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

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

THE PARISH CHURCH OF LOURDES

The church of Saint Peter where Bernadette was baptised on 9 January 1844 no longer exists. Already in a bad state of repair, it was destroyed by fire and then demolished in 1905. Where the church stood is now a large square - Peyramale Square, which is dominated by a huge war memorial. The Gothic style church used to stand about 200 metres from the cachot.

Opposite the square, at the end of a narrow street is the new parish church, the Sacred Heart. Construction of the church began in 1875. It was inaugurated on 8 September 1903 by the Bishop of Tarbes-Lourdes Mgr Francois-Xavier Schoepfer. The baptismal font (from the old parish church of Saint Peter) where Bernadette was baptised can be found to the left of the entrance. Bernadette's baptism is depicted on a large panel hanging on one of the walls.

The facade of the church is dominated by a majestic, 65 metre high Pyrenean stone bell tower. Square and with a conical steeple, it was completed in 1936. The interior of the church is Romanic. It is divided into three naves with the central one being the most important. In front of the church is a bronze statue of Father Peyramale. Father Peyramale was the parish priest of Lourdes from December 1854 until his death.

The new parish church was built in the city's cultural, economic and commercial centre. In fact, within a radius of 600-700 metres are the post office and Saint Bernadette hospital. On the other side is the Marcadal Square, the actual, original centre of Lourdes where the banks, market, tourism office, conference centre and municipality are all to be found.

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