Thousands gather as Carfin Grotto made national shrine

Thousands flocked to Carfin Grotto to visit the relics of St Bernadette as the site was officially made Scotland’s Marian shrine.

The relics of St Bernadette, which have been touring across the UK, are currently on their third day in the Grotto, with the trip coinciding with the centenary of the site.

The Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland Eamon Martin, who celebrated Mass today at the Grotto, said he was ‘honoured’ to attend the Centenary Mass on Sunday.

In his homily today, the archbishop said he found himself wondering at the Centenary Mass ‘why did Canon Taylor choose to build the Grotto here?’

“What we do know is, whatever inspired him was really the work of God, because over the past hundred years just think of the number of people who would have come here to this place to pray, to praise God, to ask favours, to pray for their families,” he said.

“And they find comfort here at the Grotto in Carfin.”

Queues to see the relics at Carfin numbered in the hundreds yesterday before the National Pilgrimage Mass.

One queuer, Michael Robinson, who was visiting with his family, said it was a ‘unique opportunity to see St Bernadette and come to together as a Catholic community and spend time together in prayer to her and to Our Lady of Lourdes.’

The relics of St Bernadette are to remain at Carfin Grotto until the 1st of October.

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