Lourdes attendance

Lourdes has been an international shrine since its creation. Whether you come on pilgrimage or for a few hours, the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes is a meeting place, open to everyone.
The Shrine is not just a historical building being maintained; it is a living place being transformed year after year to better welcome pilgrims and help them discover the universality of the Message of Lourdes.

The entire world comes to Lourdes

As soon as the apparitions took place in 1858, crowds of people flocked to the Grotto of Massabielle, around little Bernadette Soubirous.
The first pilgrimage from abroad took place in 1874: the Belgian national pilgrimage brought together more than a thousand pilgrims to Lourdes. In order to accommodate the ever-increasing crowds of pilgrims, the Shrine has built, over the years, basilicas, a church, chapels and a home for the sick. Whether they are pilgrims for a day or lifelong pilgrims, families or dioceses, practicing believers or visitors for an hour, it is very difficult to identify a pilgrim “standard profile”. Nevertheless, we can distinguish:

– The pilgrims
They are all those who come to Lourdes on a spiritual journey.
Often, they are parishes, dioceses, countries, religious families, or even tour operators. These pilgrimage organisations are often several dozen years old. The Shrine knows exactly how many there are because they are registered. They are in close contact with the Shrine for bookings and special requests.

– The visitors
They are those who come to Lourdes alone or with their families, for a few days or a few hours. They mingle with the large crowd of pilgrims and sometimes take part in the celebrations.
Pilgrims and visitors from all over the world: 80 nationalities welcomed in the Shrine. Lourdes is international because the simplicity and depth of its message brings together crowds from all nations and backgrounds.
The Shrine welcomes everyone, the whole society, regardless of culture, religion or lack of religion. Everyone will find what they are looking for.

Lourdes is in the entire world

 “Lourdes” is a name known throughout the world.
On every continent there are countless reproductions of the Grotto of Massabielle, as well as parishes and schools named after “Our Lady of Lourdes”.

The 2020s
In 2020, the pandemic had (and still has) a major impact on the number of pilgrims in Lourdes.
The very essence of Lourdes has been affected by the fact that fragile people and foreign pilgrims were no longer able to travel.
However, the Shrine knows how to innovate, how to be resilient, and since 2020 it has been doing its utmost to welcome pilgrims from all over the world once again.

A few figures

Pilgrimages with sick people
2019: 445,000 pilgrims
2020: 35,000 pilgrims
2021: 100,000 pilgrims
Projections for 2022: 150,200 pilgrims

The flow of individual pilgrims and visitors
2019: actual figure not known
2020: 800,000 visitors
2021: 1.5 million visitors
Projections for 2022: 1.5 million visitors