The State of Virginity

The State of Virginity
I should like you to be free of all worries. The unmarried man is busy with the Lord's affairs, concerned with pleasing the Lord; but the married man is busy with this world's demands and occupied with pleasing his wife. This means he is divided. The virgin - indeed, any unmarried woman - is concerned with things of the Lord, in pursuit of holiness in body and spirit. The married woman, on the other hand, has the cares of this world to absorb her and concerned with pleasing her husband. I am going into this with you for your own good. I have no desire to place restrictions on you, but I do want to promote what is good, what will help you to devote yourselves entirely to the Lord. 1 Corinthians 7:32-35

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

THE CRYPT


The Crypt, situated between the Upper Basilica and the Rosary Basilica, stands on the Rock of Massabielle. It was the first of the churches to be completed in the domain. Construction was started by the Lourdes Parish Priest Father Peyramale. Work began on 13 September 1863 under the direction of the architect Hippolyte Durand. The blessing and the opening of the new church took place on 19 May 1866 by Mgr. Laurence, Bishop of Tarbes in the presence of Bernadette. She had delayed her departure for the convent at Nevers to witness the ceremony.

The crypt was formed by a nave and two side aisles with gothic vaulted ceilings. A notable feature being the 28 enormous pillars of grey marble which support the weight of the Upper Basilica constructed on top of it. The central altar was rebuilt in 1966. Above the altar there is a statue of the Madonna and Child which was sculpted in 1868 by Joseph-Hugues Fabisch. It is enclosed by four chapels dedicated to the Sacred Heart, Saint Peter, Saint Joseph, and Saint John the Evangelist. The shrine is in Saint Joseph's chapel and was built by goldsmiths from Lyon - Armand, Calliat, Catelant. Bernadette's fifth right rib, appropriated during the third exhumation in 1925, is house there.

Hewn out of the rock, the Crypt is surprisingly small, which helps to reinforce its stability. Until 1904 entry into the Crypt was through two underground passages. These were closed and reinforced in order to strengthen the foundation of the Upper Basilica built right above the Crypt. Nowadays, the Crypt is accessed by means of a central passage. To the right of the entrance is a large bronze statue of St. Peter holding the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. Opposite stands a bronze statue of Pius X administering the Eucharist. Next to this is the statue of Bernadette depicted as the shepherdess of Bartres.

On the pediment above its entrance is a medallion of Pope Pius X, author of the decrees on frequent communion and the communion of children. In front of the Crypt is the church courtyard beneath which, at ground level , is the Rosary Basilica. From the square one can see the grotto of the apparitions, the Gave that flows right in front of it, the castle and most of the hotel area of Lourdes

In winter, the faithful come to the Crypt to adore the Blessed Sacrament. This is also possible all through the year at the Adoration Chapel next to Saint Bernadette's Church and in summer, at the Adoration Tent erected in the meadow during the day.

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