Our Lady of Lourdes is the patron saint of bodily ills. Our lady first appeared to St. Bernadette in Lourdes, France on Feb. 11, 1858. Bernadette was a poor shepherdess who was only 14 years old. Our Lady actually appeared to her eighteen times.
During the first vision Bernadette saw a bright light and a beautiful lady dressed in a brilliant white dress adorned with a blue ribbon. A long veil covered her body from her head to her feet. Her hands were clasped as if praying and she carried a white and gold rosary with a gold cross in her hands. Bernadette took her rosary out of her pocket and guided by Our Lady they prayed the rosary. After praying, the vision ended. Bernadette asked the girls with her if they had seen anything and they said no. She told them not to say anything however her sister told their mother who did not believe the story.
On Feb. 14, Bernadette returned to the Grotto where the vision had happened. She asked those with her to pray the rosary. When Our Lady appeared again, Bernadette’s face was transfigured. She sprinkled the holy water which had been given her and said, “If you come from God, come near us.” The holy water touched Our Lady and she smiled and came closer. They began to pray the rosary together.
On Feb.18, St. Bernadette was accompanied after Mass by a lady and a religious. When she began praying, Our Lady appeared again and they all prayed the rosary. Our Lady asked Bernadette to return for 15 consecutive days. Bernadette promised she would do so. Our Lady said, “I also promise to make you happy, not in this world, but in the next.”
Bernadette went to the Grotto with a lit candle for the next 15 days. Hundreds of people began coming with her. On Feb. 21. Bernadette observed that Our Lady seemed sad. She asked her “What is wrong? What can I do?” Our Lady said,
“Pray for sinners.”
A doctor examined Bernadette and concluded there was nothing wrong with her. Bernadette was ridiculed nonetheless. On Feb. 23, Our Lady requested that a Sanctuary be built on the site. She told Bernadette to talk to the priest. When the priest asked her the name of the lady Bernadette did not know. The priest told her he needed a miracle and she should ask the lady for the rose bush to blossom.
On Feb. 25, Our Lady told Bernadette to drink from the fountain. Puzzled, Bernadette looked around for water. She discovered water coming up from the ground which soon became a pool of water. On Feb. 26 Our Lady revealed to Bernadette her name saying, “I am the Immaculate Conception”. During one apparition people witnessed Bernadette praying for fifteen minutes with the candle flame burning through her fingers. She remained unharmed.
The last apparition occurred on the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Many miracles of healing have been attributed to he healing waters of Lourdes.
St. Bernadette joined the Sisters of Charity seeking God in the silence of the convent. She died on April 16, 1879. The message of Our Lady of Lourdes is timeless…….Pray for sinners!
Death came through Eve, Life through Mary.
Quote of St. Jerome; Feast day September 30
February is the Month of the Passion of the Lord