Travis Cuvelier is an athlete interested in sports such as lacrosse and baseball. However, he is also interested in history and learning new things. Below is a tale about the Healing Baths of Lourdes that has filled Travis Cuvelier with great interest and wonder.
Flowing from a spring in the Grotto of Massabielle in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of
Lourdes, Lourdes water is a non-liturgical holy water which was discovered by
Bernadette Soubirous on 25 February 1858. She was instructed by an apparition of
Virgin Marry to drink from this spring and bathe in it. It was during ninth apparition when
she was told to drink from this spring. Even though there was no spring there,
Bernadette began to scratch on earth and the water known as Lourdes water today,
began to flow.
It was during the month of April in that year, when a pool was built around it to channel
the water and store it for pilgrimages. In hopes to find special and unique mineral
properties, a scientific study was carried out in 1858 by a professor in Toulouse. His
only conclusion was that the water was pure and inert and held no extra ordinary
qualities different from other springs. Nevertheless, this miraculous water still cured and
healed sick pilgrims from all over the world and thus became known as the healing
By the year 1880, there were only two pools around this spring and they were being
filled by manual pumps. The first piscines, a wooden bathing house consisting of
fourteen pools, was created in 1880. The next set of pools was finished in 1891. This
accomplished the task of accommodating more pilgrims in an easy manner. The current
baths were first constructed in the year 1955 and later upgraded in the years of 1972
and 1980. Serving as a host to 350,000 people every year, the current accommodation
services include seventeen bathing rooms; eleven for women and remaining for the
males. Pilgrims usually bathe for a minute, during which they recite and offer their
prayers and faithfully immerse themselves into the holy water.
Flowing at a rate of 40 litres per minute, the water of Lourdes is collected and then
distributed through a series of taps from a stone circle around a small tower of Upper
Basilica. This water is either drank by the pilgrims or collected in bottles to take with
them. This stone is near the original destination of spring itself, which was carefully
protected and can only be seen through a glass layer. The water is usually cold and an
intricate mechanism was introduced in 2008 to continuously pump, circulate and purify
the water by irradiation.
The water was allowed to be collected in gallons and taken home for those who couldn’t
participate in the pilgrimage. Earlier, these gallons of waters were easily taken home by
pilgrims, but lately, in order to reduce terrorist threats and midair accidents, various
airplane organizations have strictly banned these gallons from their flights.
In the beginning, the shortage of pools and bathing facilities caused the water to be
polluted and filled with bandages, blood, dry human skin and several other ill causing
items left by the pilgrims. Miraculously, not only this never caused any known issues,
but uncountable pilgrims were healed in this water. Although the water of Lourdes is
strictly referred to as non-liturgical holy water, yet a blessing from a priest can turn this
into holy water.
Not everyone can find satisfaction and answer to their prayers in the water of Lourdes.
Cure and riddance from sickness is only earned by those who have faith and belief.
Saint Bernadette herself told the followers to have faith and to pray from the depths of
their hearts, in order for the water to reward them with blessings and cure.
The story of the healing baths of Lourdes is a fascinating story for Travis Cuvelier. To learn more about the interests of Travis Cuvelier, follow him on Tumblr: http://traviscuvelier.tumblr.com/.