Saint Bernadette Soubirous was born on January 7th, 1844 in Lourdes, France as the first child of a poor miller. She was brought into this world through a very poor family, and they lived in the basement of a decaying building. On February 11, 1858, the Blessed Virgin Mary made an appearance to Bernadette near the Gave River, when she was 14 years old. The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared 18 times in all and the final one occurred on the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, which was on July 16th. The Lady had told Bernadette to build a chapel on the spot of the visions. Many people came to this spot to wash in and drink the water of the spring that welled in the spot that Bernadette dug up. On March 25, the Blessed Virgin Mary finally revealed herself when she said, “I am the Immaculate Conception”, which made Bernadette realize who she was talking to. The shrine at Lourdes became one of the most popular shrines in the world, with many tourists drawn to it. The waters in the spring were known to cause miracles. During her life, she went through a lot of pain. She had health problems as well as being hounded by civic officials. She went to the nuns for protection and after 5 years wanted to join the Sisters of Notre Dame. After 4 months of her entrance, she was given the last rites of the Church. She rehabilitated enough to infirmary and then sacristan, but her chronic health problems didn’t let her go further. She died on April 16, 1879, and was only 35. She was canonized in 1933. Today, Saint Bernadette Soubirous is the patron of the ill, the poor, sheep tenders, and those who are humiliated for their piety.
Pray for Saint Bernadette, that like you, we may always be obedient to the will of Our Heavenly Father, and that through our prayers and humility we may bring consolation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary that have been so grievously wounded by our sins.
Holy Saint Bernadette of Lourdes, Pray for us.