THE WORLD AROUND US
 
The Sanctuary of Lourdes in Santiago, Chile (In Spanish )      
Today’s The World Around Us will be presented in Spanish, with subtitles in Arabic, Aulacese (Vietnamese), Chinese, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Mongolian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai.

Halo lovely viewers and welcome to The World Around Us. Today we will visit the beautiful Chilean Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes. It was in 1858 that the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to a 14-year old peasant girl named Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes in France. Bernadette claimed to have experienced a series of apparitions of a lady dressed in white and with a blue belt around her waist who eventually introduced herself as the Immaculate Conception, a name by which the Virgin Mary was known.

Just 20 years later, a devotee of Lourdes, priest of Santiago Father Jacinto Arriagada, wished to build a temple in honor of Our Lady of Lourdes in Santiago, adjacent to Quinta Normal. A wealthy neighbor, Don Alejandro Vigouroux, donated land to build the church and a grotto similar to the one in France. That same year, the construction began for the first temple in Chile dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes. Let’s hear more about the history of this sanctuary from Father Hector Garcia Ochoa.

This shrine began humbly back to 1880. Look at the year, the Virgin of Lourdes appeared in 1858 in Lourdes in France and about 25 years later, the love, the devotion to the Virgin of Lourdes came here to Chile, brought by a priest who had a great affection also for the Virgin of Lourdes. Specifically it arrived here through the religious Assumptionists, a religious congregation born in France, who arrived in Chile in 1890.

Then, the fathers took over and what was a chapel at the beginning, then gradually began to develop, a small church was made, it turned out to be small, there was made another, another larger temple, and nowadays the basilica that you for sure will get to know next. The visionary of Lourdes was named Bernadette, a 14 years old little girl, humble, simple, had not had her first communion, couldn’t neither read nor write, but she did have a very docile heart to God.

When the Virgin appeared to her, the first thing instinctively that Bernadette did was take out the rosary from her pocket, and recite it. And then in the second visit she asked her, “Would you have the kindness to come 15 days to my grotto?” And Bernadette said yes, but did not know what she was committing to, since she had many difficulties to overcome, obstacles of family, that was poor, humble, they were afraid to be on everyone's mouth…

But despite all these obstacles Bernadette fulfilled her mission, had the 15 visits, 15 days she faithfully received the message of the Virgin of Lourdes. We also have the fountains to one side here that just remember the miracle of the water in Lourdes. The Virgin asked Bernadette, “Dig,” she said, in the land on the ground, “Dig so that. from there will rise water.” Little by little the water so pure started coming out.

The Chileans wished to create a replica of the Sanctuary in France to remember the miracles.

There is also a reminder of the original grotto. We have here a piece of rock of Massabielle, that’s the name of that place, brought here directly from France from over 100 years ago. It’s a little bit worn out, right? Because of the time, and at the same time the love, because here the people are used to not only touching but also kissing a religious object. It has been done here then with this piece of rock of Massabielle.

We can witness God’s miracles everywhere in the world at any moment. We just have to be in tune with God. But miracles have many faces.

The Virgin of Lourdes is characterized a bit for being a chance at least to get closer to God through sometimes extraordinary events. Because people bathe in the baths at Lourdes, a large area with several swimming pools, and sometimes when entering the water or leaving the water, a miracle is produced. But that it is in the physical.

For us, the most important miracle of Lourdes takes place in the hearts of the people, that’s why Lourdes is the place where the sacrament of penance is done more, of the confession that we call, and we just have to remember that the apparitions of Lourdes took place in the liturgical season of Lent.

In the sanctuary, a small shrine was established, but thanks to God and the faithful people of Chile, the sanctuary expanded and expanded through time. Let’s see the beautiful basilica of Our Lady of Lourdes in Chile with Mr. Ramón Gutierrez, a Religious Assumptionist.

This place is beautiful for two reasons. One of the main reasons is the number of pilgrims, of thousands of people who come here to celebrate the Eucharist, to celebrate the sacraments, to honor the Lord and the Virgin, his mother. The construction of this temple began in 1929, and was inaugurated on March 25, 1958. It came to replace an old church here dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes.

The second reason why this shrine is very important is for the beauty of its construction: It has a large number of works of art. From the outside can be seen on the dome the 16 figures of the prophets, work of Chilean artist Lily Garafulic. They are monumental images of the prophets, who look to the city from different places, from different angles. Inside we have a lot of stained glass, all made in France at the Atelier Louer in the city of Chartres. These windows were manufactured there, and installed here by Chilean workers and engineers.

The title of “basilica” was given by His Holiness Pope John Paul II in 1992.

The Holy Father John Paul II of blessed memory bestowed this shrine, this building, this temple, the title of minor basilica in 1992. However, a funny thing happens when the bishops' conference is consulted by Cardinal Carlos Oviedo Cabada, because the votes of all the bishops are needed, about the title of basilica for this temple.

The bishops were surprised and say, “But how? Then it is not a basilica.” They say, “Right,” but people started giving it the title of Basilica for its beauty, for its grandeur before it had that title of honor. So the vote of the bishops' conference was full, by a show of hands and all the bishops agreed that this temple had to have that title.

Let’s continue our tour in this blessed basilica.

This temple is a gem as noted, architectural, and has a wealth of colors. Light is transformed here as the people are transformed when entering a temple. The natural sunlight, at dusk, even on cloudy days takes another life going through the most beautiful stained glass windows of this church. These stained glass in its impressive set of colors, creates a space of peace, tranquility, joy, serenity. To the north side are three windows depicting the appearance of the Virgin in Lourdes or the mystery of Lourdes. These windows are three long columns, three long windows.

One, over the inside shows a man who has been healed in the miraculous waters of Lourdes, he’s with a crutch. Then the figure of a female, in the middle a woman praying. And below, a father who takes his son from the miraculous water, having been healed. In the center we have the image of the Blessed Virgin of Lourdes, the image of Lourdes, perched on a rose garden. Below staring straight at us, Bernadette, and under Bernadette two lambs, because Bernadette in a stage of her life cares for lambs.

On the other side we have, in the other window, we have a priest with the host doing the holy blessing. Outlined below the domes of the Basilica of Lourdes in France, is a priest in praying attitude with open arms, which according to the artist would correspond to one of the priests of that era when the windows were made that were here at this shrine. And below, a female figure in an attitude of prayer and supplicant, and also looking to the other stained glass, the image of the Blessed Virgin.

From the other side, the opposite side, we have the windows of the “Mysteries of the Rosary.” And here we have, then, a stunning color scheme right now. The sunset light from the west gets dimmer and the sun is, on the other hand, is more enlightened. Of course, in the afternoon that changes. At the time of day you look at these windows, there is a different vision.

The glass on the inside that we are seeing right now is hammered by the side, artistically of course, so that a single piece of glass gives an infinity of shades of color, so it is actually a set of colors, a feast of colors.

There are so many beautiful places in this basilica, like the main altar. This altar has a beautiful statue of the Virgin with a very sweet and lovely expression on her face.

Another important place is the Altar of the Holy that has a huge mosaic in the background.

We are in the Altar of the Holy, and the altar has a very special feature. It is the unique mosaic that it has inside, and this mosaic represents the Last Supper. It was made in Chartres, France, and is the work of the same author as the windows.

This magnificent work was made not only by the hands of men, but also the talent of a woman was involved.

We are where the word is proclaimed. Here in this gem it says, “Ver Bum Dei.” “God’s Word,” that’s what this means in Latin. “God’s Word” is made in stone in its entirety and also is the work of the national artist Lily Garafulic. It’s a marvel because it is carved, and sculpted, and designed by female hands, it’s a very valuable thing.

For its countless visitors, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in Santiago, Chile is a refuge of beauty, color, light, miracles, and virtue.

The message of Lourdes: prayer, penance and conversion. Sothe main thing through penance, and conversion, is to fulfill the change of life in the heart of people which is most important, to be better every day, and improve the other brothers.

Thank you great viewers for spending time with us on today’s The World Around Us. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television for Words of Wisdom, after Noteworthy News. May your life be harmonious living in God’s love.

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