Preceded by three acolytes bearing a purple-shrouded crucifix, Joseph Cardinal Roncalli, Patriarch of Venice and Papal envoy, today blessed the massive underground Basilica of St.
T.G.V. Cardinal Roncalli patriarch of Venice arriving on the first day to consecrate the exterior of the Church of St.Pius X.
S.T.V. Leaving his car
L.V. Outside the church.
S.V. Knocking on the door, the doors open.
S.V.Pan Crowd of attendants outside.
Angle V. Statue of Virgin Mary.
L.V.Towards On the second day, the Patriarch's procession leaving the Basilica of the Rosary for the new Church.
Front V. The procession carrying relics of Holy Martyrs.
Nearer V. Ditto.
S.V. People on the route crossing themselves.
S.V.Pan Cardinal Roncalli in the procession.
Front V. Ditto.
S.C.U.Pan One of the Holy Relics.
S.V. Arriving at the new Church.
S.V. Choir boys.
F.V. Entering the new Church.
S.C.U. The patriarch inside the new church.
S.C.U. One of the Holy Relics being carried inside
Big G.V. The new Church.
S.T.V. The huge crowd milling around the exterior of the Church.
T.C.V. The crowds.
S.T.V Some of the crowd filing into the Church.
S.C.U. A nun filming the scene.
T.G.V. Cripples arriving in bathchairs.
G.V. Int. The scene inside the new Church.
S.V. The alter.
S.V. Three attendants standing by the other side of the alter.
S.V. The crowd inside.
S.V.Pan The Archbishop of Quebec blessing the inside walls of the Church.
S.C.U. Making the sign of the cross on the wall.
S.V. Crowd inside.
S.L.V. Attendants around the alter.
S.V. Cardinal Roncalli blessing the alter.
S.L.V. The alter.
S.V. Part of the congregation standing.
L.V. The alter with incense burning.
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Background: Preceded by three acolytes bearing a purple-shrouded crucifix, Joseph Cardinal Roncalli, Patriarch of Venice and Papal envoy, today blessed the massive underground Basilica of St. Pius X built within yards of the grotto where the church says St. Bernadette of Lourdes saw the Virgin Mary a century ago.
The Cardinal rode around the concrete basilica three times in an open car. He paused each time before the main entrance to knock and ask the aid of God in opening the doors.
A priest twice answered from behind the closed doors: "Only the Master of this place -- the Lord of the Heavens, the God of Glory--can let you enter."
At the completion of the third tour, the cardinal made the sign of the cross on the doors, which were immediately opened.
Cardinal Roncalli, dressed in the scarlet vestments and spired hat of his office, then entered the basilica with seven archbishops and 29 bishops for a closed hour-long service.
Pilgrims - including hundreds of stretcher-born sick and maimed - thronged the area around the new basilica as the cardinal blessed its exterior.
A choir of blue-and-white-garbed children sand ancient church canticles from the curved roof of the basilica.
More than 50,000 pilgrims watched the ceremony in the warm sunshine. Church officials estimate that at least another 50,000 persons would come to Lourdes tomorrow for the Basilica opening ceremonies.
The consecration of the interior took place - an ancient ritual in a modern setting - to the hosannas of 20,000 massed pilgrims and the Gregorian chants of monks and bhoristers.
The sun had just risen behind the ancient Saracen fortress, high on its cliff above the town, when the lone clerical procession, left the Basilica of the Rosary, bearing to the new church the relics of holy martyrs. The second and major part of the eight-hour consecration service had begun. Cardinal Roncalli blessed the door with holy oil. Then everyone moved inside to admire the fine interior. There are no windows, no paintings, no ornament of any kind save the three-and a-half-ton block of Jura marble that fore the alter, on a raised terrace in the centre of the church. Cardinal Roncalli blessed the alter. The Archbishop of Quebec blessed the wall.