Lourdes France

Our Lady of Lourdes-France

Our Lady of Lourdes is a Roman Catholic title of the Blessed Virgin Mary venerated in honour of the Marian apparitions that allegedly occurred in Lourdes, France.Our Lady of Lourdes, one of the most famous apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary that took place in southern France. On this day in 1858 a young, poor girl named Bernadette Soubirous was out collecting firewood with her sister and another friend near a grotto when she saw a vision of a lovely lady.Bernadette reluctantly told her parents of the apparition, and in response they forbade her from going back to the grotto. A few days later, on February 14th, Bernadette was permitted to return to the grotto, and again the Lady appeared to her. This happened again on February 18th. On this third visit the Lady asked Bernadette to come back to the grotto every day for the next two weeks.At these subsequent visits the Lady (who had not yet identified herself as the Blessed Virgin Mary) asked for a chapel to be built on the grounds, for Bernadette to pray for the conversion of sinners, and for her to drink the spring water that was revealed to her at the grotto.Word of these apparitions spread rapidly and caused quite a stir in town. In response, Bernadette was detained, interrogated, and harassed by the civil authorities as if she were a common criminal. The villagers, however, came to her rescue and demanded that the child be released.Through all these difficulties that came to her because of the apparitions, Bernadette was given an interior strength:

Lourdes has become a major place of Roman Catholic pilgrimage and of miraculous healings.Millions of pilgrims have traveled to Lourdes over the past 160 years in order to draw closer to Our Blessed Mother and her Son, and to ask for healing.Every year, it is visited by millions of pilgrims , particularly Roman Catholics . They come to Lourdes to see the site of a famous vision experienced by a young girl called Bernadette Soubirous and to be healed by its supposedly miraculous waters. Bernadette Soubirous was born in 1844 to a poor miller. Lourdes, a town in southwestern France at the foot of the Pyrenees, is noted for its Roman Catholic shrine marking the site where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared repeatedly to Saint Bernadette in 1858. For my upcoming trip, I was sent off with snickers and sarcasm. Few places arouse as much reaction (and derision) as Lourdes does. Many of these reports revolve around the endless souvenir kitsch, the fervent religious devotion and dubious claims of miracle cures. I couldn’t wait to see the spectacle for myself. With a population of about 17,000, this small town receives 5 million pilgrims per year drawn by their faith in the healing powers attributed to the waters of the shrine. More than half of the visitors are made up of the sick and elderly.

Christian pilgrims now visit and pray in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes and worship at the grotto where the vision is said to have taken place. Pilgrims also take part in a Torchlight Marian Procession which takes place every evening before a service of mass takes place in the grotto. Pilgrims also confess their sins at the Reconciliation Chapel. Nature and importance Lourdes is considered a special place to visit because prayers and services are believed to bring real blessings to the pilgrim. Pilgrims may visit to be cleansed of their sins and to be cured of their illnesses. It is believed that spring water from the grotto can heal people if they are sick. Millions of visitors come to Lourdes each year in the hope of being cured. The International Medical Committee of Lourdes began in 1947 and passes judgement on whether or not any of the healings that take place in Lourdes are miracles. By 2015, 69 cases had been recognised as miracles by the Roman Catholic Church. The opportunity to focus closely on their faith helps pilgrims feel secure in the knowledge that God will look after them, forgive them for their sins and even cure them of their illnesses.

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