Before you read too much of this post, you need to know that the miracle referred to in the title isn’t a religious miracle. Just want you to be clear. The Fashion Mister and I know the story of Lourdes and it is probably the original miracles at Lourdes that led to us knowing of Lourdes and therefore even thinking to stop in Lourdes. But, most would say our miracle was of a different kind.
This miracle was related to our GPS and where humans sometimes make the best GPS.
The Original Miracle: The original miracle at Lourdes had to do with Bernadette finding a spring in a grotto and also having visions of the Virgin Mary. All of which led to healings occurring at the spring. I know for you purists, there is a lot more to tell. For those of you who aren’t familiar but want to know more, you can check out the links or google it.
Our Miracle at Lourdes: Once again our adventure had a bit to do with driving, the GPS and being helped by some very kind people. We were booked for the night in the Hotel Montfort, which is in the middle of the above picture. I’m thinking if you look at the picture you can tell how it got its name. Even though there are a zillion and one hotels in Lourdes, it is actually a small town, set on a river, surrounded by hills. Most of the streets are tiny and one-way. Something the GPS didn’t seem to know! I followed her directions, until she told me to turn right down a one-way street. I thought maybe she meant this next street which allowed for a right and turned there. We promptly ended up on a dead-end road heading up the hill to the fort with no place to turn around.
The Fashion Mister, got out of the car and went to see if he could get directions. While he was doing that I figured we weren’t going anywhere till I backed down the tiniest road I had ever been on. So I took a deep breath and started backing down the hill. As I pulled on to the lower road the Fashion Mister came back and said, “follow that guy”.
Ahead of me was a man on a motorcycle, so I followed him.
As we twisted and turned around the hill on more tiny one-way streets, the Fashion Mister said he had asked a lady for directions and she was giving them, in French, then she said, “wait”, yelled to someone named Patrick and this guy came out of a little restaurant. The lady spoke to him and then Patrick asked the Fashion Mister if he spoke English. When the Fashion Mister replied yes, Patrick said, “follow me, I will lead you there.”
When we got to the Hotel Montfort, the Fashion Mister offered some money to Patrick for his trouble just as the Chef at the hotels restaurant came out. Patrick said, “No need, this is my best friend” and introduced the Fashion Mister to the Chef.
It seems that our GPS hadn’t been updated in 20 months and during that time the road she told us to turn right on had become a one-way street. Although we weren’t far from where we wanted to be it would be hard to get to without knowing that one little detail!
So our miracle at Lourdes was that we were lost but then we were found, thanks to Patrick and his mum.
The People and the Place: As it turned out, the people at Lourdes were all very nice. In fact the nicest we would meet in France. I had two years of high school french, a very long time ago, but I could remember the very basics. We could order dinner and in the morning coffee and some pastries for breakfast. The church and grotto are open to the public. Some guys who were locking up the huge underground chapel, let us in and turned on the lights for us so we could see it. The shop keepers were happy to chat in English and I would recommend that even if you aren’t religious or catholic, if you are in the South of France, make the time to stop in Lourdes. Just make sure your GPS is current!
One More Miracle: Once we left Lourdes the next day, we ran into a bit of rain. However, listening to the news that night after we saw that the rain in Barcelona had been extreme and that parts of Barcelona had flooded! A few days further on in our trip, we heard on the news that the rains in France had gotten worse and that the river in Lourdes had broken the banks and that Lourdes had flooded! If we had been there when it happened we would have been stuck at our hotel until the road running along the edge of the river was cleared. Our lives wouldn’t have been in danger but our holiday would have hit a speed bump.
So we had out own miracle at Lourdes, thanks to Patrick!
- 68th miracle of Lourdes officially recognized (cinews.ie)
- Watch scenes from “Lourdes: A Story of Faith, Science and Miracles”… (insightscoop.typepad.com)
- Pilgrims evacuated from flood-threatened Lourdes (cbsnews.com)
- Lourdes to Close! (misebogland.wordpress.com)
- Hundreds rescued from flooding in France (bigpondnews.com)
- Floods prompt evacuations in Catholic shrine town (foxnews.com)