February 11 marks the celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. According to tradition, the Blessed Mother first appeared to a young girl named Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes, France on February 11, 1858. Since her appearance, a number of unexplained and miraculous healings from the waters at Lourdes have been recorded by the Church. The Basilica honors the Blessed Mother under this title in the Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel, which is the oldest chapel in the Basilica, as well as one of the most popular.
Today, the miracles of Lourdes continue to inspire the faithful around the globe. We invite you to celebrate this Marian feast by reflecting on this prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes and exploring how Mary is honored under this title in the Basilica.
A Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes
The chapel is inscribed with a prayer which reads:
Ever Immaculate Virgin Mother of Mercy, Health of the sick, refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, you know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings; look with mercy on me. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors; and already many sufferers have obtained the cure for their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal.
I come, therefore, with complete confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain, O loving Mother, the grant of my requests. Through gratitude for your favors, I will endeavor to imitate your virtues, that I may one day share your glory. Amen.
Cowan’s The Way of Saints
Light a Candle at the Basilica
In honor of Our Lady of Lourdes, we invite you to light a candle today at the National Shrine. Vigil candles burn in the chapels throughout the upper church and lower crypt level of the National Shrine. Each candle represents the faith of the supplicants and their fervent prayers entrusted to the loving intercession of the Blessed Mother.