The Coronavirus emergency forces the sanctuary of Lourdes to close: it is the first time in history
Due to the measures against Coronavirus, many countries are closing their businesses and limiting the risk of contagion by imposing mandatory isolation on all citizens. France is no exception, and also in these days of emergency, even the sanctuary of Lourdes has closed its doors to its faithful, to protect them from possible contagion. It is the first time in history that such a thing has happened but, as you may have noticed, the situation due to Covid-19 seems to be worsening every hour. It is therefore right to take the correct preventive measures, however extreme they may seem at first.
via Vatican News
The closure of the sanctuary was announced by Monsignor Olivier Ribadeau Dumas, who has had to adapt to the very severe measures taken by the French authorities to stem the contagion from Coronavirus. Pilgrimages had actually already stopped voluntarily for some time, above all because the greatest influx came from Italy, the second country in the world for number of infections.
The management of the shrine explained that the 30 chaplains will begin "nine days of special prayers for the world from the Grotto of the Apparition" - prayers that will be broadcast live on Catholic TV.