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Marion Pilgrimage at Lourdes–amazing!

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Thanks for stopping by to continue with Tiff and I on our journey. I had to save Lourdes for last because it is an amazing place. Above, we are on the second floor of the Basilica at Lourdes. Below are paintings of the outside of the façade.

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Going to Lourdes off-season was probably the most wonderful experience of my life. There was such a feeling in this experience of these holy places embracing our small band of pilgrims.

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I realize the tower looks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but my angle was a tad askew. The sculpture on the right is also part of the façade of the Basilica.

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Inside the Rosary Basilica, when I knelt down and prayed, it felt like my prayers could easily reach the entire world. Whatever our religion might be, if we do not pray, who will? Below, Lourdes is snuggled cozily in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains, with a population of only about 15,000 people, but that population can grow up to five million visitors in one year.

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Above shows the healing waters of Lourdes. I can tell you from experience, that when you go into that water, it is very, very cold. We were allowed the privilege of immersing ourselves in the healing waters of Lourdes. Since there weren’t many people there, I took a little dip in the waters. I must admit if there had been rows of wheelchair people lined up to go into the waters, as there are during high season, I don’t think I would have gone in. It would have been like going in for a health tune-up when there were people in far greater need waiting for their opportunity to be blessed by the waters.

Below is the Grotto of Massabielle where the apparition of Mary spoke to Bernadette about the Immaculate Conception. Mary appeared to Bernadette a total of eighteen times.

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The peace and holiness of being in the grotto or in the square surrounding the Basillica at night is difficult to explain, particularly when lucky enough to be nearly the only people there. When I prayed for family and friends there, I felt very near to God.

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The next day we did a walk along the Stations of the Cross, and once again, it was an incredibly moving experience.

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At the end of the Stations of the Cross, Tiff tossed a rosary up into the tree where other pilgrims have done likewise.

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And then we went to Never, where I experienced the running faucet in midair at our quaint hotel in Never, not quite such a miracle. Of course, we all know that when we say ‘quaint’, in France it means Tiff and I could barely walk around each other in the hotel room.

 

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These last pictures show me, Father Brian, and Tiff in the garden at Les Buissonets, St. Therese’s family home. St. Therese is known as the little flower, one who became a saint by doing the ‘little things’ for others. I think it was important to visit this saint, who did not experience apparitions of Mary, but learned to serve God in all the small ways available to her. If we all learn to serve others in the ‘little things’ our world would be a much better place. It seems so simple, and yet, sometimes so difficult to do.

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Thanks for stopping by and allowing me to share my Marion Pilgrimage from 206 Tours. It started with my fascination with Mary, but it ended up being much more. It made me realize what my friend, Linda G., said to me was true and that spirituality dwells within us all. I’ll be forever grateful that I could share this experience with my daughter, Tiff, and I thank her for inviting me to go on this journey with her. And I especially thank God for allowing us this special blessing we were allowed to share with fellow pilgrims in Lourdes.

I hope that you all have a blessed and happy Easter!

Bren

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