“When I say the word Lourdes, happiness invades me. I am 83 years old. At home, I move around in a walker, in Lourdes, in a wheelchair or in a golf cart. The hospital staff take very good care of us. With the younger ones, I have created wonderful relationships, I become their grandmother to whom they ask so many questions: first love, faith, sexuality, future… I often ask for help from the Virgin Mary and the Holy Spirit to answer them. All these exchanges allow me to face loneliness and illness while waiting for the next annual pilgrimage.” Mrs L.
“I went to Lourdes four years ago. When I arrived at the Grotto and passed my hand over the rock, I felt so much relief. Something is happening there… I would not like not leave this world without returning to it again. Carmen D.
“It was in 1958, Lourdes was celebrating the centenary of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin to Bernadette. I was 15 years old and was taking part in the Bourbonnais pilgrimage with a friend of my age. We traveled on the sick train which left from Moulins (Allier). Both of us had an obsession: to be in contact with the sick! Everything went marvelously well! We quickly became part of the atmosphere of holiness that reigned in Lourdes! We participated with enthusiasm in all the offices, meetings and religious processions that presented themselves to us. We were all the happier because we were two free teenagers, without adult supervision!” Marie Claire D.
“The first time I went to Lourdes was on a coach trip to discover the South-West. Stuck between a visit to Toulouse aeronautics and the Cirque de Gavarnie, the city seemed like an amusement park. But at the sanctuary, I thought back to Saint-Exupéry’s phrase: “You can only see well with the heart, the essential is invisible to the eyes”. facing the Grotto, the bodies seem dented, but the souls speak. I love Lourdes, because there you find Marie’s smile, a force of love that perks you up.” Virginia S.
“I discovered Lourdes with my grandfather in 1968… My grandfather and my grandmother went there eighteen times for August 15, like the eighteen apparitions of the Virgin Mary to Bernadette Soubirous To thank Our Lady for having a daughter, my mother gave me the name Bernadette.” Bernadette V.
“In the years 1955, I visited the Marian city every year. I assisted the stretcher-bearers there. Penniless, I traveled by hitchhiking and slept under the stars. A priest, named Jean, got me a bed for camp. At 6 a.m., I served him Mass. He took me in his jeep to tour the farms and collect foodstuffs that he distributed to poor families and scouts. Before announcing the Gospel to them, he advocated providing them with respect, well-being, food. One day, Father Jean Rodhain left the Cité Saint-Pierre in Lourdes to found a work: Le Secours Catholique.” Joseph G.
“The first time I went to Lourdes was after the death of my dad who disappeared at 49, I was 13. I was angry with God who had taken back from me the one I loved so much, but at the grotto, this resentment disappeared, I felt soothed. I feel a very special affection for the Blessed Virgin.” Elizabeth H.
“In 2010, we attended mass with my husband in the underground basilica. I will never forget the fervor of praying together.” Anne K.
“When I decided to go to Lourdes, at over 60 years old, I discovered the fraternity, the gentleness of the hospital staff towards the sick. For me, the real miracle of Lourdes is that sick, disabled and “well” live in great harmony, in the peace and joy of being there, called by Bernadette. An exceptional moment.” Blandina.
“I went to Lourdes with my family on August 15. I bought a candle for my three children who were 12, 10 and 6 years old. We were in front of the grotto, there were lots of people, the candles of my children were not lit. I made a request to the Blessed Virgin to perform a small miracle and suddenly Corinne, the eldest, turns to me and says: “Look mommy, my candle cry!”. Tears flowed down the candle… Everyone who was close to us saw it. A small miracle that no one has forgotten. We all have faith in the family. I thank the Blessed Virgin for granting my wish.” Christiane W.
“I went there a few years ago. I was dazzled by the beauty of the Virgin Mary. Amen and protect us.” Maryse M.
“In 1934, the train took nineteen hours from Paris to Tarbes. There, large horse-drawn carriages, overflowing with pilgrims and luggage, took us to Lourdes, it was an expedition! returned thirty or forty times. Today, I am 91 years old and the Virgin has helped me so much during my life, that I will be grateful to her until I find her up there!” Nelly H.
“I was near the cave, my heart heavy with family difficulties. A nun approached. We spoke, I told her a few words of my sorrow. Then we prayed together. I still feel the fervor that invaded me that day.” Mary Magdalene J.
“In Lourdes, I was in charge of offering water to the sick during the ceremonies. My little service seemed to me very rich, even missionary. “Give me a drink… If you only knew the gift of God…” ( John 4, 10). I constantly had these phrases in my head, they rang so true.” Bruno T.