During the night of Saturday to Sunday July 10, a fire broke out in the outdoor chapels at the sanctuary of Lourdes. Although the fire was quickly brought under control, three of the chapels suffered significant material damage.
The outdoor chapels, one of the places of prayer at the Sanctuary of Lourdes was the victim of a fire this weekend: the fire took place during the night of Saturday July 9 to Sunday July 10 and severely damaged the structure constructed of large arches. These chapels were created during the major redevelopment inaugurated in 2018.
The fire was quickly brought under control but the material damage was very significant, with three chapels almost completely destroyed. Fortunately, the disaster caused no injuries: it was extinguished in time before it could destroy the rest.
The Sanctuary's official Twitter account communicated what happened in a tweet:
“During the night of Saturday to Sunday July 10, a fire broke out in the outdoor chapels at the Sanctuary. The fire was quickly brought under control. Even if the material damage is very great, 4 chapels remain accessible to pilgrims wishing to light a candle.”
Information on any leads track is for the moment privileged. CCTV footage shows no signs of a break-in at the scene. The teams in charge of making rounds in the Sanctuary did not find any anomaly either.
It therefore seems quite likely that the fire was caused by the candles lit by the faithful. Sanctuary sources estimate the cost of the repairs at around one and a half million euros.
Despite the fire and the state of things, three chapels remain accessible to pilgrims. One to buy the candles, the other two to put them in and burn them. A specific access point has been marked to allow visitors to access the chapels in complete safety.
Unfortunately, this fire comes at the end of the current rector’s term, as he was recently named rector-archpriest of the cathedral of Notre-Dame of Paris. On September 1, Fr. Michel Daubanes will succeed him as rector of the Lourdes Sanctuary.