5 things you didn’t know about the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes

Published on 6 September 2021 - 16:52

It’s back to school time in France. The opportunity to revise your knowledge of Lourdes and who knows, may be acquire some new facts!

Can you answer these 5 questions (answers below):

– How many hectares does the Sanctuary cover?
– How many people can the Basilica of Pius X hold?
– How many places of worship are there in the Sanctuary?
– What profession only exists in the Sanctuary?
– How many miracles of healing have been proven in Lourdes since the mandate or date of recognition of the Sanctuary (18th January 1862)?


– The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes covers an area of ​​50 hectares, including the esplanade, the prairie and the Espelugues mountain. This is equivalent to around 70 football pitches.
– The Pius X Basilica can hold 25,000 people. It is the 2nd largest basilica in the world after Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome in the Vatican.
– There are no less than 29 places of worship in the Sanctuary: 3 basilicas and 1 church, but also chapels of different sizes all over the site.
– The trade of feutier only exists in Lourdes. However, the word does not exist in the dictionary, as it was invented in Lourdes. These are the people who are responsible for lighting and maintaining the candles in the Sanctuary. You can see them esepcially in the chapels of light.
– Currently, there have been 70 officially recognised miracles in Lourdes since 1862, at the Bureau of Medical Observations. The last miraculous cure, of Sister Bernadette Moriau, was in 2008 and it was recognised as a miracle in 2018… 150 years after the 1st miraculous cure of Catherine Latapie in 1858.