By Hannah Noye
You have probably heard of mythic sources of water with magical properties. The fountain of youth is one particularly famous example, appearing in writings going back nearly 2000 years. That famous spring is mythic, with no one knowing it’s supposed location, whether it be real or fake. Mythical water springs and sources with healing or magical powers are scattered through legends and stories through history – but one of these revered springs really does exist, and it exists in the town of Lourdes, France.
The spring is known for its supposed healing properties, and attracts millions of visitors each year, many of whom come to bathe in the holy waters and seek a cure for their ailments. It's located within the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, a Catholic shrine built on the site where, according to legend, the Virgin Mary appeared to a young peasant girl named Bernadette Soubirous in 1858. Bernadette claimed to have seen a "Lady" in the Grotto of Massabielle, who asked her to dig in the ground. When Bernadette obeyed, a spring appeared, which the Lady told her to drink from and wash in. Bernadette did so, and soon after, many people began to claim that they were cured of various illnesses and disabilities after visiting the spring.
The news of the miraculous spring quickly spread, and people began to flock to Lourdes in large numbers, seeking cures for their own ailments. The Catholic Church eventually recognized the apparitions and the healing powers of the spring, and in 1874, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes was established to accommodate the thousands of pilgrims who were coming to visit.
Today, the Lourdes spring is a major destination for Catholics and non-Catholics alike, with over six million visitors each year. The waters of the spring are believed by many to have healing properties, and visitors can bathe in them or drink them from taps located throughout the sanctuary. The site is also home to several chapels, churches, and other religious monuments, as well as a museum and several hotels and restaurants.
While the healing powers of the Lourdes spring are not scientifically proven, many people believe that their faith and prayers have been instrumental in their own personal healing experiences. Regardless of one's beliefs, the spring and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes offer a unique and fascinating glimpse into the power of faith and the human quest for healing.
If you’re interested in visiting this famous landmark, let us know! We offer bespoke tours for those that have specific interests, or are seeking specific things in their French journey. We are also always working on new tour ideas for our set tours, so if this appeals to you please don’t hesitate to tell us via social media or the website!
Whether you seek physical healing or simply want to experience the beauty and spiritual energy of this sacred site, the Lourdes spring is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who visit. Thanks for reading, and bonne nuit!