Why make a pilgrimage to Lourdes?

Why make a pilgrimage to Lourdes?

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Since 1858, pilgrims have been coming to Lourdes in response to the Virgin Mary's invitation. This process can be individual or collective. It is individual because it is the result of a personal journey and collective because it is experienced in a

group. The pilgrimages to Lourdes are known throughout the world, but do you know why? The Palais du Rosaire will explain it all to you!

The virtues of the water of the Grotto

The water of the Grotto of Lourdes is one of the most famous spring waters in the world, arousing the curiosity of some, the admiration of others, and even the devotion of some.

For believers, the water of Lourdes is a miraculous water. But where can it be found?

The water is easily accessible to all those who want to drink it or collect it. The Grotto of Lourdes has several water points and houses 17 baths (6 pools for men, and 11 for women) in which pilgrims can bathe to solve their health problems.

After having been in the baths, having washed, having drunk Lourdes water or even after the passage to the Virgin Mary, several miracles have occurred.

The miracles of Lourdes

Since 1862, 70 people have benefited from the graces of the Virgin Mary. Indeed, they had recourse to miracles after their visit to the Grotto of Lourdes. They were cured of illnesses such as paralysis, loss of sight, pulmonary tuberculosis and abdominal tumours. The last recognised miracle of Lourdes was in 2018.

Why go on a pilgrimage to Lourdes?

Going on a pilgrimage to Lourdes is a personal journey that corresponds to the desire to take a break from everyday life to refocus on what is essential and to turn towards God. Going on pilgrimage is also an opportunity to open up to others. Moreover, with its 52 hectares, the Sanctuary of Lourdes is the largest pilgrimage centre in France!

Why go to Lourdes?

Lourdes is one of the best known and most popular pilgrimages in the world.

Going on pilgrimage to Lourdes is a way of responding to the invitation of the Virgin Mary during her apparitions: "Do you want to have the grace to come for a fortnight? ".

It is also an opportunity to get closer to God through Our Lady of Lourdes.

Lourdes is the place where people ask Mary for graces. Many pilgrims

come to ask the Blessed Virgin for healing or relief from their suffering.

What to do on pilgrimage to Lourdes?

The dioceses organise pilgrimages to Lourdes so that they correspond as closely as possible to personal and collective expectations.

On the programme:

  • Celebrations: Lourdes is a place where people pray together.

  • Numerous masses at the Grotto, the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, the Church of Saint Bernadette

  • Processions for the sick and Marian torchlight processions, which are an opportunity to be together.

  • Stations of the Cross, which are usually done in small groups

  • Personal time spent in the Shrine which allows for reconciliation with God and with others.

  • Training in connection with the Apparitions of the Virgin Mary and Bernadette Soubirous.

  • Time of service to the sick.

Who comes on pilgrimage to Lourdes?

Every year, Lourdes welcomes more than 6 million pilgrims. But who are they?

Sick and disabled people

In Lourdes, sick and disabled people feel at home because

they are not rejected but, on the contrary, they are fully welcomed and understood by the pilgrims and the Virgin Mary.

Young people

These are the pilgrims aged between 0 and 25 years. Among the young, we can see :

- Children

- Teenagers

- Young people

- Servants

- Scouts

The pilgrimage to Lourdes is an ideal place to live charity. With this in mind, young people are invited to put themselves at the service of the most disadvantaged and in particular the sick. This is why young people have the opportunity to experience hospitality or to organise activities for the sick, such as evenings out.


Adults make up the majority of participants in pilgrimages to Lourdes. They are called to experience the pilgrimage as a high point in their lives.

How to get to Lourdes?

By plane

The easiest way to get to Lourdes is by plane, which is possible thanks to the Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrenees International Airport, which is located 10 kilometres from Lourdes. If you use air transport, you can rent a car or take a bus to the town of Lourdes, which is well served by shuttles and various public transport services.

By train

Lourdes has excellent direct links with the railway lines of major cities such as Bordeaux, Toulouse, Marseille, Montpellier or Geneva. The Lourdes train station is located just a few metres from the town centre.

By car

The A10 motorway is the best option when arriving from major cities such as Paris, Tours or Bordeaux.

What to visit in Lourdes?

After visiting the Sanctuary of Notre-Dame de Lourdes, enjoy the panorama by taking the funicular to the Pic du Jer.

You can also visit the medieval castle of Lourdes, built in Roman times, which is located in the heart of the town of Lourdes.

We also recommend you to discover the lake of Lourdes. It is a paradise for hikers and mountain bikers. At the lake of Lourdes it is possible to fish and even play golf.

Do you like animals? In Argelès-Gazost, a few kilometres south of Lourdes, you will find the Parc Animalier des Pyrénées with more than 600 species of animals.

To finish your stay in Lourdes, you can visit a superb site a few kilometres from Lourdes, the Grottes de Bétharram, which extend for three kilometres along an underground path.

Lourdes is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world. The richness of our department will allow you to discover the values and culture of the south-west !

Prayer for the pilgrimage to Lourdes

Lord, we come to you to thank you for the opportunity to make a pilgrimage to Lourdes.

We thank you for the many miracles that have occurred at Lourdes, and for the physical and spiritual healing it brings to so many. We ask you to guide us on our journey, to give us the grace to live this experience with faith, hope and love.

We ask you to help us understand the messages you want to communicate to us through the apparitions of the Virgin Mary to Bernadette Soubirous and through the other signs you may give us.

We ask you to bless all the pilgrims who join us on this journey, to protect them from all evil and to guide them on their spiritual journey. We thank you for all the blessings you have given us through this pilgrimage and we entrust our lives and health to you.


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