Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Parish Pilgrimage - A Reflection on the Baths

One of our pilgrims, following the baths, shared this reflection for us:

Today, some of us had the opportunity to participate in the Miracle Baths.  I didn't know what to expect but I was looking forward to it.  Men were sent to the left and women to the right--this line was much longer.  People in wheelchairs and children had a separate entrance and they were taken in first.

The wait was very long--almost three hours--but it got me plenty of time for prayer and reflection.  At times we were led in prayer by one of the volunteers, Hail Mary... was said in different languages: French, German, Spanish, Italian, English and Latin.  I also started a conversation with the lady ahead of me, she was from Ireland.  She told me she had brought her 3-year old son to the baths 39 years ago.  He son had had an accident and had suffered burns on one side of his body.  This was her second time to Lourdes and she said she didn't plan on getting into the baths again, but when she arrived at the Grotto she changed her mind.  

The line began to move faster once they closed the men's side and soon I was first in line.  I was taken in to a waiting line inside.  There were ten "tents" that held six pilgrims each.  Signs outside the tents suggested prayers and what to do in the bath.  When I was called into "Tent # 7" I was asked what language I spoke and a volunteer was assigned to me.  Her name was Terese.  She used a cloth as a shield for privacy from the other five pilgrims inside and gave me instructions to remove my clothes.  Once I did she wrapped me in a cloth and I stood by the entrance to the actual bath.  

While I was waiting I kept praying and thinking of all the people on my "prayer list."  Everybody helping was a volunteer and they were very gentle and nice.  I'm sure they had been working for hours but it didn't show. 

I was first in line and couldn't wait to be called in.  

The curtains then opened and three more ladies helped me in.  I feared the water was going to be ice cold--coming from a spring on a mountain--but it wasn't.  Maybe it was because I was praying all that time or because it was such an emotional moment that the coldness did not matter.  The ladies with me prayed along with me and helped me get in and out of the large tub.  They also encouraged me for a few moments of reflection before I got out.

Now that I know what to expect, I'm thinking about doing it again tomorrow.  Taking a bath two days in a row doesn't hurt anyone...especially in the Miracle waters at the Grotto of Lourdes.


  1. That is such an amazing story! I wish I could be with you all. I've been following Father's blog and have enjoyed hearing about all the wonderful place you have been to. I wish you a safe journey and a safe return home! God bless!
    Lori Sword

  2. I have enjoyed all the blogs. It looks so beautiful