Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception

On February 25th, during the 9th apparition St. Bernadette tells us: "She told me to go, drink of the spring (….) I only found a little muddy water. At the fourth attempt I was able to drink. She also made me eat the bitter herbs that were found near the spring, and then the vision left and went away."

In front of the crowd that was asking "Do you think that she is mad doing things like that?" she replied; "It is for sinners."

This trickle of water grew into a miraculous spring and public acclaim along with the numerous healings in the waters of the spring convinced a prudently skeptical Church to investigate the apparitions.

After many years of questions and investigations, in particular surrounding Bernadette's strange relaying of the words of Our Lady: "I am the Immaculate Conception," the Church consented, for a church to be built at the grotto. Work began on the original shrine around 1862 and was completed and blessed in 1866. It is now known as the "Crypt Church." It lies above the grotto on the rock known as Marsabielle where Our Lady appeared to St. Bernadette. Directly over the Crypt Church was built the magnificent Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, still a place of pilgrimage. Miraculous healings of body and soul are still recorded at the spring that St. Bernadette dug at the command of Our Lady.

You can read here a list of the documented cures from the water at the spring. And here are the details of 67th cure which occured in 2005.

Views of the Basilica

Inside the Shrine
One of the nightly candlelight processions
Our Blessed Mother asked that we come in processions
to this shrine! Imagine how great the crowd will be tonight!
A Close up of the Grotto (from the '50s)
My parents tell me that when they visited in 1963, somewhere nearby there was a wall upon which were hung crutches and other implements, apparently hung there to represent cures. I tried but couldn't find a picture of this.

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