Today marks the first apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1858 to fourteen-year-old Marie Bernade (St. Bernadette) Soubirous. Between February 11 and July 16, 1858, the Blessed Virgin appeared eighteen times, and showed herself to St. Bernadette in the hollow of the rock at Lourdes. When questioned by her mother, Saint Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year-old peasant girl from Lourdes admitted, that she had seen a "lady" in the cave of Massabielle, about a mile from the town, while she was gathering firewood with her sister and a friend. Similar appearances of the "lady" took place on seventeen further occasions that year. On March 25 she said to the little shepherdess who was only fourteen years of age: "I am the Immaculate Conception." Since then Lourdes has become a place of pilgrimage and many cures and conversions have taken place. The message of Lourdes is a call to personal conversion, prayer, and charity. Pope Pius IX authorized the local bishop to permit the veneration of the Virgin Mary in Lourdes in 1862.
Information about the historical background as well as the symbols of Lourdes (candles, water, rock, processions and people) and how each represents a response to the messages of Our Lady to Bernadette.
- A reminder to our listeners that the Limerick Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes takes place from 21st - 26th June 2012.
- For those that would like to leave a petition at the Grotto in Lourdes please go here.
- For those that would like to watch a webcam of the Grotto in Lourdes, here.
- The official website of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes.
- You can see previous posts on the blog about Our Lady of Lourdes and World Day of the Sick HERE.
- In particular reflection from Fr Michael Liston from our programme of February 8th 2013 HERE.