The Lourdes grotto in the church courtyard is very special to the parish and serves as the backdrop for outdoor Masses held in this large open area. The grotto is modeled after the rock cave at Lourdes, France where Our Lady appeared to fourteen-year-old Bernadette Soubirous eighteen times in 1858.
The grotto contains a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes in an enclosed niche at the top; and beneath are the words, “I am the Immaculate Conception” that the Blessed Mother communicated to Saint Bernadette during the sixteenth apparition on March 25, 1858, the Feast of the Annunciation. Saint Bernadette is shown kneeling before the Blessed Mother at the grotto as she did during the 1858 appearances in which Mary communicated messages of love and promise to Saint Bernadette.
The original place of Mary’s appearances in Lourdes, France is marked by six churches and chapels, as requested by Our Lady in the apparitions; and visitors can enter the Grotto itself and see the spring where the blessed Lourdes water pours forth. Read more about this pilgrimage site via the link in the references below.
Websites accessed on or about 2-8-2021 (see considerations and information about Links at https://churchwonders.com/about/)
The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes – https://www.lourdes-france.org/en/