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Lourdes grotto replica gets a visitor center

Saturday - 4/27/2013, 3:20am  ET

EMMITSBURG, Md. (AP) -- Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg is dedicating a visitor center at a popular religious tourist attraction.

The private dedication Mass and blessing ceremony on Saturday marks near-completion of a visitor center for the National Shrine Grotto of Lourdes (LOORD'-uh). It will open to the public June 1.

The 130-year-old shrine is a replica of a cave in France, where Roman Catholics believe the mother of Jesus appeared to a French schoolgirl beginning in 1858.

The 4,000-square-foot building includes a gallery, gift shop and museum.

It is named for lead contributors Richard and Mary Lee Miller. Richard Miller is a Mount St. Mary's graduate who is now chief executive officer of the Virtua health care system in southern New Jersey.


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