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Grotto at Lourdes to reopen to pilgrims

LOURDES

Dolores Giraldez Alonso | Shutterstock

Agnès Pinard Legry - published on 02/09/22 - updated on 02/09/22

After two years of closure due to the health crisis, the grotto of Lourdes will reopen its doors to pilgrims on Friday, February 11, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Forced to gather at a distance in front of the grotto of the shrine of Lourdes for two years because of the COVID-19 health crisis, pilgrims and visitors will again be able to enter the grotto this week. The shrine rejoices, saying pilgrims will once more be able to “pass in the hollow of the Rock of Massabielle, under the feet of the Virgin Mary, Immaculate Conception, touch the rock and approach the source.”

It’s official! The Grotto of Massabielle will once again be open to pilgrims wishing to enter and touch the rock of the Apparitions as of Friday, February 11 at 12:00 noon 🎉

The interior of the grotto will be accessible again beginning at noon this Friday, February 11, for the Angelus prayer. This date was not chosen by chance, as February 11 is the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and the 30th World Day of the Sick.

18 apparitions at Lourdes

On February 11, 1858, the Virgin Mary appeared for the first time to Bernadette Soubirous. Bernadette, a simple young girl in fragile health, had gone to look for wood near the rock of Massabielle, in Lourdes (Hautes-Pyrénées). In the upper part of the grotto, a beautiful Lady dressed in white appeared to her. The woman appeared to Bernadette 18 times. On Thursday, March 25, 1858, the feast of the Annunciation, the Virgin Mary presented herself to Bernadette as the “Immaculate Conception.”

Before the pandemic, some 3.5 million pilgrims visited the shrine each year. By praying to the Virgin Mary as the “salvation of the sick,” Christians recognize the power of her prayer on the heart of her Son to heal the sick. Mary also helps to unite us with those who suffer in their flesh for the salvation of the world.

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