This small picturesque town located in the foothills of the French Pyrenees would have remained indifferent to any other town in this region had it not been for the remarkable events which occurred in 1858. During that year from the 11 February – 16 July, a young peasant girl named Bernadette Soubirous, witnessed a total of 18 apparitions of the Blessed Virgin at a cave known locally as Massabielle.
On the 25th March 1858, the day of the sixteenth Apparition, Bernadette went to the Grotto and on the instruction of the Parish Priest, asked the Lady for her name. Three times Bernadette asked the question. On the fourth request, the Lady responded in regional dialect “Que soy era Immaculada Conceptiou” (“I am the Immaculate Conception”).
The message of Lourdes was Penance, Prayer for the conversion of sinners and Procession (Pilgrimage). During the thirteenth apparition Our Lady said to Bernadette “Go tell the priests to come here in procession and build a chapel here”. And so, annually millions of pilgrims from all corners of the World come to visit this simple Grotto.
For more information on the apparitions and the message of Lourdes, including live webcam footage, please visit our friends – fr.lourdes-france.org.
During our pilgrimages to Lourdes we stay at a range of hand-picked 3 – 5 star hotels all within close proximity to the Sanctuary. Please ask for more details of the hotel when booking your tour. A selection of hotels is available to group leaders for tailor made pilgrimages.