Here is the man who made it all possible...
(Note the gray skies... we had a lot of rain as we traveled.)
The next day... the first pilgrimage stop: 140 Rue de Bac, and the Chapel of the Miraculous Medal. It's a cool website, so you should check it out. This is where the Blessed Mother appeared to St. Catherine Labore and explained to Catherine that she'd like what we call "the Miraculous Medal" designed and struck. You remember what the Miraculous Medal is, right??
Nope, not that. That's St. Pat. Just checking to make sure you're awake.
That's right, you remember.
the shrine website, so do check it out. The chair is roped off in front of a side altar next to the main altar, and I just love that Mary came and sat to have chats with Catherine. That statue is St. Vincent de Paul... he founded the religious order that Catherine was a part of. You may be interested to know that St. Vincent's heart is in that reliquary above the tabernacle... and the flames of the heart of love of Vincent is depicted behind his statue... he was so on fire with love of God and neighbor... kind of reminds me of the the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. (Requisite shout out to my fellow St. John's University alums, founded by the Vincentians.)
For you Paris tourists who love to shop, this shrine is right across the street from Le Bon Marche! well, of course I had to go in and see what all the fuss was about! Here's my husband's eye for photograhy... pictured below... One of the first department stores in Paris... it's a relic from another age. Here's the center foyer.
A bit of lunch and we were off to Sainte-Chapelle. (A cool 4 minute video here can explain this so much better than I can.) But there is some of the most breath-taking stained glass in the world there... and a good portion is under construction for years to come. Our photos don't do it justice, but there's all kinds of cool stuff on the web on it.
If you saw Catholicism with Fr. Robert Barron, you'll recognize this door below... now, if you didn't before, you're gonna want to watch that 4 minute video I suggested.
And for dessert? Prayer at Notre Dame Cathedral... coming up on its 850 year birthday. <-more details here.
We've been here before, and the weather was threatening, so we just dashed inside out of the rain, and did not get many photos this visit. So I'll let Google images help here. I was happy to pray in the quiet, soak in the beauty of the Rose Windows with my binoculars, and light a candle is front of the Little Flower, St. Therese of Lisieux.
The next day we were off on a 6 hour train ride from Paris to...
This was my first glimpse of her when we arrived... she stands like a strong tower in the center plaza greeting everyone, and tons of flowers are at her feet from grateful pilgrims.
The highlight for me was the Grotto...
If you listen to the latest Among Women podcast, I describe the different basilicas on the grounds of the sanctuary. This is the one built on the rock above the grotto... the first church on the site.
And below, here you can see the plaza area in front of the Grotto, but you can't see the Grotto for the trees on the left under the wall.
This is the view of the long piazza where the processions take place, below, and on the far hill, an old fortress... probably the only other "tourist" site in Lourdes.
So that's why I'm sticking with Mary....
The daily candle-light Rosary procession...Momma Mary walking with her children.
Her image looked better in real life... the lighting freaked out the camera phone light sensor...
Of course, here's one of Mary's best friends... St Bernadette...
This painting below is the earliest known portrait of her as a young girl.
We lit a candle for your intentions.
And we had a Mass said for the intentions too.
You might enjoy this live web cam, and website from Lourdes!