Located in a beautiful, wooded area, the Lourdes Grotto was among the first devotional sites completed at the Shrine. It is a replica of the famed Lourdes Grotto in France where Our Lady appeared in 1858 to a young, peasant girl named Bernadette Soubirous.
During the Grotto construction, finding a way to preserve the contours of the hillside while simulating the appearance of a rock cavern was a decided challenge for engineers. A local artisan proposed a way to duplicate the grotto at Lourdes. Dirt was piled up in such a way as to form a mold for the cavern.
Cement was poured over, around and behind the dirt mold to form a 3′ thick cement shell. The dirt was removed after the cement hardened and put on top of the structure. The result was nearly an exact reproduction scaled to two-thirds the size of the original Lourdes Grotto in France.
In 1961, the tenth Annual Solemn Novena – the first held at the Shrine’s present location – was held at the Lourdes Grotto.
Today, the Lourdes Grotto is beautifully landscaped with flower gardens, trees and shrubs and has been a favorite devotional site for pilgrims visiting the Shrine. A secluded altar is set within the Grotto for the occasional Mass, devotional service or wedding ceremony.
If you would like to have your wedding ceremony here at the Lourdes Grotto, contact a Representative at firstname.lastname@example.org