United States: a Catholic parish builds a replica of the grotto of Lourdes

A bit of Lourdes in the United States. On the initiative of the local Saint Bernadette Catholic Church, a replica of the Grotto of Mabielle, in which the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared 18 times to Bernadette Soubirous in the 19th century, is being built in Scottsdale, Arizona.

For Father Don Kline, at the head of the American parish, the construction of this replica is motivated by the fact of “thanking the Virgin” for having manifested herself to Saint Bernadette: “As a baptized parish in homage to Saint Bernadette, we said to ourselves that it would be good to honor the Virgin Mary, he explains to the Parisian. We hope that by coming to pray here, people will find Our Lady’s peace, joy and comfort. »

The cave will be reproduced on a 1/7th scale. The imposing construction, which began in September, still costs a trifle of 300,000 dollars (about 277,000 euros) and is entirely financed by donations from the local faithful, says Father Kline, who claims “never to ask for donations”. The cave should be completed and open to the public in June, located on land belonging to the parish and adjacent to the church. But a preview of the final rendering is already available online.

A 3D animation put online to help the faithful to project themselves

“A lot of people want to know what the project will look like, so we uploaded a 3D animation, so that they can imagine the outcome,” says Father Kline. Once the grotto is completed and accessible, it must be filled with 150 candles that worshipers can light to invoke the Virgin Mary.

“Penches and a prie-dieu will also be installed so that the faithful can gather and pray”, underlines the ecclesiastic. As he also told The Midi Dispatcha stone from the sanctuary of Lourdes will be placed in the grotto, as well as a fountain with water from the city.

The priest keeps a very strong link with the city of Hautes-Pyrénées. His three visits to Lourdes were particularly moving: “Each time, the pilgrimage brought me peace and healing. I hope that by seeing our grotto, many people will be encouraged to visit Lourdes”, he calls for.

Mes for the sick organized

As in Lourdes, Eucharistic processions and Marian processions, that is to say nocturnal, will also take place “to help nourish the faith of the faithful”. They will not be the only ones to benefit from this replica, since the parish of Sainte Bernadette also has an adjoining primary school. Thus, the “640 students will be able to see this beautiful cave every day”, rejoices Don Kline.

In line with what is done in Lourdes every year, Father Don Kline plans that this replica of the cave of Mabielle also host “healing mes” for the sick. He hopes that “many will find hope and healing in these sacred grounds”.

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