If I were sick of some deadly disease, and it were revealed to me that I must die, yet none the less I should go to Lourdes; for if I should not be healed by Mary, I could at least learn how to suffer as a Christian ought. God has chosen this place - He only knows why, as He, too, alone chooses which man shall suffer and which be glad - He has chosen this place to show His power; and therefore has sent His Mother there, that we may look through her to Him.
- From the book Lourdes by Robert Hugh Benson (read online)
Behold, I will extend prosperity to her like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream; and you shall suck, you shall be carried upon her hip, and dandled upon her knees.
- Isaiah 66:12, the first reading for the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.
A late 19th century souvenir plaque from Lourdes.
The souvenir trade has been strong in Lourdes ever since the apparitions took place in 1858, and has given the town a somewhat commercialised feel.
Ave Maria de Lourdes, the hymn that is traditionally sung during the candle procession in the French shrine Lourdes.
In English the hymn is known as Immaculate Mary and is often sung in Catholic churches.