Torchlight procession

The Torchlight Procession

One of the highlights of any pilgrimage to Lourdes has always been the Torchlight Procession.  Everyone assembles at around 7pm, while it is still fairly light, since in Lourdes night falls quickly.  All the pilgrims, carrying their candles, both those in wheelchairs and those pushing the chairs - the handmaids and the brancardiers - process round the Esplanade. While they are processing, the pilgrims recite the Rosary, all in their different languages.  The Our Father and the ten Hail Marys are spoken because, at the time of the apparitions, Bernadette had spoken them.  The Glory Be, however, is sung - in Latin, so that everybody can sing together - since it was at the Glory Be, where at the Grotto, Our Lady had joined in the prayer.

By the time the Procession has gone round the Esplanade and assembled in front of the Basilica, the light from the candles contrasts with the surrounding darkness.

Lourdes: A Taste of Heaven
  1. The Cachot
  2. 1st Apparition - Bernadette and 'The little lady'
  3. 2nd Apparition - Holy water
  4. 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th Apparitions - The promise
  5. 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th Apparitions - The spring of water
  6. 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th Apparitions - The first healing
  7. 16th Apparition - The name
  8. 17th Apparition - Gathering evidence
  9. 18th and Final Apparition - The Declaration
  10. The Stations of the Cross on the hill, and those alongside the river.
  11. The Crypt of the Basilica
  12. The Lower Basilica (often called The Rosary Basilica)
  13. The Upper Basilica, also called The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
  14. The Torchlight Procession
  15. The Underground Basilica
  16. The Crowned Statue