Sanctuaires de Lourdes

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes (Sanctuaires de Lourdes) is a religious area with a complex of buildings surrounding the Catholic shrine (Grotto) of Our Lady of Lourdes1. It is probably the most famous and visited Catholic shrine in the world, mainly known for the healing power of the water which began to gush miraculously inside the cave where the Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubirous in 1858. Alexis Carrel visited Lourdes in 1902 and witnessed an inexplicable cure: a young woman, dying for a tuberculous peritonitis, suddenly was completely cured before Carrel's eyes, while praying at the grotto of Our Lady. Carrel began at that moment his path of religious conversion and gave an account of these facts in his posthumous book Le voyage de Lourdes.

The Sanctuary seen by the Gave de Pau river


The Upper and Rosary Basilicas seen by the Rosary Square


People praying in front of the grotto of Massabielle


The very spot from where saint Bernadette saw the Virgin Mary for the first time


Votive candles burning together in large metal stands called brulières.


Pilgrims waiting for their turn to bathe at the Piscines fed by the water that gushes from the cave

  • Photos by Luca Borghi ti.supmacinu|ihgrob.l#| (October 2015)

Related items:


- Chantal Touvet, Histoire des Sanctuaires de Lourdes, NDL Editions, Lourdes 2007-2008, voll. 1-2
- Alexis Carrel, Le voyage de Lourdes, suivi de Fragments de Journal et de Méditations, Plon, Paris 1955, pp. 161

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