Visionary of Lourdes
St. Bernadette Soubirous (1844 - 1879) is best known for having been visited by the Blessed Virgin Mary in eighteen apparitions over the course of five months when she was fourteen years of age. These apparitions led to the establishment of Lourdes as a place of pilgrimage that now attracts millions of visitors each year. Many come to Lourdes for healing, and many leave having been healed in spirit if not in body. And, it was because this young, poorly educated girl who suffered from asthma believed the messages from Our Lady. She was absolutely convinced that she had encountered Our Lady, and she would need that resolution in order to make it through everything that happened in the wake of the visions.
An Education and the Sisters of Charity
Discerning Her Vocation
Entering the Sisters of Charity in Nevers
On the very next day, she met with all of the members of the congregation, and being prompted to do so, she gave her account of the apparitions for the one and only time to these sisters. Later that month, she received her habit and her name as St. Marie-Bernard. Her work was to help in the infirmary. However, as had been predicted by Mother Ferrand, Bernadette would spend quite a bit of time in the infirmary as a patient. This was so much the case that Bernadette would speak of her "job of being ill". Her condition worsened in October of 1866 and she again receive last rites before recovering quickly. A year later, she would make her first profession. After that she was assigned the job of praying along with her work in the infirmary because she, as one of the superiors said the to bishop after Bernadette's first vows, "She is not good at anything."
Visitors and Letter Writing
Her Suffering and Death
On April 16, 1879, Bernadette, having received the last rites a few weeks before, passed away at 3:15 p.m.
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Feast Day: April 16 (Memorial) and February 18 (Memorial - France)
Patron against poverty
Patron of people ridiculed for their piety
Patron against sickness
Patron against illness
Patron of poor people
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