Our Lady of Lourdes hovers above statue of St. Bernadette at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary in Lourdes. (Photo from Wiki Commons, courtesy of Dennis Jarvis, https://bit.ly/3BaOVDA)
by Theresa Cavicchio
The months of February through July of 1858 marked a time of exceptional grace for the people of Lourdes, a town in the foothills of the Pyrenees in southern France. There, in an overgrown grotto, the Queen of Heaven and Earth appeared to a simple peasant girl.
Perhaps no other appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary has captured people’s hearts and imaginations like those she made to Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes, France in 1858. Our Lady appeared eighteen times that year to an impoverished, uneducated fourteen-year-old girl who lived with her family in an old jail. Since that time, more than five thousand healings are reported to have taken place in the spot where the Blessed Mother appeared; sixty-four of them the Catholic Church has proclaimed “miraculous.” Read the rest…
Everything about the young girl named Bernadette Soubirous spoke of humility. If anyone had told her struggling parents how widely her name would become known, they never would have believed it. Yet it was this simple, virtually uneducated girl who had been chosen to receive the highest of privileges.
“I am the Immaculate Conception”
–The Blessed Virgin to St. Bernadetter Soubirous
For Reflection: Do I understand the meaning of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception — that Mary was conceived without the blemish of original sin? I will ask the Blessed Mother today to enhance my appreciation of this great truth.
As the Church prepares to celebrate the World Day of the Sick tomorrow, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, Pope Benedict XVI issued a message reminding the faithful about the importance of the “sacraments of healing” – penance and Anointing of the Sick.