3. Lourdes, France

In February of 1958, the Virgin Mary ‘appeared’ to Bernadette Soubirous, a 14 year old schoolgirl, as she made her way home. These visions, in which the Virgin took the form of a beautiful, white-robed, light-bathed woman, occurred some 18 times before ceasing in July of the same year. A spring was discovered near the site of the apparition and today attracts around 5 million pilgrims each year, many of whom attribute astonishing tales of healing to its waters.

3. Lourdes, France

4. St Peter’s, Vatican City, Italy

When St Peter was martyred at the nearby Circus Nero (legend has it that he was crucified upside down) his remains were recovered by the faithful and buried in a necropolis where the current St Peter’s stands. Rediscovered in the 20th century, extensive forensic work confirmed that the bones found were, in fact, that of St Peter; they were displayed for public veneration by Pope Francis in 2013 and the Vatican continues to be the epicentre of the Catholic faith.

4. St Peter’s, Vatican City, Italy