Near the Grotto, millions of candles continuously burn since 19th February 1858. That day, Bernadette arrived at the Grotto with a blessed candle that kept burning in her hand until the end of the apparition. Before she left, the Virgin Mary asked her to let the candle burn at the Grotto. The same day, a few people came to the Grotto to burn candles. This tradtion has never ceased.The candles offered by the pilgrims keep burning day and night. Burning a candle at the Grotto does not replace a prayer, but it's a tangible sign supporting a secret demand, an offering or an acknowledgement.
Each year, 700 tons of candles burn for you and those who have not been able to come . The volutes of smoke represent millions of intentions of prayers and wishes. Also, light is a very important sign in the sacred history. The bible talks about sin as captivity and darkness. On the opposite, Jesus-Christ brings deliverance and illumination. This is why priests bless the flame and the light of the candles during the celebration of Easter, before blessing the water for baptism. Even if they are not aware of this, the pilgrims and visitors in procession with a candle in their hand know it expresses a kind of hope.
This is the Light of Christ.
"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in the darkness but will have the light of life" (John 8:12)
Candles for everyone... of any size
The candles are stored in wooden crates at the entrance of the esplanade of the Grotto. The amount of the offering is a guideline only. For the very big candles, contact the bureau of the candles.