Sunday, 21 October 2012

Lourdes Water...

The Grotto at Lourdes, the site where Our Lady appeared to St. Bernadette, is currently under about 3 feet of water.

After days of torrential rain, the River Gave burst its banks, and pilgrims were evacuated from nearby hotels along with about 40 people who were forced to leave their homes.

The basilica itself is still accessible, according to the report on CNA. I assume they mean the Immaculate Conception basilica and Crypt, at the top of the ramps, rather than the Rosary Basilica itself, which is on the lower level, though, as the entrance to the Rosary basilica is up some steps, it's just possible that this is above the level of the flooding.

I love Lourdes, and have been there on pilgrimage several times. Being in a mountainous region, it does get rather a lot of rain. When I went there in 2009, it was pretty wet... it rained so hard one afternoon that my mascara was washed down my cheeks. I made sure I wore waterproof mascara after that. The locals were speculating then on whether the Gave would burst its banks, and we were told that Brancardiers had been piling up sandbags along the banks on the opposite side to the Grotto. I took a photo of the bridge across the Gave near the Grotto...

And, for comparison, here's a photo of the bridge in 2010:

River Gave beside the Grotto

You can see how much more space there is under the bridge. You can also see how high the wall is on the Grotto side of the river. The current downpour is said to be the worst in 25 years.

The photo below is a shot of the Grotto, taken from the point at which St. Bernadette had been kneeling when she saw Our Lady (if I recall correctly) - and I've included this one because of the altar and the candle stand. Admittedly, the stand does change in height depending on which candles are placed in it...

And now, for comparison, have a look at the following pictures of the Grotto yesterday... Check out the top of the altar in the first picture...

Twitch of the mantilla to Fr. Ray Blake for those last two photos.

CNA had the following video clips from Friday, showing the rising water levels. It's heartbreaking to watch.

Fortunately, there don't seem to have been any deaths, and at least this happened at the end of the pilgrimage season, so those affected will have some time to get things sorted out before next year.

The webcams in Lourdes are down at the moment, due to the flooding. Pray for all the pilgrims, and all those who live and work in Lourdes.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...