Since 2017, on the initiative of the bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes Nicoles Brouwet, the relics of St. Bernadette They travel from the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes to the various dioceses of France that wish to receive them for veneration.
For this purpose, a new reliquary was commissioned to our workshops, an original work that would be completely identified with the style of Lourdes. The piece, in neo-Gothic style -as well as the basilica and 70 cm highIn both its design and execution, work was done to reflect the humility, faith and piety of Saint Bernadette Soubirous.
Following the indications of the archivist and in conjunction with the chaplains of the Sanctuary, the interdisciplinary team from Granda worked on the design of a reliquary with bell tower shape embellished with four geometric enamels.
The appearance of the reliquary is classic and timeless. Architectural in appearance, it is marked by buttresses representing the divine force that sustains, protects, reveals and illuminates man's inner self.
The bell tower shape responds to a symbolic reason. The bell towers are visible places from which, through the sound of the bells, the presence of God is witnessed in the temples and the faithful are summoned for worship. In fact, when the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire Suleiman the Magnificent (1495-1566) invaded Jerusalem, the first thing he did was to destroy the bell towers, thus silencing the voice of God. The bell tower is also, in this case, an image of the Virgin's message to Saint Bernadette, which has been spreading throughout the world since Lourdes.
On the main door you can see the enamel of the Virgin, and on the back, the an apparition to St. Bernadette. These are two enamels made on concave copper plate worked with the "painted enamel" technique. To make them, opaque enamels of different colors have been used. These vitreous enamels must be applied with the greatest precision and as close together as possible so that at the moment of firing no tensions are produced that could lead to deformations or cracks. The images of the enamels are inspired by the stained glass windows of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.
In the corners of the reliquary there are four enamels, dominated by the blue tonerepresenting Europe, combined with shades of green, yellow, red and blackThe four continents, symbolically evoking the other four continents and thus the universality of the message of Lourdes. Thus, pilgrims from all over the world are represented.
In the upper part we can find two details: on the one hand, the Holy Cross, and on the other, the Crown of the Virgin. There are also several inscriptions on the piece, chosen expressly by the rector of the sanctuary:
Je suis l'Immaculée Conception (I Am the Immaculate Conception)
Salus Infirmorum (Health of the Sick)
Refugium peccatorum (Refuge of sinners)
Il suffit d'aimer (summarizing Bernadette's thinking)
The reliquary was blessed on thursday, may 30 during the international mass in the Basilica of St. Pius X and was carried in procession to the Grotto of the Ascension.