see the candle trolleys on which several tons of wax melts each year.
Over the years there have been 70 recognised miracles at Lourdes. The strict criteria for a miracle requires that a miracle must take place instantly and people must be permanently cured. However there have been more than 7000 claims which were rejected. For those who have faith, it’s clear that this is a very special place.
As Sue says, “Whether you’re a believer or a sceptic you won’t leave Lourdes without feeling affected.”
Find out more and book a guided tour of Lourdes and the surrounding area. Sue will pick you up from Lourdes station, airport or your local accommodation: FrenchCountryAdventures