Europe | France – Lourdes HeavyWeight!
(lourd actually means heavy in french… not the same word but I wonder if there is any connection.)
I can only wonder what this tiny town nestled in the midst of the Pyrenees mountains used to be like before the apparitions of the Virgin Mary to 14 year old Bernadette Subrious. The village of Lourdes boasts the second largest number of hotels in France right after PARIS. The people of this region are very kind and readily strike up leisurely conversations about the events, pilgrimages and the patrimony itself. Another thing for me to mention is the accent of the south. WOW. If you didnt speak French you would think that everyone was speaking Spanish or Italian. The volume and rhythm of conversation heightens, both consonants and vowels become more pronounced and then the frog like guttural R starts rolling Interesting.
Okay, so let me give the 10-cent tour without being sacrilegious or blasphemous in anyway. In 1858, Bernadette sets off to look for wood and wanders into a cavern or grotto where the luminous vision appears in a crevice of this huge rock.
(Massabeille = the old rock) The Virgin appeared a total of 18 times and made a spring of water appear underneath Bernadettes fingers when she scratched the earth. The Virgin asked her to repent, drink and wash in the water. She also asked for a chapel to be built so that people may come in mass procession. Lets see we were there during off-season.
1858: 3 children at the Grotto.
2002: 6 million pilgrims and visitors from 170 countries including sick and disabled.
Heres the Basilica, built atop the grotto and the statue in the crevice.
As much as I hate to mention this, one guidebook describes Lourdes as a Roman Catholic Disneyland. Umm, I think I will stop right there. I dont have words or photos to do this site justice.
See Shelleys page for pics and more details
member name is Shelley dawson