A short history about St Bernadette and this marvelous place.
The churches which Our Lady requested young Bernadette to ask the priests to build on the huge rock over the Grotto of Lourdes.
The Grotto of Lourdes where Mary appeared to Bernadette in 1858.
Photo of Bernadette shortly after her death.
St Bernadette (Large picture)
The incorrupt corpse of Saint Bernadette who died in 1879.
Lourdes is a small village in the South of France and on the 11th of February in 1858 Our Lady appeared to a 14 year old peastant girl Bernadette Soubirous as she was collecting firewood with her sister for the family home. Mary did not identify herself at the first apparition but said the Rosary and asked Bernadette to return to that grotto everyday for two weeks. During the next two weeks Mary asked for a church to be built there and for the sick to come there. Mary told Bernadette to dig in the ground and to wash her face in the water that then surfaced. The water turned into a fount of spiritual and sometimes physical healing for so many of the pilgrims that have gone to Lourdes since. That spring that Bernadette opened on the surface at Mary’s direction has never stopped flowing.
The whole town wanted to know who this mysterious woman was who Bernadette said was appearing to her and Mary finally told Bernadette on the 25th of March (The Feast of the Annunciation ) that she is the “Immaculate Conception” (Mary’s exact words in Bernadette’s own dialect were “Que Soy Era Immaculada Councepciou”. Fourteen year old Bernadette did not undersatand these big words so she repeated them over and over again as she ran back to tell the parish priest. The priest then believed in the apparition because he knew that just four years earlier in 1854 that the Pope had declared it a Doctrine of Catholic faith that Mary is the “Immaculate Conception” or was conceived without sin. Bernadette became a nun and later she died in Nevers which is south of Paris in France on the 16th of April in 1879 after alot of physical suffering.
Bernadette who was nearly always ill suffered painful attacks of Asthma, tuberculosis of the Lung and of the right knee. She never complained about her illnesses and it was only shortly before her death when the doctor saw her limping and then examined her leg that they realised that she was so ill. Actually the Mother Superior of the house who had known Bernadette since childhood in Lourdes and who had never believed Bernadette’s account of the apparitions only then repented and recognised Bernadette’s holiness. Thirty years later the Church began the official process of examining her life to see if she was a Saint. Part of this process is official identification of the persons remains and when the Bishop, the Mayor, Doctors and workmen removed her coffin on the 22nd of September 1909 they discovered that her body had not decayed and was in a perfect state of preservation. Even now over 133 years later her body still remains incorrupt waiting for the “Day of Resurrection”.
On the 25th of March 1858 Mary announced herself to 14 year old Bernadette as the “Immaculate Conception”. This title was in a sense confirming that Mary is the New Eve because when we look at the story of Adam and Eve we see that two sinless virgins were involved in the fall of humanity but they did not remain sinless or virgins and in the story of our redemption we believe that two sinless virgins (Jesus and Mary)' were involved in the redemption of humanity and they forever remain sinless virgins. Only Jesus could redeem humanity.
The “Cachot” or cell where Bernadette Soubirous lived in poverty with her family.
Original photo of the Grotto where Bernadette Soubirous saw Our Lady on the 11th of February 1858.
The Miraculous Spring which Mary produced from the Rock for Saint Bernadette.
O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Health of the sick,
refuge of sinners, comfort of the afflicted, you know my needs,
my troubles, my sufferings; cast on me a look of pity. By appearing
in the Grotto of Lourdes to Saint Bernadette you were pleased to make it a
privileged sanctuary, from where you dispense your favours, and already
many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual
and corporal. I come, therefore with the most unbounded confidence to implore
your maternal intercession. Obtain, o loving Mother my requests......... through
gratitude for your favours, I will endeavour to imitate your virtues,
so that I may one day see God’s Glory. Amen
Our Lady of Lourdes pray for us.
Blessed be the holy and immaculate conception
of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God.
Our Lady of Lourdes pray for us.
Our Mother have pity on us
Our Lady of Lourdes, heal us for the love and honour of the Holy Trinity
Our Lady of Lourdes heal us, for the conversion of sinners.
Health of the sick, pray for us.
Succour of suffers, pray for us.
O Mary conceived without sin pray for us who have recourse to you.
O God who through the Immaculate conception of the Blessed Virgin
Mary, prepared a fit dwelling for your Son; we humbly
entreat you to grant us , who celebrate the apparition of the
Immaculate Virgin Mary health of soul and body.
Through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
© copyright Sisters of Charity, Nevers, Convent Saint-Gildard, Espace Bernadette 34 rue Saint-Gildard 58000 Nevers France. All photos of Saint Bernadette used with the permission of the official web site of the Sisters of Charity, Nevers
Special thanks to the staff of the Sanctuary of Lourdes for permission to use these photos.
© copyright Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes/EURL Rosary Basilica All the Lourdes photos used with permission of the official web site of Lourdes.
Copyright © Trinity.la