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The Lourdes Cave - Lurdska jaskyna

On our wanderings, we often need to take a break. To unwind, leaving our troubling thoughts aside for a while. To stop for a break – not only for the body, but above all for the soul. There are many places where we can do just that, but the most adequate one was and still is nature, the space where humans feel as if they’ve returned to their origins, in communion with the Creator and the Life-giver. Such a place, hidden deep inside the woods, where you almost seem invited to meditate, to ponder the meaning of life and to search for the Divinity’s guidance, is the Lourdes Cave, one of the landmarks on our track. For Roman-Catholic believers, stopping here becomes a good moment for reinforcing their faith.

In the Catholic cult, the Lourdes caves are considered witnesses to the appearances of the Holy Virgin Mary. Throughout history, there are numerous references to her apparitions, with the purpose of providing guidance, of encouraging believers, of healing or working wonders. One of these apparitions took place of February 11th 1858 in Lourdes, a small French locality situated at the feet of the Pyrenees. The Virgin revealed herself to a 14-year-old girl, Bernadette Soubirous, who had gone out to gather brushwood together with her sister and a friend. Sick with asthma, the girl could not keep pace with the two girls; left behind, she is surprised, at a cave entrance, by the presence of a “lit up, smiling lady dressed in white, wearing an azure ribbon”. Frightened, Bernadette fell to her knees and started praying. When the other two girls returned, they found Bernadette glowing with happiness. Believers regarded this apparition as being one with the role of purifying the place and, soon enough, they started going to that place to pray, and to be healed. Remaining a pilgrimage place to this day, the Lourdes Cave gathers millions of catholic believers annually, and not only. The first apparition of the Virgin Mother of Lourdes is celebrated every year on February 11th.

The Lourdes Caves are currently located in places with a special significance for believers, as testimonies that should remind them of a joy they received, or of a hardship they managed to overcome, being helped by the power of faith. Pilgrimage to the Lourdes Cave, regardless of its location, feeds the soul, strengthens people’s faith and helps them not lose hope, even when the hardest troubles can be removed. Having the role of directing people towards faith, The Lourdes caves remain one of the most important elements of the Slovaks’ faith everywhere.

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