Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!
Do you know someone who is sick? God sent Our Lady of Lourdes to show how much he cares for the sick. Here’s what happened and what it means for all of us.
Fourteen-year-old Bernadette was gathering firewood by a river when she spotted a golden light coming from a nearby cave. When Bernadette came closer, she saw a beautiful lady holding a rosary. The lady spoke lovingly to Bernadette and asked her to pray the rosary with her.
At first, most people didn’t believe Bernadette’s story about the lady. But that didn’t stop Bernadette from returning to the little cave in Lourdes, France. The beautiful lady appeared 18 times between February and July 1858. She told Bernadette to pray for sinners. She also explained who she was: “I am the Immaculate Conception.” The beautiful lady was
Mary, the mother of Jesus!
As word spread, curious crowds joined Bernadette at the cave. Only Bernadette could see Mary. One day, people watched as Bernadette scraped at the ground. A small spring of water trickled up. Mary had told Bernadette that she wanted a church built on the spot. Later, a woman with an injured arm washed in the spring. She was completely healed!
This was the first of thousands of cures at Lourdes, which still pours out healing water today. As Mary had asked, a beautiful church was built there, with spires pointing toward heaven. Remembering that Jesus cared for the sick, hundreds of volunteers help at Lourdes every day. It all reminds us that God loves and cares for us, body and soul. He wants us to care for others as he does.
Our Lady of Lourdes is the name the Church gives to Mary as she appeared at Lourdes. How do you think Mary would like you to celebrate this feast on February 11? Hint: Mary loves and cares for all the sick and suffering!
BONUS: Download this page in a PDF format with activities to help celebrate this feast day. Click here: CAT.Feb2019_LivingtheLiturgicalYear_web
This article originally appeared in Catechist magazine, February 2019
Photo: Public Domain, Bernadette Soubirous en 1863, photo Billard-Perrin