I began my last day in Lourdes by bathing in the miraculous waters. Many miraculous healings have come from Lourdes water since the time of Bernadette. We lined up at the pools and were "dunked" one at a time in pools filled with water from the spring. The inscription on the building quotes Our Lady to Bernadette: "Go drink at the spring and wash there."
This is a plaque on the side of the Basilica. It reads (my rough translation): "The year of grace, 1858. In the nook in the grotto where one sees her statue, the Holy Virgin appeared 18 times to Saint Bernadette.... The Holy Virgin said to Saint Bernadette on February 18th: Would you do me the favor of coming here for 15 days? I can not promise you happiness in this world, only in the next. I desire that people come to this place. The Blessed Virgin told her during the 15 days: You must pray for sinners. Kiss the ground for sinners. Penance, Penance, Penance! Go tell the priests to build a chapel here. I desire that people come in procession to this place. Go drink of the waters, and wash there.... On March 25th, the Blessed Virgin told Bernadette: I am The Immaculate Conception.
A view from on top of the Pope Pius XII addition:
"Le Cachot." This was a jail in Lourdes before Saint Bernadette's family moved there after her father lost his job as a miller. If you have seen the movie The Song of Bernadette, this is the setting. Bernadette's family moved here when she was 10 years old:
The fireplace in the one-room "house."
The room is usually closed off by glass, but it was opened for the 150th Anniversary of the Marian Apparitions, so I had to take a picture inside!
Stained glass windows of Saint Bernadette and Fr. Peyramale:
St Bernadette altar. I will offer Holy Mass here one day:
Asking for Fr. Price's intercession by putting a prayer card in the box for prayer intentions at the Lourdes grotto:
I met up with Father George David Byers for dinner. A member of the Fathers of Mercy, Father Byers has been the American chaplain in Lourdes since 2007 as he completes doctoral work. He runs a blog: Blogging Lourdes. We had a very enjoyable dinner: pizza, beer, and ending with gelato and Limoncello:
As we discussed the Church and the Faith, we found that we are very "like-minded." As we headed back to the Basilica for the nightly Rosary procession, Father "pulled some strings" and got me involved in the procession. As thousands of pilgrims marched around the statue of Our Lady in a candlelight procession, Father Byers allowed me to stand on the steps of the Basilica to lead the English Hail Mary's and to recite the Latin Pater Noster (Our Father) before each decade of the Rosary. He took a short video:
I am off to Rome on Tuesday morning. Oremus pro invicem!