The Story Behind Lourdes as a Site for Christian Pilgrimage


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  • Over 150 years ago in 1858, a young 14 year old girl called Bernadette saw a vision of a woman standing on a rock above her.
  • In the next 5 months of the first vision, she would see the woman 17 more times.
  • In the apparitions, Bernadette was given instructions by the woman. She was told to "Go and drink from the spring", "Have the people come here in procession“, and "Go and tell the priests to build a chapel in the grotto", which many people would soon come to visit.
  • On the day of the 16th apparition, the lady revealed herself as the Blessed Virgin Mary. (Lady of Lourdes)
  • Bernadette began to dig in the earth until a small puddle of water appeared.
  • Over the next few days the puddle enlarged into a pool and eventually became the sacred spring for which Lourdes is now so famous.
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