The Sanctuary is a place of pilgrimage, calm and traditions at an altitude of almost two thousand meters.
Núria offers a space of spiritual shelter in a Marian sanctuary of ancient roots and traditions. It becomes an ideal place to organize backwaters and days of meditation and prayer.
The priests and the team offer in the Sanctuary of Vall de Núria an atmosphere of spirituality, with a sober and lively liturgy, and solemnized by organ music. The religious service is available to pilgrims on previously arranged working days.
In the past, this was the date when the sanctuary was reopened and sheep flocks were once more guided up to mountain pastures. These days it is still celebrated with a solemn mass and a blessing of different pieces of bread and porridge.
Saint Gil’s festivity day when the Festivity of the Shepherds is celebrated. In earlier times, this day marked the end of the season for upper mountain shepherding.
Held on the birth date of the Virgin Mary, bringing together a large number of people christened with the name Núria. After the mass, the image of the Virgin is carried to the hermitage of Saint Gil, where hymns are sung to her.
Throughout history, many couples who did not know why but could not have children have come here to ask for it. With a prayer before the cross, and putting the head in the pot while ringing the bell, they have obtained the gift of fertility.
There is no logical explanation, however the fact is real and is repeated regularly. Couples often go up to Núria to give thanks to the Virgin for the child they have had, after having put their head in the pot.
The distant origin is found, according to the folklorist Joan Amades, in a megalith or menhir that formerly stood in the valley. Pagan beliefs affirmed that women who scrubbed the body were assured of fertility. From its beginnings to the present day, the symbolism of fertility has always been present in Núria.
A monumental Stations of the Cross in a diverse style
On the occasion of a Franciscan congress held in 1914, the construction of a Via Crucis around hermitages and sanctuaries was promoted. In Núria, the proposal was quickly responded to and the following year Bishop Benlloch was laying the first stone.
The construction of the different stations was paid for with contributions from associations and devotees, and lasted until 1963. Núria's Stations of the Cross, located on the path of the Coma del Clot, stands out for its monumental character and for its diverse sculptural style and surprising from each of the stations.
Lately, the sculptor and painter from Ripollès, Domènec Batalla, restored Núria's Via Crucis, devising a new dressing room in the shape of an eye, where the iris is the Virgin and the base, in the shape of a wing, symbolizes peace and spirituality.