The Blessed Virgin taught Bernadette with what she could see, touch and experience. “Bernadette is invited to enter a grotto, to drink spring water, to wash from it and to carry the light,” says Father de La Teyssonnière. “Rock, water and light are parts of the human experience, of the religious experience and of Christian revelation. Mary invites Bernadette to go further than the human level, to go further than the religious level, to reach the level of Christian revelation.” These basic elements of life—rock, water and light—become for Bernadette, Father de La Teyssonnière says, the place of meeting Jesus. This in turn prepares her to meet Jesus Christ in the sacraments of the Church. “Bernadette’s experience is a pilgrimage led by Mary. She has to go out of her place, to walk, to go forward, to keep going. But at the same time this concrete pilgrimage is a pilgrimage deep in the heart,” he says.
— from Lourdes Today: A Pilgrimage to Mary’s Grotto