Gruta de la Virgen de Lourdes and a flood of tears

Gruta de la Virgin de Lourdes,Alta Gracia,Church in Alta Gracia,Virgen de Lourdes,Virgen de Lourdes en Alta Gracia

When I set off this morning to visit a church that was built in 1916, I had no idea that I would be overcome by emotions and burst out in tears. Let me start from the beginning.

Today was a beautiful winters morning. The sun was shining and I quickly took off my jacket and enjoyed the brisk walk. The church that I was about to visit is more or less 3 kilometres from the centre of Alta Gracia. I was in good spirits and thoroughly enjoyed my walk. A man was selling candles at the entrance and I didn´t buy any because I was not sure what to do with it.

I immediately noticed a lot of elderly people walking towards me. I greeted them with a friendly “Buen dia” and kept on walking wondering where this church was. I was walking through a big and beautiful park. The serenity was touchable and it put me in an even better mood. I was anxious to get to the church because I got the distinct impression that the church service had just ended.

A beautiful rock gate awaited me and I quickly checked if I could see a time table. Yes I was right. There was a mass and I missed it. I felt slightly disappointed but carried on walking anyway.

La Gruta de la Virgin in Alta Gracia

I reached a place carved out of rock and stone and in the middle was a statue of a woman. Flowers were laying at her feet. Three women were sitting in the front rows and I couldn´t see their faces. A man was in the front praying. I sat down for a while and didn´t want to disturb anyone.

La Gruta de la Virgin in Alta Gracia

As I got up I saw a wall to my left. It was very interesting with what looked like plaques all over it. What was this? I had absolutely no idea. I walked up the stairs and started to look around. All the plaques had a short message and in this message they were thanking “The Virgen of Lourdes“. I am not Catholic and I don´t know much about the Saints and Virgins. I put my camera down and started to read what was written on the plaques.

La Gruta de la Virgin in Alta Gracia

A photo of a baby was mounted to one and another had a small wooden house next to it. Suddenly I remembered a story that friends told me. They were childless for many years and she went to a sacred place and prayed for a miracle. 2 months later she was pregnant! I remembered then that it must have been the “Virgen of Lourdes”.

La Gruta de la Virgin in Alta Gracia

It happened so quickly and the next moment my eyes were welling up with tears and I was sobbing. No sound, just tears running down my cheek. I was overwhelmed by all the miracles that I have seen in front of me. How often do we see that? It showed me that miracles still happen. I prayed for one as well.

I walked up the stairs to find the church. It is a beautiful church built out of rock and it is a replica of the original Lourdes Grotto in the French Pyrenees. I still had no idea what it all meant but that is what the brochure said.

Gruta de la Virgin de Lourdes,Alta Gracia,Church in Alta Gracia,Virgen de Lourdes,Virgen de Lourdes en Alta Gracia
The beautiful old church at the Gruta de la Virgin de Lourdes.

The church was closed but I could peek inside through the security gate. The church is in desperate need of maintenance and paint were peeling on the walls. Nevertheless it was beautiful.

La Gruta de la Virgin in Alta Gracia
Inside the church

As I made my way down I saw a pair of soccer shoes on the stairs.

La Gruta de la Virgin in Alta Gracia

I walked back to the wall of recognition and saw a huge chandelier of candles standing in one corner. Now I understood why I had to buy a candle. I felt guilty. I lingered for another couple of minutes and then walked back to the entrance. My feet felt heavy. I was still in the moment.

La Gruta de la Virgin in Alta Gracia

There is a beautiful restaurant just outside the entrance and I stopped to have a cup of coffee. It was time to sit down.I couldn´t help to think that I came here today to see an old church and instead I have witnessed miracles. I was moved beyond words.

La Gruta de la Virgin in Alta Gracia

Date visited: 14 July 2011
Where: Alta Gracia, Cordoba, Argentina 

I have been fortunate to have done quite a bit of travelling over the last 10 years. By heart I am an adventurer and I love exploring new places, cultures and food. Travelling can become stressful and expensive. Over the years I have learnt to travel as cost effective as possible, simply by travelling more clever. Nelmitravel.com is a Adventure and Budget Travel site where I review Airlines, Accommodation, Transport, Restaurants and give helpful travel information.

43 Comments

  1. oh, how i wish i could have been there with you just to fell the stones under my feet. to see the wall and our lady of Lourdes. you are truly bless to have been there. thank you for the taste of it god bless

  2. You were able to uncover hidden treasures inside the church you've visited and that's how it goes with all the travels you've done. You had more light after every experience. Very beautiful sharing Nelieta!

  3. I'm so glad you had that visit Nelieta. I spent so much time with it as if I went there myself. Hmmm…It looks so beautiful inside and outside. You have entered into the mystery and the ambience. It's so sacred. Even I was moved…Oh and miracles do await us… I love your docility and openness…:*

  4. Thank you for sharing this very personal moment with us. I remember as a child hearing about Lourdes it was such a moving story and you have brought those feeling back with your post. Thank YouI stumbled and Google+1Jim

  5. Ohhhh what a beautiful adventure you just took me on…I'm not catholic or believe in any religion but this took me beyond and brought tears…thank you…As always….XOXOXOXO

  6. We have many places in the Philippines flocked by pilgrims because of stories of miracles. It's quite amazing to witness the devotion and faith of the people. Sometime you wonder if the place was really blessed or it was just their intense faith that brought the miracles.

  7. Hi Jim, thank you for the Stumble and Google +. I have never heard of her before or the story behind it. All I knew about the name was that Modaonna named her daughter Lourdes 🙂 This was such a rare experience and it touched me on such a deep level.Thank you for stopping by 🙂

  8. Hi Claire personally I believe it is their intense faith. I believe with faith all things are possible. I have never witnessed anything like this before and it really touched me on such a deep level. I will never be able to forget the emotions and feelings I had there 🙂

  9. Hi Debra, you know I never thought about it that way but now that you have mentioned it I am sure you are right. Things happen for a reason and I had to be there. Maybe I will not get a miracle but I got a clear message never to lose hope…that is what I will do 🙂

  10. What a beautiful experience Nelieta. I have heard about the lady of Lourdes and read a book called Miracle. There are places here to in India where if you have faith, miracles do become a reality.

  11. Nelieta, the next time you go to a place that burns candle like that , if did by one or could not buy one lite one that has gone out add your pray to those who have prayed and you will be blessed god bless

  12. i was about to make a glib comment about shoes, tides or even ballet ? they looked like ballet shoes. but i followed sj's advice and read behind the photo story , i'm glad i did .. ;(

  13. Wow ..a great post ,I m a catholic …i just wanna say one thing .you mentioned "Even miracles take a little time" its really true …. i have experienced this a lot .One has to believe god and sure he/her ll get

  14. Hi Debra, you know I never thought about it that way but now that you have mentioned it I am sure you are right. Things happen for a reason and I had to be there. Maybe I will not get a miracle but I got a clear message never to lose hope…that is what I will do 🙂

  15. Hi Jim, thank you for the Stumble and Google +. I have never heard of her before or the story behind it. All I knew about the name was that Modaonna named her daughter Lourdes 🙂 This was such a rare experience and it touched me on such a deep level.Thank you for stopping by 🙂

  16. One of the things I love about travel is when I am unexpectedly moved by the places I encounter. Travel teaches us as much about ourselves as it does about the places we visit.Thanks for participating in the Traveler's Show & Tell blog carnival over at Mental Mosaic: Even Home is a Travel Destination. I hope to see you there again. :)~Tui

  17. Hi Tui, thank you for your lovely comment. What you are saying about travelling is so true and I have learnt and discovered many things over the years. Not just about places, people and cultures but most importantly about myself. It was fun participating in this event and I am looking forward to do so again :)Nelieta

  18. yo tengo un gran respeto a la virgen, y mas cuando yo tuve una vision que vi su rostro frente al mio y su rostro hera tan bello y sus facciones tan delicadas y de sus ojos corrian lagrimas. fue para mi algo tan especial que me haya sucedido a mi y nunca lo olvidare y siempre estara en mi corazon y se que ella me cuida a mi y a mis hijas. esto lo he compartido con mis hijas y pocas personas porque se que fue algo muy personal pero no se ahora que entre en esta informacion quise compartirlo con ustedes.

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