紀念日 / Memorial date
Saint Bernadette Soubirous, Virgin
Bernadette Soubirous was born on January 7, 1844. She was the first child of an extremely poor miller in the town of Lourdes in southern France. The family was living in the basement of a dilapidated building.
At 14, Bernadette was known as a virtuous girl though a dull student who had not even made her first Holy Communion. In poor health, she had suffered from asthma from an early age. On Thursday, February 11, 1858, Bernadette was sent with her younger sister and a friend to gather firewood, when Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to her above a rose bush in a cave (grotto) above the banks of the Gave River near Lourdes.
There were 18 appearances in all, the final one occurring on the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, July 16. Blessed Virgin Mary invited all people to do penance and pray the Rosary for the conversion of sinners. She also revealed herself: The Immaculate Conception. (The cave thus became a famous pilgrimage destination where Virgin Mary performed different miracles). Bernadette did not like the attention she was getting and went to the hospice school run by the Sisters of Charity of Nevers, where she was taught to read and write. On July 29, 1866, Bernadette took the religious habit of a postulant and joined the Sisters of Charity at their motherhouse at Nevers.
Bernadette spent the rest of her life there working as an infirmary assistant, and later a sacristan. People admired her humility and spirit of sacrifice. Once a nun asked her if she had temptations of pride because she was favored by the Blessed Mother. “How can I?” she answered quickly. “The Blessed Virgin chose me only because I was the most ignorant.”
She died on April 16, 1879, at the age of 35. Bernadette Soubirous was canonized in 1933.
God, who dwells among those pure in heart,
through the prayers and example of Saint Bernadette, and
the intercessions of Blessed Virgin Mary the Immaculate Conception,
purify our hearts, help us follow Saint Bernadette’s simplicity and humility,
that we may always contemplate your mercy.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.