Lourdes, a town of 15,000 people, located in the foothills of the Pyrenees, dominated by a fortress (the “Chateau Fort”), it looks like many other towns in the south west of France, with its picturesque market, some small industries, a rugby team and a parish life sorted.
Five million pilgrims coming from the whole world converge every year in this town of Bigorre, and for this reason there are more than 300 hotel facilities or guest houses that provide to pilgrim about 25,000 beds.
What is the reason that push every year this crowd to go in this little town?
On the 11th February, 1858, to a young girl of Lourdes named Bernadette Soubirous, while she was look for firewood, appeared at the foot of the Grotto of Massabielle “… a lady all dressed in white” (as she called her later) who invited her during the thirteenth appearance, on Tuesday, March 2, 1858 to say at the priests to build a chapel in that place and to go in procession. Lourdes has become over the years a center of popular piety unique in the world, there are no differences here, not even psychological ones, and here the disabled brother integrates into everyday life in absolute normality and confidence, not for compassion, but for the brotherhood by which Mary has decided to manifest herself.
Here you can see the map of the sanctuary and of the city of Lourdes with all the hotels:
At the entrance of the Sanctuary from St. Joseph’s door near the statue of the Virgin Mary the Crowned is located the Information Forum.
Here you can find information and subsidies about the Sanctuary , the message of Lourdes and the general organization.