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Lourdes Diary: Seven Days at the Grotto of Massabieille Paperback – May 1, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

The sacred grotto at Massabieille, near the town of Lourdes in southern France, appeals to Catholics like no other place. This is the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, the place where Mary appeared to a humble peasant girl named Bernadette Soubirous in 1858 and spoke words of comfort and simple faith. At Mary’s behest, Bernadette dug in the rocky soil of the grotto and struck water. A puddle soon became a spring that gushed forth waters that were recognized to have documented healing properties, baffling physicians and scientific experts. Some six million pilgrims visit Lourdes each year, making it the most popular place of pilgrimage in the world.

One of these recent pilgrims was Fr. James Martin, an American Jesuit who went to Lourdes as chaplain for a group of pilgrims sponsored by the Order of Malta. Fr. Martin’s illuminating account of seven busy and gratifying days at Massabieille—at turns touching, humorous, reverent, and self-effacing—is a vivid description of a place with a special, mysterious spiritual presence.
 

From the Back Cover

A charming and touching story that reminds us, with St. Bernadette, that grace is everywhere.”
—Robert Ellsberg, author, Blessed Among All Women

he shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in southern France appeals to Catholics as few other places do. The famous grotto is a place of healing that attracts some six million pilgrims to Lourdes each year.
One of these recent pilgrims was James Martin, an American Jesuit. Fr. Martin went to Lourdes to serve as chaplain for a group of pilgrims sponsored by the Order of Malta, an international Catholic association devoted to charitable works. During his stay, Martin kept an illuminating diary of his trip. His touching and humorous account of the busy and gratifying days that he spent at Lourdes is a vivid description of a place filled with a powerful spiritual presence. “Lourdes is now one of those places where I have met God in a special way,” Martin writes. Through this diary, we are able to share in his journey and feel the presence of God that he encountered there.

A charming and touching story that reminds us, with St. Bernadette, that grace is everywhere.”
—Robert Ellsberg, author, Blessed Among All Women

he shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in southern France appeals to Catholics as few other places do. The famous grotto is a place of healing that attracts some six million pilgrims to Lourdes each year.
One of these recent pilgrims was James Martin, an American Jesuit. Fr. Martin went to Lourdes to serve as chaplain for a group of pilgrims sponsored by the Order of Malta, an international Catholic association devoted to charitable works. During his stay, Martin kept an illuminating diary of his trip. His touching and humorous account of the busy and gratifying days that he spent at Lourdes is a vivid description of a place filled with a powerful spiritual presence. “Lourdes is now one of those places where I have met God in a special way,” Martin writes. Through this diary, we are able to share in his journey and feel the presence of God that he encountered there.

 

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Loyola Press (May 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0829423974
  • ISBN-13: 978-0829423976
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #438,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rev. James Martin, SJ, is a Jesuit priest, culture editor of America magazine, and author of numerous books, including My Life with the Saints, which Publishers Weekly named one of the best books of 2006. Father Martin is a frequent commentator in the national and international media, having appeared in such diverse outlets as The Colbert Report, Fresh Air, The O'Reilly Factor, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Boston Globe, and on the History Channel, BBC, and Vatican Radio. Before entering the Jesuits in 1988 he graduated from the Wharton School of Business.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Peter Fennessy on October 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
James Martin, associate editor of America Magazine, manages without any sense of cramming to fit into the 65 brief pages of this small book the story of his first trip to Lourdes and the events of his week there, the history of Lourdes itself and of St. Bernadette Soubirous, and reflections about pilgrims and pilgrimages and the Knights of Malta with whom he traveled. It is a simple story told simply, eloquently, engagingly, with self-depreciating humor and obvious devotion. It is a good refresher if you have been there, a foretaste if you intend to go, and a hint of God's ever-present grace whatever your travel plans. I do believe I shall read his longer work, My Life with the Saints.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Monica K. Van Ness on February 6, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author gives us the basic story of Bernadette and Lourdes, and how this site has been a place for people to meet God, and been a source of healing of all kinds for so many people in the last 150 years. The story of his first visit to Lourdes offers a more personal story of how a visit to Lourdes can affect people. Very moving!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Steven H Propp TOP 50 REVIEWER on March 20, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jesuit James Martin is also the author/editor of books such as Jesus: A Pilgrimage, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life, My Life with the Saints, Becoming Who You Are: Insights on the True Self from Thomas Merton and Other Saints, Together on Retreat (Enhanced Edition): Meeting Jesus in Prayer, etc.

He tells the story of how the local Abbé Peyramale told Bernadette [after she told him of the vision], "'Ask her for a name... And, as an added test, ask her to make the grotto's wild rosebush flower.' During the next apparition, Bernadette did just that, but the vision merely smiled. No rosebushes bloomed and no name was given... ON march 25, the rosebush was still not in bloom, but a name was given. According to Bernadette, the vision clasped her hands and said... 'I am the Immaculate Conception.'" (Pg. 18)

He notes, "We land after a long flight... Seemingly all the hotels and shops at Lourdes have religious names, and it is startling to see a shop selling tacky souvenirs that is named after Charles de Foucauld, who lived in extreme poverty in the desert, or, worse, a knickknack shop under a sign proclaiming L'Immaculeé Conception." (Pg.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Claire G Jones on February 26, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read several of his books and find him both enjoyable and easy to read. He is especially good at communicating what is most difficult in terms of spirituality. He never forgets to see the lighter side as well which makes it more personal on his part.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Max Bville on November 29, 2012
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This is a very moving essay/report of Fr. Martin's tour of Lourdes. Father writes with historical accuracy and his short biography of St. Bernadette is itself worth the price of the book. I've read many of Father's books and this is wonderful. Please read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ana Marie Straight on January 16, 2013
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If you are not able to visit Lourdes, Father Martin will take you with him in this diary. His journey renews your faith. "To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. to one without faith, no explanation is possible" --St. Thomas Aquinas
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