Ferrero Rocher's Sweet Tribute to Our Lady of Lourdes

Ferrero Rocher's Sweet Tribute to Our Lady of Lourdes

Ferrero Rocher, a globally recognized brand famed for its distinctive hazelnut chocolates, has an intriguing connection to a religious site: the Rocher de Massabielle in Lourdes, France. This location is where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to St. Bernadette, and it inspired Michele Ferrero, the company’s founder, to name his chocolates "Rocher," which translates to "rock" in French. This name and the design of the chocolates—with their rough, golden exterior—reflect the rocky grotto of Lourdes, a site of deep significance to Ferrero.

Michele Ferrero was known for his devout Catholic faith and his special devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes. He believed strongly that the success of his chocolate empire was intertwined with his faith, once remarking at the company's 50th anniversary that their achievements were owed to Our Lady of Lourdes, claiming, "without her we can do little." Father Mauricio Elias, a chaplain at the Sanctuary of Lourdes, noted in an interview in 2023 that Ferrero was a frequent visitor and supporter of Lourdes, and he actively practiced his faith.

Michele Ferrero's commitment to this holy site was profound. He made annual pilgrimages, took his employees on visits, and placed statues of the Virgin Mary in every one of his 14 factories worldwide. Following a flood that damaged the sanctuary at Lourdes shortly before his death in 2015 at the age of 89, Ferrero pledged a significant donation for repairs, a promise that his children fulfilled after his passing.

Today, Ferrero Rocher continues to be a leading chocolate producer under the leadership of Michele’s son, Giovanni Ferrero. The company, which was originally founded in 1946 in Alba, Italy, by Michele's father, Pietro Ferrero, has grown to become the third largest chocolate manufacturer in the world. It has expanded its portfolio to include other popular brands like Nutella, Tic Tac, and Kinder, continuing to delight consumers worldwide while upholding its founder's legacy of faith and generosity.

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