• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Lourdes is a French town at the front of the Pyrenees and has become one of the most important places for Christian pilgrimages.

Extracts from this document...


Lourdes is a French town at the front of the Pyrenees and has become one of the most important places for Christian pilgrimages. Between February 11th and July 16th 1858, a 14-year-old French girl named Bernadette had a series of visions within this town. She had 18 apparitions in total, and it was during the 9th that the vision revealed herself as the Virgin Mary. During this vision Mary told Bernadette that the water was special, was holy and a spring of water began to flow at the place she indicated. Gradually, Lourdes became a center for pilgrimage. It has developed into a large busy town with a peaceful area surrounding the grotto. Pilgrims arrive in great numbers throughout the year from all over the world. The Grotto is a plain cavity in the rock, where herds of pigs used to shelter. Since the apparitions the grotto has become a place of prayer, of gathering and devotion. ...read more.


He is seen as the rock upon which we can all rest on and build their life upon. By drinking the water of the spring, pilgrims answer the request made by the Virgin Mary to Bernadette: "go, drink of the spring and wash yourself there". By leaving a candle, a pilgrim does the same as Bernadette did, who prayed at the Grotto with a candle borrowed from the Church. Leaving a candle behind prolonged that prayer. The number of people following Bernadette is always increasing. From the time of the Apparitions some ten thousand people were assembling at the Grotto. Today, about five million pilgrims visit the Rock at Massabielle. People queue to be briefly submerged in the cold spring waters. Some people collect such water and take it home with them. Each day there are 2 processions. The Blessed Sacrament takes place in the afternoon at 1630. ...read more.


These masses are usually in honor of Mary. On the Sunday of every week there is an 'international mass' - one that is said in many different languages in the underground Basilica. There is a Mass of Anointing where sick pilgrims can receive the Sacrament of Anointing of Sick. Mary's request for penance to Bernadette has resulted in the Sacrament of Reconciliation being carried out. Pilgrims can also do less religiously demanding tasks such as go shopping in the town for souvenirs or socializing. The majority of pilgrims attending Lourdes will be doing so as part of a large group - organized maybe by their church or diocese. This group will set aside time for recreation and entertainment. Some of this may be fun and games in a park or on any available grass allotment. It is this aspect of Lourdes that preying and religion can co-exist with fun and enjoyment in a usually unseen fashion that makes Lourdes such a special place for any Christian pilgrim. A place that can be visited and revisited time and again. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Pilgrimage section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Pilgrimage essays

  1. Pilgrimage is an ancient custom which has changed over many years. It used to ...

    In Lourdes touching and kissing the sacred rock and drinking the special water is very popular as too are Grotto mass processions. A pilgrimage is both a spiritual and a physical journey. The pilgrims prepare for their pilgrimage by reciting the parables relevant to the location they are going.

  2. Throughout Christian history, pilgrimage has always featured highly. However, pilgrimages are a lot safer ...

    God features more highly in the pilgrims lives from then on. "Places of pilgrimage tend to be very commercialised these days. This is bound to reduce the value of the pilgrimage for a Christian." Many Christians would agree with this statement and there are many reasons why they would.

  1. Explain why some Christians go on pilgrimage and the effect which this might have ...

    They try and find their inner peace. Places of pilgrimage, especially Walsingham, are known for their calming atmosphere and many people go there to relax. This would not have been possible earlier, when it was not safe to go on a pilgrimage, let alone go on one to relax.

  2. In this coursework I am going to talk about a Christian place of pilgrimage.

    In less then a week the same crowd would be demanding His death on a cross. That week before the Passover Holiday Jerusalem was full of Jewish pilgrims, who travelled from all over to visit the city and the temple.

  1. Pilgrimage. Many Roman Catholic Christians feel that going on a pilgrimage makes them feel ...

    One of the most experienced practices on the trip to Lourdes is the drinking of the water from the spring and the washing in the baths. On the 25th of February, the lady told Bernadette to scratch into the ground close by and it was here where fresh water appeared.

  2. Explain why going on pilgrimage is important for many Roman Catholic Christians. With reference ...

    In Jerusalem there are many places associated with the last few days in the life of Jesus and this makes the place a major destination in the Holy Land. Jerusalem is the main center of pilgrimage for Christians, especially at Easter.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work