Sunday, August 18, 2019

inSPIREd Sunday

Sally and Beth host inSPIREd Sunday!  

May 2019 - Lourdes France

We found this church by chance as we saw a procession heading towards it. 
We crossed a large open field that was actually the roof of the largest church in the Sanctuary, the Underground Basilica of St. Pius X.

This is not a pretty church at all. It is all cement and being underground it is cold and dark. It is also gigantic!
We didn't get any great photos as the procession had entered and mass had begun so we just walked around the edge.


The Basilica of Saint Pius X, informally known as the Underground Basilica, is a large Roman Catholic church and minor basilica. It is part of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes. Lourdes is a major Catholic pilgrimage site and the Catholic Church endorses the belief that the Virgin Mary appeared to Saint Bernadette Soubirous there.

The Basilica of St. Pius X is the largest and most controversial of the Domain's churches. It was completed in 1958 in anticipation of the enormous crowds expected in Lourdes for the centenary of the Apparitions. A modern, concrete building, it is almost entirely underground (part of the building lies beneath the Boulevard Père Rémi Sempé above).

The Basilica was designed by the architect Pierre Vago. The nave is oval, 191 metres (627 ft) long and 61 metres (200 ft) wide, and slopes gently upwards from the centre, where the sanctuary is situated on a raised platform. The ceiling is low, at only 10 metres (33 ft) high, and is supported by 58 pre-stressed concrete pillars which meet 29 concrete beams which cross the ceiling, giving it the impression of an upturned ship. This design creates a very large open space, of 12,000 square metres (130,000 sq ft), for maximum visibility from any part of the nave. When full it can accommodate up to 25,000 worshippers.


  1. ...I think of churches as been about light, what a change here!

  2. Not a pretty church, no doubt my mother went there as she visted Lourdes a few times when seh was alive


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