Saint Bernadette Soubirous
St. Bernadette Soubirous was born in Lourdes, France in 1844. Her family was so poor they lived in an old jail. As a child, she suffered from ill health and struggled learning in school but loved the faith. In February 1858, when she was 14 years old, Bernadette was gathering firewood when a beautiful young Lady appeared to her in a grotto. The Lady was clothed in white and wore a blue sash around her waist. She invited Bernadette to pray the rosary with her before she disappeared. The Lady continued to appear to Bernadette each day for two weeks. During one of her visits, the lady instructed Bernadette to dig in the ground - a spring of water miraculously appeared there! Soon, people began reporting healing when they would bathe in the waters. The Lady asked that a chapel be built where she was appearing before she revealed herself as the Immaculate Conception. Soon, Bernadette and the many pilgrims realized the Lady was Mary, the Mother of Jesus! A great church was constructed at the place Mary appeared to Bernadette. Many people traveled to pray at the place Mary appeared and bathe in the healing water. After the apparitions, Bernadette entered a religious order and became a nun, dedicating the rest of her life in service to Jesus and His Church. She died in 1879. When the Catholic Church opened Bernadette's cause for Sainthood, her body was discovered to be miraculously preserved, as though she was asleep! To this day, her body remains incorrupt in the convent in which she lived. Bernadette was canonized a Saint in 1933.
Feast Day: April 16
Patron Saint of Lourdes and Against Illness
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