The Marian procession or torchlight procession has existed at the sanctuary since 1872. It takes place daily at 9 pm, from April to the end of October.
Every evening, once night has fallen on the town, thousands of pilgrims gather to walk and sing, flaming torch in hand, from the Grotto of Apparitions to the esplanade of the Rosary Basilica. At the head of the procession, a statue of the Virgin is carried by the pilgrims. This is followed by participants walking in groups behind their pilgrimage banners. Sick pilgrims are always anxious to attend when they can.
You can carry a candle with its paper wind protector on which the traditional song of Lourdes is printed, recalling the story of the Apparitions. Whether you take part or just watch, it is always touching to witness this “magic” moment that brings people together from the four corners of the earth. It’s impossible not to be swept away by the power and beauty of all those flames, whose light spreads far beyond the sanctuary.