After more than 6 hours of train ride, we arrived at Lourdes to a bright and hot afternoon at about 3 pm.
I was told it rained for the past days.
After checking into hotel which is near the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, we wasted no time to go out for our exploration of the most famous Marian shrine.
The Sanctuary is an area surrounding the site of Mary's Apparition to St. Bernadette in February 11, 1858. It consists of Grotto (the actual Apparition cave), Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, Basilica of St. Pius X (under-ground), many chapels, Lourdes drinking water dispensing and bathing facilities, medical center and devotional facilities.
It is a world-wide Catholic pilgrimage destination.
In french, Lourdes is pronounced as Lu De, exactly like in Mandarin 露德。
It was our first time to Lourdes, knowing nothing much of where is what and what is where. After entering the sanctuary, we followed the crowd which led us to the Grotto, where Mary appeared to Bernadette took place.
The Grotto is duplicated and can be found in Catholic parishes throughout the world.
We recited Rosary ... that was what Bernadette did when she first saw Mary.
Later, we joined in the Eucharistic procession which was led by 2 bishops and many clergy. To our surprise, we saw a few members of Legion of Mary were also in the procession.
Procession ended with a Benediction at the underground Basilica of St. Pius X.
It was about 6:30 pm when dark clouds gathered. Heavy rain was imminent.
Crowd was dispersing fast, the sky looked menacing.
We did the same as the crowd --- run for home (hotel) .
The heavy rain came shortly. We were not able to attend the schduled Rosary procession at 9:00 pm.
On the second day, we continued our pilgrimage to the shrine.
We attended an Italian Mass celebrated by a group of Italian priests at the Grotto.
After Rosary, we ventured out of the sanctuary to nearby shopping area. Shops after shops are selling religious articles, statues, Rosary ......
We went out of the beaten track, wondering into local market. We bought some fruits.
Attended our first English Sunset Mass at 6:15 pm.
Later in the evening, after dinner, we went back to the Sanctuary to participate in the Marian procession starts at 9:00 pm.
It was a beautiful candle lights procession with hymns and Rosary.
The night ended at about 10:15 pm.
(More pics in Facebook- Lourdes 1)
(More pics in Facebook- Lourdes 2)
经过六个多小时，火车终于抵达目的地 - 露德。
稍后，念完玫瑰经，我们就往外观光。我们自己慢慢的在市区溜达，到本地人的一个菜市场，买了一些本地水果 - 桃及蜜瓜。
（照片Facebook 露德第 1 天）
（照片Facebook 露德第 2 天）