Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes
The Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes is one-seventh the size of the famed French shrine where the Virgin Mary appeared to Saint Bernadette on 18 occasions in 1858. Visiting the site on one of his many trips to his native country, Notre Dame founder Father Edward Sorin vowed to reproduce it on the campus of his new university. A gift from Rev. Thomas Carroll, a former theology student, made it possible in 1896. Boulders from surrounding farms, most weighing two tons or more, were used in its construction.
A small piece of stone from the original grotto in France is located on the right-hand side of the shrine directly below the statue of Mary. To Notre Dame students and alumni, the Grotto is a special place to spend a few quiet moments, and especially during football weekends and finals, you might have difficulty finding a candle to light. Hundreds of students have proposed marriage here; outdoor Masses are celebrated regularly; and the Rosary is prayed every day at 6:45 p.m., every day of the year, rain or shine.
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