Today Christians Celebrate Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

Our Lady of Lourdes

Our Lady of Lourdes
Image: Catholic Tradition

(Franciscan Media) On the 08 December, 1854 Pope Pius IX proclaimed the precept of the ‘Immaculate Conception’ in the apostolic constitution Ineffabilis Deus a little more than three years later on the 11 February, 1858 the ‘Blessed Virgin’ to a poor, sickly 14 yr old Bernadette Soubiroux writes EWTN there were eighteen in all, the last occurring on the 16 July of the same year–Bernadette, often fell into joy.

Bernadette’s family Catholic faith was scarcely more than lukewarm, while she knew the  prayers of: Our Father; Hail Mary;  the Creed and she also the Miraculous Medals:

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you and for all who do not have recourse to you, especially the enemies of the Church and those recommended to you. Amen

The mysterious visions that Bernadette saw in the hallow of the rock Massabielle, was that of a young and beautiful lady: “Lovelier than I have ever seen,” said Bernadette but the young lady was the only one who seen the vision, although sometimes, many stood with her. Now and then the image spoke to the Seer that was also the only one to hear her voice.

During interviews Bernadette gave an account of what she saw, “It was something white in the shape of a girl, she used the word “aquero” (this thing) it was ‘a pretty young girl with a rosary over her arm,’ her white robe was encircled by a blue girdle, she worse a white veil, there was a yellow rose on each foot and a rosary was in her hand.

Bernadette was also impressed by the fact that the Lady she saw, did not use the informal form of address (tu) but the polite form (vous) the humble virgin appeared to a humble young girl and treated her with dignity.

Though that humble young lady Bernadette, the Virgin Mary revitalized the faith to millions. People began to flock to Lourdes from other parts of France and from all over the world.

In 1862 the Bishop of the Diocese  declared the faithful “justified in believing the reality of the apparition.” A Basilica was constructed upon the rock of Massabielle by Fr. Peyramale, the parish priest.

In 1873 the great ‘national’ French pilgrimages were inaugurated. Three years later, the Basilica was consecrated and the statue solemnly crowned. In 1883 the foundation stone of another Church was laid, as the first was no longer large enough, it was constructed at the foot of the Basilica and was consecrated in 1901 and called the ‘Church of the Rosary’ — Pope Leo XIII authorized a special office and a Mass, in commemoration of the apparition and in 1907 Pope Pius X extended the observance of this feast to the entire Church.

Related: Novena To: Our Lady of Lourdes -EWTN

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