As heavy rains cause flash flooding across parts of France, the Marian shrine at Lourdes has been evacuated until further notice.
“The Grotto is flooded and the International Mass in the underground basilica is canceled. Flooded everywhere,” said Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth, UK on June 13 in a Tweet.
“May God protect everyone,” he continued.
Flooding has been taking place across the country over the past two weeks. Four deaths have been reported in connection with the heavy rains. A landslide near Paris derailed a train and damaged various roads. Some reports have also speculated the upcoming Tour de France may be re-routed due to the weather.
The torrential rains caused the River Gave to overflow near the Lourdes shrine, similar to the flooding which occurred five years ago when Lourdes was last evacuated.
The Lourdes chaplains said on Twitter June 14 that the grotto will be reopened at Lourdes this evening for a procession.