Official report of the Installation and Blessing,
in the church square,
of the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes
21 June 1891

Official Report of the Installation and Blessing, in the church square, of the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes (21 June 1891)

In the year one thousand eight hundred and ninety-one, on the twenty-first day of June, on the feast day of St. Louis de Gonzague. To commemorate the First Communion of 24 children of the parish and to bring to a close the spiritual exercises of the retreat that had been preached by the Reverend Father Ferrafiat, diocesan missionary, of the Family of St. Vincent de Paul, residing at Notre Dame de Marceille, the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes, after being carried through the principal streets of the parish by 4 men on a magnificent litter accompanied in procession by the entire parish and an enormous crowd that had gathered from miles around, was duly installed and blessed right there in the square, thanks to the same missionary zeal that eight days before had evangelized the inhabitants of Rennes-le-Château. This beautiful family occasion ended with an enthusiastic address by the Venerable Father, with three cheers in honour of the Virgin Mary, and with the blessing of the Holy Sacrament. At the end of this ceremony all the children of the First Communion, led by the Curé of the parish and accompanied by our dear diocesan missionary, entered the garden of the Virgin and there, beneath the Virgin Mary's gaze, at the feet of the Holy Mother, as witness of their various promises and oaths, they allowed the Photographer to record, along with their beautiful costumes, their faces in which are reflected such innocence and happiness.

Present at this solemn occasion were: the curés of Couiza and Espéraza, Monsieur l’abbé Fournès.

B. Saunière, priest
Curé of the Parish of Rennes-le-Château

Names of the people who had the happiness and honour to carry the statue:
Messieurs Antoine Captier; Zacharie Peihou [?]; Jean Maury; Feuillet

Done at Rennes-le-Château on the day, month and year stated above

B. Saunière, priest