A unique setting for spiritual renewal
Are you are considering a pilgrimage tour to Lourdes or Rome? IBT Travel will be delighted to provide your accommodation and travel arrangements by either coach or air.
We will design your tour to your own needs and provide a quality service throughout including the planning of your pilgrimage programme.
The Story of Bernadette
Bernadette Soubirous was born in the Boly Mill on January 7, 1844. During the autumn of 1855, cholera struck Lourdes and Bernadette was not spared. Her delicate health since the age of 6 became worse and her asthma would always be with her. The family continued to struggle to make ends meet and to ease their burden Bernadette was sent to live with her aunt.
In 1857 her parents were evicted due to unemployment and had to find refuge in the Cachot, a dark room of just 3.72m by 4.4m, their descent into misery continued and starvation was on the horizon.
During this time Bernadette lived with her foster-mother but in January 1858 returned to the Cachot to live with her parents whom she loved dearly. The first apparition took place on February 11, 1858.
BERNADETTE’S BODY ENSHRINED AT NEVERS
The body of Bernadette was exhumed for a third time in 1925 and was again found to be intact. Following this final exhumation her body is now preserved in a shrine in the chapel of what was once called the Convent of St. Gildard of Nevers where it is on display to visiting pilgrims.
TORCHLIGHT MARIAN PROCESSION
The Torchlight Marian Procession which lasts around 90 minutes takes place each evening at 9pm and has done so since 1872. The Evening procession begins and ends in the square in front of the Rosary Basilica. During the Procession, pilgrims walk in groups behind their pilgrimage banner. Everyone is invited to carry a lighted candle in their hand as a reminder of Baptism.
At the end of the Procession, the Priests and Bishops present give the Blessing. After the Procession pilgrims are invited to attend the last Mass of the day at the Grotto of the Apparition.
THE GROTTO – AN INTENSELY SYMBOLIC PLACE
“The grotto was my heaven” were the words used by Bernadette Soubirous to describe the shallow Massabielle cave to the nuns welcoming her to the convent at Nevers in 1858. The Grotto thus became the prime destination of pilgrims visiting Lourdes. An object of devotion for some, of curiosity for others, this symbolic place is a meeting point for those who want to seek out the true core and wonder of Lourdes.
ST. PETER’S BASILICA
The greatest church in Christendom
St. Peter’s Basilica rises on the grandiose St. Peter’s Square.
Michelangelo’s mighty silver-blue dome dominates the scene, blending into the sky above, conveying a sense of the absolute and infinite, which touches the soul of all who gaze upon it.
The Vatican Museums are exceptionally important because of the richness and prestige of the masterpieces brought together under various popes over the centuries. Made up of a group of grand buildings, and countless rooms, salons, museums, galleries and churches including the Sistine Chapel and its famous ceiling painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512.