The grotto of Lourdes, though not a sacred place for long, has become one of the most visited shrine in the Christian world. Between February 11, and July 16, 1858, Bernadette Soubirous, a fourteen year old peasant girl, saw a white robed woman several times in a grotto. The apparition told the girl to reveal the vision to her small village. In one of the final appearance before the girl, the woman revealed that she was Mary, mother of god, Jesus. The child in her excitement, and at the instruction of Mary, fell to her knees, and dug into the earth, revealing water. The water grew into a pool. This became a sacred spring in Lourdes that is now famous, drawing the believers from far and wide. "The Basilica of Lourdes, France", http://www.sacredsites.com/ europe/ france/ lourdes.com. The site was not originally known for curative powers. However, 1873, incidents of healing were becoming known. Because of more and more visitors, improvements were built, with a basilica in 1876 and a huge church in 1958. Four to six million visitors visit the shrine each year. "The Basilica of Lourdes, France", above; see also, "A Visit to Lourdes", http//www.spiritualit.org/issue10/10page04.html.
People who have made the pilgrimage to this shrine report that this is a place, like Jesus' mission, the sick, poor and diseased receive encouragement and hope, and in some cases, miracles.
Mrs. Catherine Latapie, a 39 year old pregnant woman, had injured her right hand in a fall, and it was partially paralyzed. On March 1, 1858, on a sudden impulse, she got up at 3:00am from her bed and walked until dawn to the Lourdes. She met Bernadette there, and simply prayed, and bathed her hand in the collected waters. Immediately, her fingers returned to normal. She returned home, and gave birth that night to her child. He became a priest. Dr. Mangiapan, "Our Lady of Lourdes Approved Miracles",...