February 11th is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes.
The Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubrious from a cave near Lourdes, France in 1858. The young peasant girl, just 14 at the time, saw “the lady dressed all in white” about eighteen times. Mary asked Bernadette to pray for sinners, to have a church built on that spot and for there to be processions. When Bernadette asked the lady who she was, the lady replied, “I am the Immaculate Conception.” A spring arose near the apparition site. Our lady instructed Bernadette to drink from the spring and do penance.
After 150 years the spring has grown and has led to 67 verified miraculous cures. The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes is one of the most visited pilgrimage sites. The Basilica of St. Pius X which was built on the site can accommodate 25,000 people. 5 million journey to Lourdes every year in honor of Our Lady’s request.
Bernadette was a simple child. She was the oldest daughter of a very poor family. She had learning disabilities and was often ridiculed. She was innocence. Her heart was pure and it was filled with love for our lady and her Son.
Our lady told Bernadette that she “could not promise her happiness in this world; only in the next”. Bernadette joined the Sisters of Charity of Nevers at the age of 22. She soon after suffered with tuberculosis of the bone and died after many years of suffering at the age of 35 in 1879. In 1909, Bernadette’s body was exhumed as part of the canonization process. Her body was found to be incorrupt. To this day, she looks as though she has fallen into a peaceful sleep.
Luke 18:16 “but Jesus called the children to Him and said, “Let the children come to Me and do not stop then, because the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
Why does Mary appear mostly to children? Jesus told us the answer.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Pray for Us!