Lourdes and St. Emillion

July 24, 2013

Yesterday we drove from Cap d’Agde to Carcassone.  Our route followed the Canal Midi which is a canal that runs from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea.  We saw barges on the Canal that you can rent for leisurely cruises on the Canal.  The route also had numerous tree lined sections.  Surprisingly the trees used were Sycamore trees.  The state tree of Indiana.  The trees give good shade.  But, we have no idea what the thought was about lining the routes with trees, but hope to find out.  At Carcassone, we visited the medieval city which is a UNESCO sight.  The Cite, as it is called, has been totally refurbished and was in excellent shape.  Unfortunately, our visit was cut short by a severe thunder storm.  But, the storm did not slow our progress toward Lourdes where we arrived in the early evening.  Lourdes was a surprise and truly amazing.  As blogged earlier, 40,000 people a day visit the site where the Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubirous.  We visited the Grotto where the visitation took place.  Afterwards we were amazed to see a candle light parade of thousands of pilgrims around the sight reciting the Rosary and singing songs in at least 5 or 6 languages.  The Grotto and its waters are suppose to have healing properties so many of the pilgrims had disabilities, were ill or infirm from some affliction.  The parade and reciting the Rosary and singing continued for over an hour.  We were truly impressed.  When we visited Rita’s Aunt Anne we learned how important music is to life.  When we visited Lourdes we appreciated the value of faith in our lives.  The visit to Lourdes was inspiring and humbling when you see so many disabled and ill pilgrims seeking intervention by the Virgin Mary.  To have health is truly a blessing and may be a fleeting condition so enjoy it while you can.  Today we drove to St. Emillion, one of the red wine producing areas of Bordeaux.  We stopped at our first Chateau for a wine tasting and bought three bottles.  Tonight we are staying at a vineyard in an old stone building which has been converted into a hotel.  We are excited about seeing St. Emillion tonight and having dinner.

Love Norm & Rita.

I'm entering this one in the broadripple art fair. It is better than some I've seen.

I’m entering this one in the broadripple art fair. It is better than some I’ve seen.

This is the chapel which is a separate building, very unusual for the time.

This is the chapel which is a separate building, very unusual for the time.

This is incredible!

This is incredible!

Had to take advantage of the backdrop.

Had to take advantage of the backdrop.

You can rent an electric boat and ride around on the moat if you'd like.

You can rent an electric boat and ride around on the moat if you’d like.

This is the back of the castle.

This is the back of the castle.

I'm entering this one in the broadripple art fair. It is better than some I've seen.

I’m entering this one in the broadripple art fair. It is better than some I’ve seen.

Here is what we are talking about when we say "tree lined street". These are awesome!

Here is what we are talking about when we say “tree lined street”. These are awesome!

Château de Chenonceau

Château de Chenonceau

Grand Hall

Grand Hall that leads to the back door for exiting into the woods to go hunting!

What a view!

What a view!

One of about 75 flower arrangements all made from the garden of this chateau. Changed twice a week also!!

One of about 75 flower arrangements all made from the garden of this chateau. Changed twice a week also!!

Built over a river, too cool.

Built over a river.

Of course, how could you NOT stop and check out the 200 year old family owned winery for a few tastes!

Of course, how could you NOT stop and check out the 200 year old family owned winery for a few tastes!

This is something that we have seen on MANY roads, fields, intersections, vineyards, houses, everywhere. Guess that's why France is 98 % Catholic??

This is something that we have seen on MANY roads, fields, intersections, vineyards, houses, everywhere. Guess that’s why France is 98 % Catholic??

Stopped to take our buddy's pictures along the way.,, They were pretty cool about it.

Stopped to take our buddy’s pictures along the way.,, They were pretty cool about it.

Saw some interesting real estate for sale along the way.

Here is the entrance to the chateau. Yeah right.. how could we have known our hotel was here???

Here is the entrance to the chateau. Yeah right.. how could we have known our hotel was here???

Seriously??? Can you see the "RECEPTION" sign?????? It's there!

Seriously??? Can you see the “RECEPTION” sign?????? It’s there!!

They make things out of anything they can use. We thought this was pretty creative.

They make things out of anything they can use. We thought this was pretty creative.

St. Emillion - Bordeaux wine country.. Now we're talking!!

St. Emillion – Bordeaux wine country.. Now we’re talking!!

Jada, This one's for you!! Bet your JEALOUS!!

Jada, This one’s for you!! Bet your JEALOUS!!

This is where we stayed. We had our own little flat, b/c no one was occupying the upper floor.

This is where we stayed. We had our own little flat, b/c no one was occupying the upper floor.

Our view, what a great calming place to hang.

Our view, what a great calming place to hang.

BEST BATHROOM EVER!

BEST BATHROOM EVER!

YES, IT BEAT'S ROME FOR SURE!

YES, IT BEAT’S ROME FOR SURE!

We closed another town down, LOL!! at like 10:00 PM. That's all we can take.

We closed another town down, LOL!! at like 10:00 PM. That’s all we can take.

Had dinner on the square in St Emillion

Had dinner on the square in St Emillion

This place is filled with wine shops.

This place is filled with wine shops.

OK, so here are some pictures of Lourdes.  This place was AMAZING!!!  We were able to see this amazing “Torchlight Marian Procession” that takes place daily at 8.45 pm. It begins outside the Grotto and ends at the steps of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.   The procession is led by people bearing a replica statue of the  Virgin Mary.  What you must know is that there are THOUSANDS of people there to participate in this procession, starting with the wheelchairs, gurneys, some are being carried by others on different types of carts, and then walkers.  I am saying ALL ages, types, everything!!  Mostly everyone carries a candle with a paper shade to make the candle less likely to blow out.  The focus of this procession is the rosary.   All five decades are recited, with all twenty mysteries included,  AND this is ALL done in 10 different languages.  The Lourdes Hymn (Immaculate Mary)  is also sung, with the verses in 10 different languages.  ( Sorry to all you NON-Catholics out there, but this was truly worth while) 

The replica of the statue of Mary as it is being carried by the leaders of the procession.

The replica of the statue of Mary as it is being carried by the leaders of the procession.

Front view of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception

Front view of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception

Statue of Mary as she appeared to Bernadette

Statue of Mary as she appeared to Bernadette

The crowd as they start up to the stairs, notice the front rows of wheelchairs

The crowd as they start up to the stairs, notice the front rows of wheelchairs

This is the beginning of the procession

This is the beginning of the procession

This is the line of people on the other side of the river bank waiting to get in line

This is the line of people on the other side of the river bank waiting to get in line

This bridge was destroyed on June 23 from a storm and this was just restored recently.

This bridge was destroyed on June 23 from a storm and this was just restored recently.

This is how big the place is to fill up and it gets totally filled every night with this procession from people from around the WORLD.

This is how big the place is to fill up and it gets totally filled every night with this procession from people from around the WORLD.

This is the procession as night falls upon all.

This is the procession as night falls upon all.

The choir and others leading the prayers.

The choir and others leading the prayers.

A picture of the original grotto. Water still flows from the stones surrounding this shrine and you can touch it as you walk by.

A picture of the original grotto. Water still flows from the stones surrounding this shrine and you can touch it as you walk by.

If you can look at this picture enlarged, you can see that the face is of a young girl about 14 years old, just as Bernadette described her. This is different than all other depictions of Immaculate Mary.

If you can look at this picture enlarged, you can see that the face is of a young girl about 14 years old, just as Bernadette described her. This is different than all other depictions of Immaculate Mary.

The Coronation of Mary

The Coronation of Mary

Then of course, the Basilica is lined with these stories.

Then of course, the Basilica is lined with these stories.

I probably wasn't supposed to take a picture of this, but I did. The original water as it came up and started flowing.

I probably wasn’t supposed to take a picture of this, but I did. The original water as it came up and started flowing.

Another story through this picture. All of these are done in individual mosaic tiles.

Another story through this picture. All of these are done in individual mosaic tiles.

A close up of the top of the Basilica, the columns behind are separate chapels with the middle one being the largest.

A close up of the top of the
Basilica, the columns behind are separate chapels with the middle one being the largest. We walked up the sides of this ramp to the first story to watch the procession, there is also a second story to watch from.

This cave like wall doesn't look like the water is flowing from it, even close up, but when you touch it, it is totally wet.

This cave like wall doesn’t look like the water is flowing from it, even close up, but when you touch it, it is totally wet.

2 thoughts on “Lourdes and St. Emillion

  1. We are trying to stay up to date, but the pictures take quite a long time to do. That is why our posts are first and the pics are later.

    Like

  2. Annabelle loved talking to you today and so did I ! Miss you guys so much ! Ben says hello!
    Keep up the blog and photos.. we love it 🙂

    Like

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