Leaders Contact Information: Fr. Mike Shanahan, firstname.lastname@example.org
February 11 is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, one of the most famous apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary and patron saint of our parish.
On Feb. 11, 1858, a young peasant girl named Bernadette Soubirous was out collecting firewood with her sister and another friend near a grotto when she saw a vision of a lovely lady. In the words of Bernadette, “I raised my head and looked towards the grotto. I saw a Lady dressed in white, wearing a white dress, a blue girdle and a yellow rose on each foot, the same color as the chain of her Rosary.”
During subsequent visits to the grotto, the Lady (who had yet to identify herself as the Blessed Virgin Mary) asked Bernadette for a chapel to be built on the grotto grounds as well as for her to pray for the conversion of sinners and drink from the water at the spring of the grotto. On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the Lady again appeared to Bernadette at the grotto, this time identifying herself as the Immaculate Conception.
Many of the townspeople believed in Bernadette’s visions and came in large numbers to the grotto to pray. The spring that the Lady asked Bernadette to drink from quickly revealed itself to be blessed water with miraculous healing properties.
Four years after Our Lady of Lourdes appeared to Bernadette, the local bishop authenticated her visions.
Bernadette was canonized a Saint in 1933 by Pope Pius XI. Her Feast Day was originally fixed on February 18, but is now observed in most places on the date of her death, April 14.