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Lourdes in SW France has 5 million visitors per year from the sick, the devout & the just plain curious.

LourdesLourdes (click for larger version)

Lourdes in France is the largest pilgrimage site in the world with over five million visitors each year. It all began in 1858 when a 14 year old, asthmatic girl named Bernadette Soubirous was resting in a cave near her home.

The Virgin Mary appeared to her and instructed her to dig with her hands into the soil of the cave. Water began to bubble up from an underground spring and it is this water which is said to contain the miraculous power of healing.

Nancy Lynne Robathan has written an in depth profile of Lourdes for us which you can see here.