Pilgrims filling bottles with water from the spring in the grotto of Massabielle in Lourdes.
The location of the spring was described to Bernadette Soubirous by Mary in February 1858. Since that time millions of pilgrims have followed Mary’s instruction to “drink at the spring and wash in it”.
Although never actively encouraged by the Church, Lourdes water has become a focus of the pilgrimage to the French shrine. The water is believed to possess healing power. Miraculous springs are also found at many other Marian shrines around the world.