Monday, September 12, 2016
Day 7 - Nantes to Lourdes
Today was a driving day. We spent nearly six hours on the bus, driving from Nantes to Lourdes. The French countryside was absolutely beautiful, with fields and fields of sunflowers and corn along the way. We drove through the Bordeaux region of France and saw many vineyards along the way. As we drove through the countryside, we couldn't help but think of our country back home remembering the 15th anniversary of the day that shook us to the core. We prayed for all those that lost their lives, for their families and other loved ones, and for the protection of all us, at home and abroad. As we got closer to Lourdes, the Pyrenees Mountains began first as a faint line on the horizon and then reached higher and higher to the sky. As we entered Lourdes, we wound our way further and further down the narrow streets until we reached our final destination, just a few hundred steps from the main entrance to the Shrine. We celebrated Mass in the St. Anne Chapel of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. The Basilica was built high above the Grotto of Massabielle to commemorate the place where the Virgin Mary appeared 18 times to St. Bernadette. During the 17th apparition, Mary revealed the Immaculate Conception. She also revealed the hidden spring that now flows through the Grotto.