Fire destroys half of the Chapels of Light at Lourdes shrine

CNA Staff   By CNA Staff


A panoramic view of the burned area and an image of Our Lady affected by a fire at the Lourdes shrine in France, July 11, 2022. / Credit: Sanctuary of Lourdes

Denver Newsroom, Jul 12, 2022 / 16:19 pm (CNA).

Half of the Chapels of Light at Our Lady of Lourdes shrine in France were destroyed by a fire during the night of July 10–11. The fire was quickly brought under control.

“Another hard blow for the Shrine at Lourdes, which didn’t need it,” tweeted Father Olivier Ribadeau Dumas, rector of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, lamenting the destruction.

“But the main thing is that there were no injuries and that pilgrims can continue to pray in the chapels that remain and continue to light candles,” he wrote.

In a statement, the shrine estimated damages to be a little more than $1.5 million.

Located since 2018 on the bank opposite the place where the shrine’s baths are located, the Chapels of Light are one of the quietest places for recollection, next to the grotto of the apparitions.

The four out of eight chapels that were destroyed are located further down the river that runs through the grounds of the shrine. The last two chapels are the ones that have been used so far to place the heaviest and largest candles.

Also damaged was the statue of Our Lady situated next to the river facing the Chapels of Light. Many pilgrims confidently leave their rosaries in her hands. Each year, 380 metric tons of candles are used in these chapels.

Although the activity of the Lourdes shrine has gradually picked up since the pandemic, it has barely recovered half the number of regular visitors it had before 2020. While diocesan pilgrimages of the sick from all over the world have slowly begun to return to the shrine, they have been smaller in number as a precaution.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.

About Catholic News Agency 7501 Articles
Catholic News Agency (

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Fire destroys half of the Chapels of Light at Lourdes shrine – Via Nova Media
  2. Fire destroys half of the Chapels of Light at Lourdes shrine | Passionists Missionaries Kenya, Vice Province of St. Charles Lwanga, Fathers & Brothers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.