Why Pope Francis will pray the rosary at Lourdes Grotto replica on Saturday

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Pope Francis will pray a rosary on the eve of Pentecost in the Lourdes Grotto in the Vatican Gardens. It is a replica of Lourdes, France, where the Blessed Mother appeared to Bernadette Sourbirous.

The real grotto in France brings five million pilgrims annually, many of them sick, who hope to bathe in the miraculous healing spring that the Blessed Mother revealed to Bernadette in 1858.

The first cure in Lourdes, France, was reported in 1858 and 70 healings since have been deemed miraculous.

It was Pope Leo XIII who originally requested the grotto inside the Vatican Gardens. Since then, many popes have enjoyed praying in the peaceful spot. Benedict XVI often would go on evening walks and pray in this area, which is now just a few feet from his residence. 

Additionally, Lourdes was the final trip John Paul II made during his pontificate. He went to remember the 150th anniversary of the promulgation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

That's also why Pope Francis has chosen this delicate and prayerful spot to reflect on the rosary and pray for all those who are sick and are affected by the coronavirus. 

He is invoking Our Lady of Lourdes, praying that healings will take place around the world, and that COVID-19 will end. 

Melissa Butz

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