The Lourdes authorities have ruled that for the 2017 pilgrimage season all gates to the Sanctuary, including the zigzag path, will be locked from midnight until early morning, except for the admission of medical staff on an emergency call to the Accueil Notre Dame.
As this would cause disappointment to groups who wish to visit the Grotto in the peaceful atmosphere late at night they have agreed to make access possible provided the following conditions are met.
We have to notify their planning office with the date of each late night group visit, the number of pilgrims expected in each group and the approximate time the group will enter the Sanctuary. A group will have to be in the Sanctuary before the gates are locked at midnight and St Joseph’s gate only will have a security guard to let pilgrims out between 00.00 and 01.00am. All pilgrims must have exited by 01.00am and must wear their pilgrimage name badges during visits, otherwise security guards will ask them to leave.
This concession applies only to groups who have booked in advance. Individual visitors will be asked to leave at midnight.
If a group intends to make a late night visit to the Grotto please let the Pilgrimage Office know well in advance of the pilgrimage so that we can notify the relevant authorities.