150th Anniversary Celebrations in Lourdes 19 - 24


After over two years of planning, a small group of club members set out to Lourdes to celebrate the

150th anniversary of the apparitions to St Bernadette. 


We begin with the official photograph of our Tangney Guide, Susan, With those she was looking

after that week including 13 members of the St Francis of Assisi Catholic Ramblers Club.



The photographs below are arranged in order of sites to visit in Lourdes itself, then some of the

views we had in nearby areas such as Gavarnie and the Church of St Savin which we visited on

the way back from Gavarnie and Bartres where St Bernadette spent some time in her late



The photographs in Lourdes itself begin with the centres where the Jubilee Plenary Indulgence for

the 150th anniversary of the apparitions could be gained.   The four locations were connected by a

line painted on the pavement beginning at the Chemin du Jubilee icon shown  here. 



The line the showed the way to the Centres where the indulgence conditions

were met.



The Chemin took us to the Boly Mill where Bernadette was born and where St Bernadette's family

tree and several photos taken during the saint's lifetime were displayed.









Another venue on the Chenin du Jubilee (we did not visit them all on the same

day or in this order) was the baptismal font in which she was baptised.  The baptismal

fontis now located in the modern parish church, the church in which Bernadette

was baptised having given way to a war memorial.




Below are two photographs taken of members of our group at the Baptismal font.




Next stop for the indulgence devotions was the Cachot (old disused prison) in which she lived

when her family fell on hard times.  Here there were more photos and statues on display.





I'm not sure where we saw this stained glass window depicting St Bernadette with her Parish

Priest but it seems to fit in at this point



We also visited the Hospice in which she received First Communion and where

it appears only one photograph was taken.



The Grotto where the apparitions occurred is probably one of the most

photographed places in the world. Below are the famous candle stand at the

Grotto and is the world famous statue at the apparition site and then a wider view

of the grotto.








Next to the Grotto the main area of devotion is what is known as "the Domain"

around the Rosary Basilica. Following are some photographs of the Basilica

taken from outside and inside. 




The first looking down the Domain



And these two taken from St Bernadette Bridge




And one taken from St Michael's Gate



Another from the other side of the river Gave



This was taken at the torch lit procession on the day we arrived.  You can see it

was raining, which continued for the duration of or visit



And this is the Dome taken from inside the Basilica



This is a view of the Basilica from the Chateau Fort which dominates the town

of Lourdes



And this great view from the field known as "the prairie"




In and around the Rosary Basilica are beautiful altars including the high altar itself,



Altars of St Bernadette (inside and outside the Basilica),





St Michael



and, importantly for pilgrims from the StFrancis of Assisi

Catholic Ramblers Club, the St Francis Altar.






On top of the Basilica is beautiful gold crown surmounted by a cross which was

presented to Lourdes at one stage by the Irish National Pilgrimage to Lourdes.





Directly in front of the Basilica is the "Crown Statue", a centre of devotion for

many pilgrims.




Many pilgrims like to be photographed in front of this statue and we took our turn




Between the Crown Statue and St Michael's Gate thereis a statue depicting St

Bernadette surrounded by sheep






The next eight photographs are of the High Stations. I didn't want to take

photographs during the route around the stations so we just had the two

photographs of our group taken in front of the Crucifixion at the end of the

stations. The other photographs were taken later.









On the way down from the High Stations we came by a celtic cross with

inscriptionin the Irish language so photographed the front and back of it







The following two photographs are of the "Low Stations" which are situated on the

opposite side of the river from the Baths beyond the St Bernadette Basilica,





From the low stations the Lourdes Baths can be seen on the other side of the






We spent a good part of a day at the Chateau Fort and below are views of the

town of Lourdes taken there.







A view of the parish church of Lourdes taken from the Chateau Fort




St Pius Xth Basilica from the Chateau Fort (the basilica is the large green oval

in front of the Rosary Basilica in the photograph)




A statue of St Bernadette in the garden of the Chateau Fort




A view of Lourdes against the background of the Pyrenees taken from the

Chateau fort





Two further views of Lourdes Parish church taken from the Chateau fort.






This view of the terrace at the Chateau Fort with the Pyrenees peering above

the trees at the end




Some views of the model town at the Chateau Fort







And some views of the fort itself taken from the vicinity of the Fort or from the town















We were billeted at the excellent Beau Site Hotel on the bank of the Pau river.

Below is a photograph of the hotel and of the waitress and garcon who looked

after us so well during our stay.










Here are some views taken inside the St Pius X Basilica.









And we also took a few not very good shots inside the St Bernadette Basilica.







On 25 March we had an outing to Gavarnie. This is a Pyrenean village with no

obvious connection with the apparitions at Lourdes but it is close to the

Compostella Camino and much of the devotion in the village church centres

around St James as evident in the following photographs.



















Some photographs of the Altar and the Blessed

Sacrament Chapel in Gavarnie Church








In Gavarnie itself there was snow and fog but we nevertheless captured some of

the atmosphere of the Pyrenees







  We had stopped on the way to view Napolean's Bridge




We got a good view of the stream that flows under the bridge but sorely missed

public toilets which we thought might be provided at such a well frequented

point of interest




On the way back we stopped at the fascinating Church of St Savin.


Our guide for the day gave us lots of information about the church to which we all

listened carefully.








Inside the Church we saw the Leper Font






The Organ.







The high altar.






The side altar 





And the Crucifix.





And Finally some photographs of the ramblers as we made our way around

Lourdes celebrating the 150th anniversary of the apparitions to St Bernadette.


The rain never stopped for the four days we were in the town as is evidenced by

the many umbrellas in the following photographs.










We made a special trip to St Michael's Gate to collect our Jubilee Insignia.


We had to wait




And wait



And still wait!!!



The waiting paid off and Alice admires her insignia



The insignia itself had four segments.  A sticker was placed in each segment

as we visited the relevant site for fulfilling the indilgence conditions.



That day we also saw the procession of the sick, which we had seen in film of

Lourdes way back in our childhood.






Behind the Rosary Basilica are the stands where the many candles purchased by

Pilgrims burn.


The small candles are generally lit as a favour to individual relatives and friends.






Helen lit some for her friends



And we all also remembered all our friends



And  placed a candle to pay my individual respects




And larger candles are lit by or on behalf of groups.










We collected enough money to be able to buy quite a large (5 foot) candle

representing the prayers and aspirations of the members of the St Francis of

Assisi Catholic Ramblers Club.














And we placed it among the other group candles. We naively thought that the

candles were left to burn to the end but when we went back two days later we found

that they are actually removed a day or so after they are placed in position and

burned en masse. But here are some photographs of the candle in position and

of members of our group in the vicinity of the candles.






One day trip offered by Tangney Tours was a trip to Bartres where St Bernadette

spent part of her childhood at her aunt's house.  Weather was so foul that

photography was not really possible bu I got one striking photograph, appropriately

of a stream in spate