St. Bernadette of Lourdes

St Bernadette of Lourdes is a French peasant girl who is known as the saint of illness and poverty. She was born on January 7, 1844 in Lourdes, a town in France, to Francois Soubirous who was a miller and Louise Soubirous who was a laundress. Her original name was Marie – Bernade Soubirous. She was baptized on the 9th January at the local parish church.

On 11th February 1858, at the age of 14, she had her first vision in Massabielle grotto. It then continued and she started to have a series of vision, 18 in total, till July 16 1858. Mary revealed her identity in those visions by saying “I am the Immaculate Conception” and through various messages she told Bernadette to build a chapel on the site of the vision, and told the girl to drink from a fountain in the grotto, which Marie subsequently discovered by digging into the earth. She faithfully transmitted Mary’s messages eventhough her parents and the the civil authorities had a strong opposition.

Disliking the public attention, she became a boarder in a local school run by the Sisters of Charity where she was taught how to read and write. The Mother Superior at the time gave her the name Marie-Bernarde in honor of her godmother who was named “Bernarde”. One day, asked about the apparitions, she replied: “The Virgin used me as a Broom to remove the dust. When the work is done, the broom is put behind the door again.” In 1866, she was approved admission into the Novitiate in the Motherhouse in Nevers. There her religious studies were completed and had continued the rest of the years praying. She was loved for her kindness and was all the time happy.

She eventually died on the 18th of April 1879 at the age of 35 because of an illness called tuberculosis. For several months prior to her death, she was unable to take an active part in convent life. Due to her illness, she soon fell sick and no longer had she remained alive. On December 8th 1933, she was canonized by Pope Pius. The feast of St Bernadette was announced to be on the 16 April.

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Life is challenging but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t face it. Here St Bernadette of Lourdh sets a great example on how she had gone through various situations in life and how she faced them. She made sure that no matter what comes in her way, she would accomplish her mission and would remain close to God. In the same way we should do whatever we can no matter how small or big it is, and that you should try and get close to god instead of disobeying and staying far from him. Every good thing you do in life leaves a strong footprint in your journey getting close to god.

“If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces… never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again. That’s the beauty of being alive… We can always start all over again. Enjoy God’s amazing opportunities bestowed on us. Have faith in Him always.”

St. Bernadette of Lourdes

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