The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes is unlike any place on earth.
The Medical Bureau
Ruth Cranston’s pamphlet, A Protestant Looks at Lourdes, tells the medical story. She is a Protestant who “went to Lourdes out of an irrepressible curiosity.” Since the apparitions of 1858, the Lourdes Medical Bureau, an international organization of about 2,000 physicians representing every medical specialty, has worked on about 7,000 unexplained cures. Ruth Cranston quotes Dr. Francois Leuret, President of the Medical Bureau during her visit in 1953, “During my time here,” Dr. Leuret continued, “Jews, Moslems, Buddhists, Hindus, Protestants of all sects, have been among our colleagues; atheists and unbelievers, too. It’s this study of the cures by men of such different viewpoints that guarantees our good faith.”
To certify a miraculous cure, Lourdes has three stages of recognition. Only after the cure has been medically certified as an “unexpected cure” is the file sent to the local bishop, who also sends a copy to the bishop of the diocese where the person who was cured lives. The Church’s standards are so stringent that, among the 7,000 “unexplained” cures the Lourdes medical community has reviewed over more than a century, the Church has certified only 69 as miraculous!
The followers of St. John the Baptizer asked Rabbi Yeshua, “Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?” Mt 11:3, Rabbi Yeshua replied, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: The blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is he who takes no offense at me” Mt 11:4–6.
“Go and tell John what you hear and see.” Most of the people who visit Lourdes have rock solid Catholic faith. But persons who doubt the Church have much more reason to go. We’re talking about eternal life. Is it not worthwhile for every atheist to visit Lourdes, bring a doctor who can help him understand the 69 certified miraculous healings and thousands more that are beyond current scientific explanation and see for himself whether Rabbi Yeshua and the Blessed Virgin are who we believe they are?
The Spiritual Lift
However, from the Catholic Church’s wider perspective, by far the most important presence at Lourdes is the Blessed Virgin Mary herself. At the Grotto of Lourdes, “This grotto has become an astonishing school of prayer, where Mary teaches everyone to contemplate with love the face of the Christ.”
The Lourdes Sanctuary invites web site visitors to place a candle, place a petition at the Grotto, request a Mass, meditate on the Rosary, or simply say a prayer. On site visitors can take a bath in Lourdes water, go to Confession, participate in a Mass, a Blessed Sacrament Procession, Marian Procession, Adoration, and Way of the Cross. And there is much more for those who wish to deepen their relationship with the Blessed Virgin.
The Church has a motto, Christus laborabit. “Be there! Christ will do the work!” Of course, Rabbi Yeshua does all the healing at the request of his Blessed Mother, but prayer drives it all. Rabbi Yeshua wants us to ask. “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” Mt 7:7–8. “Hitherto you have asked nothing in my name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” Jn 16:24. We don’t always get what we ask for, but we always get what Rabbi Yeshua knows is best for us in the long run.