Monday, 17 April 2017

# Saints

Saint Bernadette Soubirous



The 16th of April is the feast day of Saint Bernedette Soubirous. She is the patron saint of Bodily illness, Lourdes, France, shepherds and shepherdesses, against poverty, people ridiculed for their faith.

Saint Berndette lived between 1844 and 1879 and was the eldest of nine children to a very poor family in Lourdes, France. She suffered asthma for her entire life. At the age of 14 in February 11, 1858 she was out collecting firewood when she saw an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in a grotto cave which is on the banks of the Gave River. This was the first of 18 apparitions she had of the Blessed Virgin. However, she faced much opposition due to her visions and suffered from humiliating interrogations from the civil and ecclesiastical authorities. The townspeople believed her and would gather at the grotto when she had visits from the Virgin Mary. During one of the apparitions, Saint Bernedette was shown a hidden spring, the water of which, had the ability to heal. Finally, the apparition revealed Her name to be the "Immaculate Conception" and the local bishop authenticated the visions. A church was built at the site of the grotto at Her request and the spring is now one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in the world. Saint Bernedette became a nun and died at the age of 35 in a convent in Nevers, France on 16th of April 1879. She was canonised by Pope Pius XI in 1933 and her body is incorrupt.

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