In 1858, in the grotto of Massabielle, near Lourdes in southern
France, Our Lady appeared 18 times to Bernadette Soubirous,
a young peasant girl.
St. Bernadette as a young girl
herself as the Immaculate Conception, asked that a chapel
be built on the site of the vision, and told the girl
to drink from a fountain in the grotto.
No fountain was to be seen, but when
Bernadette dug at a spot designated by the apparition,
a spring began to flow. The water from this still flowing
spring has shown remarkable healing power, though it
contains no curative property that science can identify.
Lourdes has become the most famous
modern shrine of Our Lady. Lourdes radiates a special
appeal. A unique meeting place, it is for the Christian
the revival of his faith, for the invalid a hope for
recovery, for the heart a reason of hope.