My Memorable Pilgrimage to Lourdes, France
On my vacation to Europe I blogged about Lourdes, France and here’s a story of an encounter with someone during my travels that restored my faith in humanity. An excerpt from that post: “Pilgrimage to Lourdes, France”.
“After spending the whole day at the shrine, I was exhausted so I went outside to the sanctuary gates and waited for a taxi to take me back to the hotel. I waited for quite a while but there was no more taxi around the vicinity. I was standing beside a nice couple with their teenage son who had also visited the shrine, but they seem to be townsfolk out for a visit in their own shrine. The young man ask me politely in French-accented English if I was waiting for a cab and when I replied affirmatively, he told me that there are no more taxis at this time of night in their town.
He saw how desperate I looked and he talked to his parents in French and for all I could decipher was that he wanted to offer and escort me back to my hotel. After talking to his parents and they gave him their nodding approval, he did offer to walk me back to my quaint hotel, the Grand Hotel Moderne in Lourdes, France. I had no choice since I don’t know their town and I could get lost in the dark alleys, so I accepted his offer and he told his parents to wait for him until he gets back then they can all go home together.
I was delighted by the offer and thanked his parents so we were on our way back to my hotel. When we arrived at the hotel, he opened the door for me and then before he left he politely took my right hand and gave my hand a gentle kiss and then let go of my hand so gently after he gave me a sweet smile and said good night and also said “Au Revoir” which means “Goodbye”. I was so impressed by his French manners and the way he showed his traditional custom of hand kissing which I later compared to our respectful “Mano po” (translated as Bless me) by placing our elders hand on our foreheads in our own traditions.
After I replied “Merci Beaucoup” translated as “Thank you very much” few of the French phrases I knew, he waved goodbye to me and left to meet with his parents waiting for him patiently at the gates of the shrine. That alone was an unforgettable evening and that unusual encounter with a young Frenchman, and sadly enough I did not even get a chance to know his name then I could have sent him a thank you note later on.
The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and the Holy Rosary.
With all that said and done I went to get my hotel keys and merrily went up to my room so I can rest and get some sleep before leaving Lourdes the next day. After I checked out the hotel the next day, I took a taxi to the bus station and rode that same bus to Toulouse to fly back to Paris.”
The Crowned Virgin Mary at the Rosary Square Garden in front of the Holy Rosary Basilica.