After suffering severe flooding over the weekend, parts of the Shrine at Lourdes are gradually being reopened. When the river Gave de Pau overflowed on Friday and Saturday waves washed up a thick layer of mud and debris, creating a landscape of desolation in the Sanctuary. Thanks to the help of the Fire Department department of Hautes-Pyrenees and Lourdes municipal services, clearing-up operations began on Sunday afternoon around the Grotto of Massabielle and are now well underway.
Mgr Nicholas Brouwet, Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes, has now announced on the website of the Sanctuary, the progressive reopening of Sanctuaries for the pilgrims. This morning, (Monday, October 22) the gates of Saint-Michel and Saint-Joseph and the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary and the Chapel of Reconciliation have been reopened to pilgrims. This afternoon there will be access to the water fountains in the Domaine.
Tonight at 9pm, the Torchlight Marian Procession will take place, and tomorrow (Tuesday 23 October) the Grotto will be reopened.
Due to extensive damage, the Prairie, the two bridges, Sanctuaries (with the exception of the Home Gateway Notre Dame) and baths, remain inaccessible for the moment.
To see Bishop Brouwet's latest announcement, in French, and further films from Lourdes, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVMld3FgeH4
Source: Lourdes Press Office