Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes

Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Lourdes

Introduction by Nicole Duran

Descriptions by Dr. Shelley Armitage

There are several parish churches dedicated to our Lady of Lourdes all over Mexico. However, the parish church in the city of San Pedro attracts many pilgrims praying for healing miracles. The sculpture of the crowned Lady of Lourdes is covered by a white mantle from her head to the floor and a white tunic belted at the waist by a blue sash. She is housed inside a grotto with a water spring nearby. Our Lady has folding hands near the chest as an indication of prayer. However, the most visited shrine is in Lourdes, France. The legend recalls a 14-year-old girl named Bernadette Soubirous who attested to have witness seven apparitions of the Virgin Mary in a grotto in 1858. She was instructed to drink from the spring and have the priest build a chapel in her honor. Before Bernadette received the revelation, the area was mainly identified as a location where people often disposed of their garbage. Soon after, people had visions of Our Lady in the neighboring grotto, thus attracting many pilgrims. As the sight became more popular, the local priest modified the area to make it more accessible. The water of the area is said to have healing powers. Her feast day is February 11.

Ex-Voto Figure 1.

Our Lady of Lourdes/Nuestra Señora de Lourdes

Anonymous, Mexico. February 5, 1898.

Oil on tin. 5 x 7”. NMSU Art Gallery Collection #1966.5.9.

Donor: Mr. C. Andrew Sutherland.

Description:

Teresa Cobian holds her child as she kneels in a room before the apparition of Our Lady of Lourdes. Our Lady atypically appears in a cloud burst rather than the usual grotto scene and stands upon a pedestal.  Teresa is thankful for the successful pregnancy and healthy birth because her other infants have been born dead. She is dressed in a shawl and white skirt with darker trims. The text at the bottom of the composition is written in beautiful script.

Transcription and Translation:

[Teresa Cobian Hallendose enbarazada inboco á M. Sma de Lour][des pidiendo le consediera q. la Sacara con felicidad y su criatura][nacieron buena, por qe. otros partos anteriores todas las criaturas][nacieron muertas, y haora le prometirá M. Sma. este retablo y poner][si esa m(?)ger el nombre de Maria, y le consedio lo solicitó el dia 5 del Febrero de 1898]

Teresa Cobian being pregnant invoked [the] Blessed Mary of Lourdes asking her to grant a happy delivery and that her infant be born healthy, because her other infants had been born dead, and now she promises the Blessed Mary this retablo and if the child is a girl to name her Maria.  She granted the request on the 5th of February of l898.

Ex-Voto Figure 2.

Our Lady of Lourdes/Nuestra Señora de Lourdes

Anonymous, Mexico. 14th of … , 1890.

Oil on tin. 5 x 7”. NMSU Art Gallery Collection #1966.5.16.

Donor: Mr. C. Andrew Sutherland.

Description:

On the left of the composition a man kneels in robes, his hands folded in prayer.  He faces the heavenly apparition of Our Lady of Lourdes, featured with flowers at her feet in the grotto surrounding her and dressed in the typical blue and white.  The man kneels upon a tile floor in a modest room.

Transcription and Translation:

[el preste retablo(. . .)Nra. Sra. de Lourdes(. . .)(. . .)(. . .)][(. . .) Prebir Mo. S. O. Guadalajara(. . .)][14 de 1890]

 

This present retablo (. . .) Our Lady of Lourdes (. . .)(. . .)(. . .)(. . .) We ask [?] S. O. Guadalajara (. . .) 14th of 1890.

Ex-Voto Figure 3.

Our Lady of Lourdes/Nuestra Señora de Lourdes

Anonymous, Mexico. January 4, 1879.

Oil on tin. 5 x 7”. NMSU Art Gallery Collection #1966.5.2.

Donor: Mr. C. Andrew Sutherland.

Description:

On the right half of the composition a woman kneels before Our Lady of Lourdes offering up her rosary in prayer.  She is dressed simply in skirt and blouse with a head covering.  Our Lady is typically shown posed in a grotto surrounded by flowers and dressed in white with a blue sash and a crown.  On the far left is Don Mauricio Velasquez in bed ill with ulcers.  He invoked Our Lady and regained his health.  The background is luminous complimenting the grotto rocks which shelter Our Lady.

Transcription and Translation:

[El dia 4 de Enero de 79 estando D Mauricio Velasquez] [gravemente enfermo de unas ulseras en la garganta] [inb(oco) á Nuestra Sra de Lurdes y quedó sano] The 4th day of January of [18]79

Don Mauricio Velasquez being gravely ill of some ulcers in his throat invoked Our Lady of Lourdes and regained his health.

Ex-Voto Figure 4.

Our Lady of Lourdes/Nuestra Señora de Lourdes

Anonymous, Mexico. Nineteenth Century.

Oil on tin. 5 x 7”. NMSU Art Gallery Collection #1966.5.4.

Donor: Mr. C. Andrew Sutherland.

Description:

The composition features four areas: Our Lady of Lourdes in the upper right, the supplicant in the center, an ill child on the left, and the text below.  Our Lady is depicted in white with a blue sash, crown, and aura, nestled in a grotto supported by clouds. The señora, Maria Antonia Castellanos, is dressed in a blue skirt, a long dark shawl drawn about her. Both Our Lady and Maria have their hands drawn in prayer. The child, Maria Soledad, lies in bed, head turned away. Maria has asked for Our Lady’s intercession to return the child to good health. The scene is realistic and detailed.

Transcriptions and Translations:

[Hallandose gravem enferma de pulmonia la niña M. Soledad][Castellanos aclarmó su mamá grande Ma. Antonio Castellanos] [a M S de Lourdes y por su ponderosa intercesion consigo][la complete salud de la nina.]

The child Maria Soledad being seriously ill with pneumonia, Castellanos asked her grandmother Maria Antonia Catellanos to ask Holy Mary of Lourdes for her powerful intercession; the child gained her health back.

Ex-Voto Figure 5.

Our Lady of Lourdes/Nuestra Señora de Lourdes

Anonymous, Mexico. January 5, 1882.

Oil on tin. 5 x 7”.  NMSU Art Gallery Collection #1966.5.12.

Donor: Mr. C. Andrew Sutherland.

Description:

The room in the composition is very detailed with vigas in the ceiling, white-washed walls, and even a small framed image of the Virgin Mary on one of the walls.  The composition features Our Lady dressed in white with a blue sash and crown, her hands in prayer and surrounded by the grotto walls.  Refugio Martines kneels in the center of the room in gratitude for relief from rheumatism and pain and a child rests in a bed behind her.

Transcription and Translation:

[El dia 5 de Enero de 1882, Refugio Martines se allaba grabmente][mala de reumas y Dolores(. . .)imbocó a Nuestra Señora de Lourdes que la sano]

On the 5th day of January in 1882, Refugio Martines was seriously [ill] with rheumatism and pain [and] she invoked Our Lady of Lourdes who healed her.

Ex-Voto Figure 6.

Our Lady of Lourdes/Nuestra Señora de Lourdes

Anonymous, Mexico. February 6, 1884.

Oil on tin. 5 x 6”. NMSU Art Gallery Collection #1966.5.15.

Donor: Mr. C. Andrew Sutherland.

Description:

In this composition, a couple kneel in front of Our Lady of Lourdes who appears in the composition inside a rocky cavern on the upper right, with St. Bernadette praying in front of her. The scene is characterized by grasses played off against the grotto where Our Lady appears to the 14-year-old named Bernadette Soubirous. The miracle of the apparition of Our Lady in the city of Lourdes, France. Those two images are part of the invocation. The text is written in elaborate script at the bottom of the composition.

Transcription and Translation:

[Allandose Doña María Partida en una muy grande aflicion][se encomendo a Nta Sra de Lourdes de San Pedro quien le concedio][en su Afliction y dando gracias por el milagro que le hizo pongo][el presente retablo a 6 de Febrero de 1884.]

Doña María Partida being in a very great affliction and entrusting herself to Our Lady of Lourdes of San Pedro who granted [her health] in her affliction and giving thanks for the miracle that was made I place this present retablo on the 6th of February 1884.