Captured Moments

By: Linnor Marie

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Saturday, 28-Jun-2003 00:00 Email | Share | Bookmark
A Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Lourdes (Lourdes, France)

Early morning pose at the Basilica of Lourdes
On the way to the baths
The Grotto where the Blessed Virgin appeared to Bernadette
Filled our containers with the miraculous water of Lourdes
Posed by the River Gave with the Basilica & Grotto at the back
After the anticipated Spanish mass
The miraculous stream of water covered in glass
In front of the Massabielle Grotto, Lourdes, France

In Bernadette's day, the Grotto was a dirty, hidden, damp and cold place. The Grotto was literally called the "pigâ??sty" because that was where pigs feeding in the area took shelter. It was there that the Virgin Mary, dressed in white, a sign of total purity, chose to appear. The contrast between this damp and obscure cave and the presence of the Virgin Mary reminds us of the Gospel, the meeting of the goodness of God and the poverty of the human person...

At the ninth apparition, Mary asked Bernadette to scrape the ground, saying to her "Go to the spring, drink of it and wash yourself there." There is only a little muddy water to begin with, enough for Bernadette to drink. At first this water is muddy and dirty then, little by little, it becomes clear. The spring signifies the cleansing of the human heart, wounded by sin yet healed through prayer and penance. Bernadette was asked what the lady said to her. She replied, "Now and again she would say, 'penance, penance, penance, pray for sinners.' " Praying leads us to the Spirit of God. We understand that sin is contrary to the love of God and revealed to us through the Gospel.)

June 21 - Jerry and I joined the line of countless pilgrims who waited for their turn in the baths at 8:00 AM. The weather was actually cool and the thought of bathing in the stream sent cold shivers down my spine. But this was what we were there for and all the faithful who were lined up with us.

It was a blessed feeling for Jerry and me as we were immersed in that icy cold tub of water from the Massabielle. We prayed and kept in mind the message of the Lady to St. Bernadette, and why we were taking that sacred bath... to cleanse our human hearts.

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