The Grotto of Lourdes awaits you!
In town the road signs do not indicate “the Sanctuary”, but rather “the Grotto”. That is where you must go, stop and rest awhile; just enough time to observe, to contemplate, to let yourself be touched…in your innermost being.
That's it, you are at the Grotto. You made the effort to come. You had so much to do, more important to you. You may have
had an inner struggle to deal with, but you have just vanquished it: you have overcome the resistance that occupied your whole mind. And now you are there, in silence, you feel good. You offer to Heaven the time of your presence. A monk once said, "No man leaves life without having to solve the only valid question: so much effort for what?” You're notn about to leave life, but you ask yourself the same question at that moment, at the Grotto, after making a kind of sacrifice. You close your eyes. You bury yourself in the silence. You think about the question of the monk: so much effort for what?At the Grotto, for you personally, a response makes its way deep within your heart.
Upstream of the Basilicas, you watch the water flowing peacefully towards the ocean. The bed of the Gave passes a few meters from the Grotto where the crowd gathers. The Grotto? - Before 11 February 1858, it was only a lifeless, infamous place. The Grotto? - Since the apparitions of Our Lady, it has become the green glade of the Sanctuary. So many men, women and children of all conditions, nations, and religions have since set foot on its soil, to grow in faith. And this continues today under your very eyes. Yes, you become aware and you catch a glimpse with delight: here, Heaven touches the Earth. Now behold the place with a child's gaze. At the Grotto, for you personally, a grace of wonderment arises in the depths of your heart.
A la Grotte, après un certain temps, vous posez votre regard sur l'églantier qui se trouve sous la statue de Notre- Dame de Lourdes. Quelle n'est pas votre surprise quand vous découvrez qu'il a fleuri ! En arrivant, vous ne l'aviez pas remarqué. Vous vous rendez compte que, parfois, les choses sont là sous vos yeux et que vous ne les voyez pas. Ce n'est pas une question de capacité à voir. Simplement une question d'attention. Vous vous mettez alors à observer attentivement la Grotte dans ses moindres replis, sans oublier de regarder toutes ces personnes qui passent sous la voûte. Visages tristes ou joyeux. Visages emplis de force ou de faiblesse. Visages d'espoir ou de découragement… Vous voyez mille choses étonnantes, mille choses nouvelles.
At the Grotto, after a while, your eyes alight on the wild rose that lies beneath the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes. What a surprise when you discover that it has bloomed! On arrival you had not noticed it. You realize that sometimes things are there under your eyes and you do not see them. It is not a question of capacity to see, simply a matter of attention. You then begin to carefully observe the Grotto in its innermost recesses, not forgetting to look at all these people who pass under the vault. Sad and happy faces – faces full of strength or weakness - faces of hope or despair … You see a thousand amazing things, a thousand new things. At the Grotto, for you personally, a New World appears deep in your heart
Above and beyond the processions that unfold at a fixed time in the Sanctuary, there is one that has taken place, for its part, without interruption since 1858: that of the pilgrims in the Grotto. You contemplate this perpetual procession: here a woman lifts her head towards the statue of Mary; there a hospitalier gently raises the hand of a disabled child so she can stroke the rock; near the spring an elderly woman lays a rose; a man advances with an armful of candles; a murmur goes up from the crowd of those waiting patiently in single file, to pass into the Grotto. They are there, but ... why? There is a possible answer: because Our Lady of Lourdes issued here a message of good news that they had heard of in one way or another, and that was enough for them to make their way. And you, by the way, why are you there? At the Grotto, for you personally a question awaits a response in the depths of your heart.
24 hours at the Grotto
6.00am, 6.45am, 7.30am,
8.30am, 9.45am - Mass
10.45am - Unrestricted access to the Grotto
11.55am - Angelus, in Italian
12.00 Noon - Unrestricted access
3.30pm - Rosary in French
4.00pm - Unrestricted access
6.00pm - Rosary in Italian
6.30pm - Unrestricted access
11.00pm - Mass
11.30pm - Eucharistic Adoration
Midnight - Unrestricted access At night, from midnight to 5.00am, access to the Grotto is via the “Lacets” gate above the Grotto, situated at the level of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.
The miracle of Lourdes
At the Grotto, all the painful times of our lives (sickness, sin, grief, separation, sadness ...) can enter into the gravitation of infinite love, source of light of our conscience but also source of peace, joy and hope. It is the unconditional love of God for each one of us. Our time at the Grotto then becomes a heart to heart, an intensely moving spiritual experience. This inner encounter has been experienced since the Virgin Mary appeared in this place in 1858. It is the miracle of Lourdes and it is permanent.