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What Happens on a Pilgrimage to Lourdes?

Updated November 21, 2016

Each year, 6 million people visit Lourdes, France, one of the world's most important pilgrimage sites. Lourdes is the birthplace of St. Bernadette and it's believed that the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubirous near the Grotto of Massabielle in 1858.

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Where Lourdes Is Located

The town of Lourdes is located in southwestern France at the foot of the Pyrenees mountains. To travel to Lourdes, visitors must fly to Pau and then travel to the pilgrimage site by car or motor coach.


Many visitors to Lourdes, regarded as a holy site, claim to have experienced a deeply-felt spiritual journey, religious conversion and miraculous healing from illness and maladies.

Pilgrmage Destinations

During a pilgrimage to Lourdes, visitors can tour the Shrine, which includes three breathtaking Basilicas, and take a walking tour that traces the life of St. Bernadette.

Sites and Activities At Lourdes

Visitors can experience the Miraculous Baths where hundreds of cures have occurred, pray at the unique three-dimensional Stations of the Cross, attend the blessing of the sick, participate in a candlelight procession and attend Mass.

Special Attractions

The Shrine at Lourdes includes the Basilica of St. Pius X, the world's largest underground church, and a running spring, believed to have been located at the base of the grotto by Bernadette at the request of the Virgin Mary, which has flowed uninterrupted since 1858.

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