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Lourdes, France...

So a trip to Europe is never complete (for a Roman Catholic) without visiting Lourdes. Stories have been told of  how Jesus's mother appeared to a young girl named Bernadette on February 11th 1858. Since then people have been flocking this small village to pray and ask for favours. It makes for a beautiful sight, to witness the faith, hope and love for Mother Mary. 

One fine day in October 2013, we (me, Nam and Vinod) set out for Lourdes. We took a plane from Geneva to Toulouse and from there it's a two hour ride by train to reach the station at Lourdes. 

                              
The candlelight rosary procession is the most beautiful scene to witness here. This takes place everyday at 9pm as the faithful pray and sing hymns, being engulfed in this wave of candlelights and hymns is an overwhelming experience. On our first day here, we took part in the rosary procession in the cold.... we were shivering yet it felt warm, and magical...
The next day dawned bright and we attended an English mass before exploring this majestic church of Lourdes built over the outcrop of rock where Mother Mary appeared to Bernadette. 
This is quite a massive and awe inducing structure... 
This is the grotto, where Mother Mary appeared to Bernadette.... many years ago. And towards the left, where the flowers are placed on the ground, is the miraculous spring of water
This is where water gushed forth when Mother Mary told Bernadette to dig the ground and drink from the spring that formed there...
Inside the majestic church in Lourdes... otherwise known as the Rosary Basilica. 
The beautiful dome... 
 The mysteries of the rosary depicted on the walls of the church. Here we see the first and second Joyful mysteries, The Annunciation and the The Visitation. 
The Nativity of our Lord, and the Presentation... 
Finding the Lord Jesus in the temple, and the first Glorious mystery, The Resurrection...
The Ascension of our Lord and The Descent of the Holy Spirit... 
 The Assumption and Coronation of our Lady & Glory of all Saints.... 
This underground church is a bit further off from the main church and it is quite massive...
 Beautiful day...  
At the first level of the Basilica.... 
 View from the Basilica, this entire ground is filled with people during the rosary procession every night...
 The river that courses through Lourdes...
 Remember the beautiful dome from inside the Rosary basilica, this is its exterior... 
 St. Bernadette... 
 A wonderfully lit chapel on the upper level... 
Saw this angel... 
 Another sight that stopped me in my tracks... 
 Statue of a little girl praying to Jesus, set deep withing a clearing in the hilly area... 
 A different cross...
 This was the hotel we stayed at...
And our room...
Lourdes is a beautiful place, even though people come here in droves... the city is invitingly clean and well organised. More about our stay in Lourdes in the next post... 

Comments

mahesh said…
Lovely pics of the church - thanks for sharing :)

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