Today is the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, an apparition of the Virgin Mary. She appeared on this day in 1858 to a fourteen-year-old girl from a poor, working family. This young girl’s name is Saint Bernadette Soubirous.
“Bernadette Soubirous was absolutely startled by what she saw—this beautiful lady dressed in white and praying the Rosary. And she came back and of course when she told her parents and others about it they were incredulous. But she persevered,” explained Fr. Rocky, Executive Director/CEO at Relevant Radio®.
As with many of Our Lady’s apparition sites, claims of miracles started pouring in from the faithful who visited. “At one point, Our Lady asked [Bernadette] to dig a little bit in the dirt near this cave and she did and all of a sudden this water came out. At first it was muddy and then it clarified itself and within a short time there were miraculous cures and a number of those were actually approved by the Church. And now, 160 years later, there have been literally hundreds of people who have been cured at the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes.”
On her sixteenth visit, Our Lady told Bernadette, “I am the Immaculate Conception.” She instructed us to pray and do penance for the conversion of sinners.
Despite the initial doubt Bernadette faced when she spoke of Mary’s apparitions, local devotion quickly spread. Many flocked to the grotto and the Church formally approved the apparition just a few years later. Today, millions of pilgrims visit the grotto each year.
“And now that devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes has spread literally throughout the world,” explained Fr. Rocky. “And I know of a number of places where people have built replicas of the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes. Probably the most famous one in the United States is down at the University of Notre Dame, because the University of Notre Dame was founded by a French priest so they had a great devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes.”
The Holy Rosary is an important part of Our Lady’s apparition. When Bernadette saw Our Lady for the first time, she knelt with Mary and prayed her Rosary. We welcome you to join our Family Rosary Across America® broadcast this evening in honor of Our Lady of Lourdes. The Family Rosary Across America is broadcast live each weekday at 8pm ET / 5pm PT only on Relevant Radio.