NATIONAL SHRINE GROTTO OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES
The Grotto of Lourdes Cave is the center of the Grotto. Located here are the beautiful statue of our Lady of Lourdes, hundreds of small and larger devotional candles, the Grotto stream, St. Bernadette's statue and benches for reflection and peaceful repose. (Find location on our Interactive Map of the Grotto)
St. Bernadette, a young country girl of Lourdes, France, originally saw the Blessed Virgin Mary 18 times in 1858.
The Grotto Cave, a replica of the Lourdes setting, was begun in 1875 by the Rev. John Waterson, president of Mount St. Mary's College. Msgr. James Dunn of Meadville, Pa., donated the lovely statue in the niche in 1891.
Prayers of Our Lady of Lourdes
During the 16th Apparition to Bernadette, the vision finally revealed her name, but the wild rose bush, on which she stood during the Apparitions, did not bloom.
Bernadette recounted; "She lifted up her eyes to heaven, joined her hands as though in prayer, that were held out and open towards the ground and said to me:
Que soy era Immaculada Concepciou (I am the Immaculate Conception) ."
The young visionary left and, running all the way, repeated continuously the words that she did not understand. These words troubled the brave Parish Priest. Bernadette was ignorant of the fact that this theological expression was assigned to the Blessed Virgin.Four years earlier, in 1854, Pope Pius IX declared this a truth of the Catholic Faith (a dogma).
Mary's motherhood is universal. We are all placed in her care. Please consider sending your prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary at the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady Lourdes.
Ask Mary to bring peace and lead your loved ones to deeper holiness just as she has done for so many others over the centuries.
Stone from Grotto of Lourdes, France
On November 27, 2007, Most Rev. Jacques Perrier, Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes, France, announced the 150th Jubilee Year honoring the anniversary of the apparitions of the Immaculate Conception to St. Bernadette Soubirous. The Bishop came to the United States to share the blessings of Lourdes with all Americans.
December 1, 2007, Bishop Perrier visited our Grotto of Lourdes in Emmitsburg and offered Mass in the Chapel of St. Mary on the Hill. Following Communion, the Bishop gave a wonderful talk and presented the Grotto with a gift from Lourdes. This precious gift was a Stone from the Grotto of Lourdes in France, excavated right near the miraculous spring where the Blessed Virgin told St. Bernadette to dig and receive water. The Bishop said he was giving us this stone to "spiritually connect" us to the Lourdes Grotto in France and requested that it be placed in our Grotto, thus making us all members of the Lourdes Family.
The Stone has been installed at the Grotto Cave and is there for all of us to see and touch.
Grotto Mountain Water
The water from the Grotto tap, located alongside the round pool below Corpus Christi Chapel, is directly from Mary's mountain creek. Above the Grotto are two springs where fresh water comes out of the mountain; these creeks run down the hill, stream together and run by the Grotto cave. The water is pure and fresh and quite clean. Because of state regulations, we filter the water through an ultraviolet filter to cleanse it of any impurities or bacteria; nothing, however, is added to the water. It then comes out of the tap by the pool.
The Grotto spring water as it comes out of the tap is "blessed,". Any way you take it from the Grotto, the water still may remind you of Jesus Himself who is life-giving water.
Many pilgrims visit just for the Grotto water (find location on our Interactive Map of the Grotto). Many believe that its natural properties are cleansing and healthy for the body and soul; others believe it can heal. Although there are no documented miracles, many have reported favors and graces from drinking the Grotto spring water.
Support the Grotto with Spring Water
At the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, our Grotto staff is the one and only service to package and send our Grotto spring water. You only pay for the decorative bottle, postage and packing; however, we ask you to consider an offering to support the Grotto. Of course, the Grotto spring water is freely available at the Grotto fountain on the holy grounds.
The Grotto spring water is free with our special bottle (1.0 oz.) and the water is collected from the spring on these holy grounds.
Preserve Your Memory at the Grotto of Lourdes Cave
Preserve the memory of your special occasion or loved ones on this beautiful mountain shrine devoted to Our Mother Virgin Mary. The Grotto Cave is the center of the Grotto. Located here are the beautiful statue of our Lady of Lourdes, hundreds of small and larger devotional candles, the Grotto stream, St. Bernadette's statue and benches for reflection and peaceful repose. By honoring or memorializing your loved one on the benches, your memories become in communion with hundreds of pilgrims who walk this path to ask for the intercession Our Lady of Lourdes.
► Contact Cindy Kokoski for details, or fill out the Preserve Your Memory form.
Cindy Kokoski, Assistant Director of the Grotto
firstname.lastname@example.org or (301) 447-5318