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There is another Lourdes with a different pronunciation, see Lourdes, Brazil.

French flag
Région Midi-Pyrénées
Département Hautes-Pyrénées
Arrondissement Argelès-Gazost
Canton Chief town of 2 cantons
INSEE Code 65286
Postal code 65100
Term of office
Jean-Pierre Artiganave
Intercommunality Communauté
de communes
du Pays de Lourdes
Longitude 0' 05° W
Latitude 43° 1' N
Altitude average:
minimum: 343 m
maximum: 960 m
Area 37 km²
Population without
15,203 (1999)
Population density 411 pers/km²
Statue of the Blessed Virgin of Lourdes
Statue of the Blessed Virgin of Lourdes
Our Lady of Lourdes Basilica
Our Lady of Lourdes Basilica

Lourdes (Lorda in Occitan) is a town in the Hautes-Pyrénées département in France. It is the largest Catholic religion pilgrimage location in France. It is situated in the south of the country in the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains, and has about 17,000 inhabitants.



It is said that in February 1858 the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to a 14-year-old girl called Bernadette Soubirous (now St. Bernadette) in the remote Grotto of Massabielle. A statue of the Madonna of Lourdes was erected at the site in 1864. Soon the previous chapel structure was replaced with a pilgrimage basilica. Bernadette Soubirous entered the Monastery of Nevers in 1866 and was canonized a Saint in 1933.

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes

Yearly from March to October the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes is the place of mass pilgrimages from Europe and other parts of the world. The spring water from the grotto is believed by some to possess healing properties, and the Catholic Church has officially recognized 66 miraculous healings. Especially impressive are candlelight and sacrament processions.

See also

External link

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