In the world, Lourdes is one of the two most visited and well known centres of worship. It is the destination of millions of believers who travel to it for dozens of different reasons.
Basically, it is the strong motivation that a health drama can give, to push a person to face a pilgrimage to Lourdes. But also the mere curiosity, the desire to increase their thirst for faith that drives many pilgrims to the shrine of Lourdes.
Where is Lourdes Geographically?
The community of Lourdes, located between France and Spain, is a small village of about 15,000 inhabitants. It covers an area of 36 square kilometers in the Pyrenees (mountain range between France and Spain).
How did Lourdes Become a Sacred Place?
It was more or less the middle of the nineteenth century, when the little Lourdes, jumped to the headlines because a fact never happened before… a Marian apparition. A small peasant girl, Bernadette, told her people that she had witnessed the appearance of a lady who introduced herself to her as the Immaculate Conception.
Lourdes Becomes Sacred Forever…..
On February 11, 1858, this small town, thanks to the continuous apparitions of Our Lady, became a place of worship even against the will of the authorities who denied, for a period of time, the ‘entrance to the faithful to the place of the apparitions … the cave Gave de Pau. The Madonna appeared from 11th February to 16th July of the same year to little Bernadette in numerous meetings that have gone down in history.
It has become one of the most popular tourist resorts in France, and as a result has a capacity for accommodation and beds that is second only to the city of Paris.
Today, many tour operators have specialized in organizing pilgrimages to Lourdes, and this has been a further incentive to increase the number of pilgrims to the sacred place.
The Sanctuary of Lourdes
Around the cave where once there were the apparitions, one of the largest and most visited shrines in the world has arisen ……….. The Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes.
It was built little by little after the purchase of a priest from the land where the apparitions of Our Lady took place. With much effort afterwards, he succeeded in laying the first stone of what was once the first Basilica dedicated to the Marian cult. For questions of accommodation capacity, the Sanctuary was expanded with the construction of two more Basilicas:
- Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary.
- Basilica of St. Pius X.
Every day the myth of Lourdes is nourished by the continuous confirmation of miracles that have taken place and that have been scientifically attested, both by the church and by the bodies in charge.