Happy feast of Our Lady of Lourdes! Today we highlight a couple of sweet confections that have an association to the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in France – Ferrero Rocher and Pastilles a l’eau de Lourdes.
Last February a few days after the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, Nutella founder Michele Ferrero died and at that time there were numerous articles circulating about his strong devotion to Our Lady under this title. So this year on the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, I wanted to highlight that connection. In 1996, at the 50th anniversary of the company’s founding Michele Ferrero is quoted as saying, "The success of Ferrero we owe to Our Lady of Lourdes; without her we can do little." He was a man of strong faith and every year he went on pilgrimage to Lourdes taking his top manager. Each of the Ferrero plants and offices around the world have a small statue of Our Lady. It is said that the company's Rocher pralines, first produced in 1982, were inspired by the grotto at Lourdes. Rocher is translated as rock and the craggy rock formation at the shrine in Lourdes is called the Rocher de Massabielle. It is easy to see how the chocolate's nutty surface resembles a rocky grotto.
The other Lourdes associated candy, Pastilles a l’eau de Lourdes, are a Lourdes water lozenge – made from water from the grotto, sugar, and natural flavorings (mint, lemon, or anise). Similar candies have a very lengthy history, having been produced in Lourdes since 1888. The original pastilles are imprinted with a figure of the Virgin Mary on one side and ‘A L’EAU DE LOURDES’ (‘contains Lourdes water’) on the other. The current candies back imprint is ‘Malespine’ which is the factory. We bought some while we were in Lourdes a few years ago, but they are also available online and through many religious goods outlets.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Pray for Us!