Lourdes, France, is the site of a shrine to Mary, the mother of Jesus, in honor of a reported series of 18 apparitions in 1858 by her to Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year-old peasant girl. Miraculous healings were attributed to wading in a spring that appeared. By 1862 the local authorities of the Catholic Church had recognized the belief by building a church above the grotto.
From 1883 to 1901 there was the construction of a magnificent church named the Church of the Rosary, which is the destination of millions of pilgrims, many seeking cures for ailments or conversion by submerging oneself into the soothing spring.
Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest your shining with life, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child, St. Bernadette: "I am the Immaculate Conception." A thousand times we congratulate you upon your Immaculate Conception. And now, O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, you know our wants, our troubles, our sufferings deign to cast upon us a look of mercy.
By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors, and already many have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and physical. We come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain for us, O loving Mother, the granting of our request. request Through gratitude for your favors, we will endeavor to imitate your virtues, that we may one day share your glory.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your divine son while upon earth. You have the same influence now in Heaven. Pray for us; obtain for us from your Divine Son our special requests if it be the Divine Will.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette, pray for us.
O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious in your assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation.
- John A. Hardon, S.J., "Modern Catholic Dictionary" (1999).
- Our Lady of Lourdes