|The Grotto under normal circumstances|
|Source The Grotto at Lourdes|
Giving new meaning to the words of the Lourdes Ave, the BBC World Service is reporting the evacuation of pilgrims from the Sanctuaries in Lourdes:
"Hundreds of Roman Catholic pilgrims have been evacuated from the sanctuary of Lourdes in France after heavy flooding in the area. The Gave de Pau river burst its banks after days of rain, flooding campsites around the shrine and parts of the southern city itself.........More than 450 pilgrims, including the sick and disabled, were evacuated from the area by Saturday, local officials say. The water now is about a metre (three feet) deep in front of the grotto where the Virgin Mary is believed to have appeared, covering the altar. However, the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception itself - situated on higher ground - has not suffered any damage, officials say."Journal.ie is reporting that 50 Irish pilgrims are amongst those being evacuated.
Coverage from Irish Independent - Irish among hundreds of evacuated pilgrims.
From the official Facebook page of the Sanctuaries at Lourdes: