Our daughter died in my arms as we lay together in the emergency room bed.  In my grief, while holding her lifeless body, I was taken back to the baths at Lourdes, where we had visited just over a month before.

My brothers and sisters, friends, and even strangers had paid for us to travel to the shrine at Lourdes, France to seek a miracle for our daughter and our son, both of whom had Leigh’s Disease, a mitochondrial disorder. My husband was so confident that Our Lady was going to do this for us; that she was going to make our children well and show the world that miracle still happen. I believe in miracles but I had my doubts about a miracle for our children.

Journey to Lourdes

We arrived in Lourdes on our daughter’s 6th birthday.  We had traveled to Lourdes with the Lourdes Volunteers, a wonderful organization that takes families like ours to Lourdes for healing.  We were staying at the hospital at the shrine, just a stone’s throw from the Grotto itself.  It was quiet then; it was Holy Thursday and the pilgrimage season hadn’t begun yet.

On Good Friday we went to the baths.  It was a cold, rainy day.  I had seen a photo of the baths before I went and I was disappointed in what I saw.  I had a grander image of them — more like a hot tub that you could step down into.  Instead, they are narrow stone baths that don’t look like they can fit much at all.

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