In the hills immediately above Lourdes lies the Cite St. Pierre, which was founded after in the second world war by a priest as a hostel for poor pilgrims and refugees.
In it lies a chapel which is an exact replica of the sheepfold of Bartres, where St. Bernadette tended sheep for a year before the apparitions.
It is there that the GOBS have their benefactors and deceased members mass, as it has in the past brought many graces, miracles and conversions for us. This year they commemorated my late grandmother.
The centre is largely staffed by young volunteers and now receives pilgrims from mainly Eastern Europe and the third world. It is also a centre for the scouting movement, and at one spot, known as the Cathedral of the Trees, a rather rowdy charismatic renewal gathering was being held with great vigour and energy...
I was to later discover many of the participants in this were also staying in our hotel, and we to be treated to many more displays of enthusiastic songs and prayers before meals!