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A pilgrimage is a journey to a sacred place as an act of religious devotion or as an act of respect

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Introduction

A pilgrimage is a journey to a sacred place as an act of religious devotion or as an act of respect Pilgrimages may be defined as journeys made to some place with the purpose of venerating it, or in order to ask there for supernatural aid, or to discharge some religious obligation. It is not essential for a Christian to go on a pilgrimage, unlike the religion of Islam where all Muslims have to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca, their Holy City, once in their life time. Only if they can find someone to go in their place they are excused of this spiritual journey, many Christians regard it as a very important step in their spiritual development. ...read more.

Middle

These are full of souvenir shops and although these at first seem tacky and out of character, they soon become an integral part of the visit to Lourdes. As in most French towns there are numerous cafes and bars which are open to all ages. The cafe we visited most was the Terrase, where part of the bar was outside virtual overhanging the river Gave. Quite a number of the inhabitants of Lourdes are Basques. In February 1858, it is claimed 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. ...read more.

Conclusion

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. An estimated 200 million people have visited the shrine since 1860 [1], and the Roman Catholic Church has officially recognized 67 miracle healings. Especially impressive are candlelight and sacrament processions. Tours from all over the world are organised to visit the Sanctuary. The pilgrimage site is visited by millions of Catholics each year. Connected with this pilgrimage is often the consumption of or bathing in the so called Lourdes Water which wells out of the Grotto - the cave in which the apparitions allegedly took place in 1858. ...read more.

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