Our Lady Of Lourdes Basilica Of The Rosary. France. by Ralph de Zilva

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Our Lady Of Lourdes Basilica Of The Rosary. France. by 

SOLD A 23.2″ × 15.7″ POSTER TO AN UNKNOWN BUYER ON 12.10.2013

Nikon F90 (Film Camera) & Nikkor 24-120mm lens

This was captured on Fuji 400 ASA film in April 2002

Featured in
Religious Architecture on 07.08.2012

On 11 February 1858, a 14-year-old local peasant girl, Bernadette Soubirous, had a life-altering visit to a cave with her siblings to gather wood. According to accounts, “Lifting her head, she saw, in the crevice of the rock, a young girl, surrounded by light, who looked at her and smiled.” The lady later identified herself as “the Immaculate Conception” and the faithful believe her to be the Blessed Virgin Mary. The lady appeared 18 times, and by 1859 thousands of pilgrims were visiting Lourdes. A statue of Our Lady of Lourdes was erected at the site in 1864. Lourdes went from being a small village in the Pyrenees to a global attraction.

This was the first of eighteen visions Bernadette claims to have had of the Virgin Mary. Bernadette eventually became a nun in Nevers. Today, the cave is just at the base of the Basilica. Streams of believers, many in wheelchairs or even rolled in on gurneys, swarm the cave where Bernadette had her visions for a taste of the water from the spring there and with hopes for a miracle.

Since the apparitions, Lourdes has become one of the world’s leading Catholic Marian shrines and the number of visitors grows each year. It has such an important place within the Roman Catholic church, that Pope John Paul II visited the shrine twice on 15 August 1983 and 14–15 August 2004. In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI authorized special indulgences to mark the 150th anniversary of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Yearly from March to October the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes is a place of mass pilgrimage from Europe and other parts of the world. The spring water from the grotto is believed by millions around the world to possess healing properties.

An estimated 200 million people have visited the shrine since 1860 and the Roman Catholic Church has officially recognised 68 healings considered miraculous. Cures are examined for authenticity and authentic miracle healing with no physical or psychological basis other than the healing power of the water.

Tours from all over the world are organized to visit the Sanctuary. Connected with this pilgrimage is often the consumption of or bathing in the Lourdes water which wells out of the Grotto.

At the time of the apparitions the grotto was on common land which was used by the villagers variously for pasturing animals and collecting firewood.


church, landscape

I have always had a love of capturing images and in my early teens took many photographs on my little Kodak camera. I loved the wild open spaces and bird life in particular and longed to be able to be an accomplished photographer. It took ill health and a forced early retirement to re-kindle this love of photography. I am a self-taught amateur photographer who has had no formal training. I take great pride and joy in my work and these days have the time to pursue this wonderful hobby.

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  • Audrey Clarke
    Audrey Clarkealmost 2 years ago

  • Thanks Audrey.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Margaret Stanton
    Margaret Stantonalmost 2 years ago


  • Thank you Margaret.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Rachel Williams
    Rachel Williamsalmost 2 years ago

    Fantastic image. Well framed.

  • Thanks very much for your comment and fave.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Leanna Lomanski
    Leanna Lomanskialmost 2 years ago

  • Thanks so much Leanna for the feature.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • BlueMoonRose
    BlueMoonRosealmost 2 years ago

    Excellent clarity and composition!

  • Thank you, Kathryn.

    – Ralph de Zilva

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