Lourdes, France

engraving of the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, artist unknown, printed in the 1873 Illustrated Catholic Family AnnualArticle

City in the department of Hautes-Pyrenees, France. The greater part of the new town has grown up around the shrine which has become the most famous in France. In 1858 a young peasant girl saw many times an apparition of the Blessed Virgin in the grotto of Massabielle. “I am the Immaculate Conception” were the words of the vision. A miraculous spring suddenly came into existence. After examination on the part of the ecclesiastical authorities the devotion to Our Lady under the title of Notre Dame de Lourdes was authorized and a feast instituted on 11 February the date of the first vision. The Church of Notre Dame was raised to the rank of minor basilica in 1870. The Church of the Rosary was built later to accommodate the crowds of pilgrims. Numerous and well-attested cures have been made by bathing in the water or by merely visiting the shrine and especially by the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. The water of the spring has been found by analysis to contain no curative properties. The chief pilgrimage, called the national, is in August. About 600,000 pilgrims annually visit the shrine from all parts of the world.

MLA Citation

  • “Lourdes, France”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 16 January 2017. Web. 19 October 2017. <>