February 10, 2013. (Romereports.com)
More than 30,000 people are expected to attend the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes on Monday, on the 155 anniversary
of the first apparition of the Virgin Mary to a young girl named Bernadette.
Organizers at Lourdes
have spent the past few weeks preparing for
the expected surge in pilgrims, over the course of the next few days.
to tradition, the Virgin Mary first appeared to 14-year-old Bernadette
in 1858 inside a Grotto. For a period of several weeks, 18 additional
apparitions followed. Some years later the Church recognized the
apparitions and the shrine was built.
Today, more than six
million people visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes
making it the third most visited Marian shrine in Catholicism.
All the ceremonies will also be broadcast live through TV Lourdes
, the sanctuary's internet television channel.