SAINT OF THE DAY: 18 FEBRUARY, 2015

Saint Bernadette Soubirous

Virgin
(1844-1879)

Saint Bernadette Soubirous

Saint Bernadette Soubirous was born at Lourdes, in the Pyrenees mountains, in 1844.

This young girl, fragile of health, born of a very poor but pious family, at fourteen years of age witnessed eighteen apparitions of Our Blessed Lady at Lourdes, from February 11, 1858 to July 16th of the same year.

She was instructed to make known the healing powers which the Blessed Virgin, by Her presence, would give to the miraculous spring of Lourdes.

A worker who had lost an eye in an explosion recovered his sight when he washed his face in this water; a dying child was plunged into the small basin which had formed around the spring, and the next day began to walk.

The police attempted to stop the crowds from going to the Grotto for the foretold apparitions, but were unable to do so. On March 25th, the Beautiful Lady identified Herself in response to Bernadette’s request: I am the Immaculate Conception.

Bernadette was accused of having hallucinations, of spells of mental illness, of lying, but her great simplicity eventually made evident her innocence and entire sanity.

Through the benevolent understanding and collaboration of the bishop of nearby Tarbes, Bishop Laurence, who later authorized the cult of Our Lady of Lourdes, a chapel and then a beautiful basilica were raised above the grotto of the apparitions, on the banks of the Gave River, now a world-famous pilgrimage site.

In 1866 Saint Bernadette joined the Sisters of Charity at Nevers, taking her perpetual vows in 1878.

She died in 1879 at the age of 36, after long and painful sufferings which she bore very willingly, even with joy.

When one of the Mothers said to her: We will pray that God may relieve your pain, she answered, No! Don’t pray for relief for me, only for patience.

The last words she wrote in her little spiritual notebook were: The more I am crucified, the more I rejoice.

She was beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1925, canonized by him in 1933.

(SOURCE: Lives of the Saints for Every Day of the Year, edited by Rev. Hugo Hoever, S.O. Cist., Ph.D. (Catholic Book Publishing Co.: New York, 1951-1955).)

READING OF THE DAY: 18 FEBRUARY, 2015

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“Jesus said to his disciples: “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.

When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others.

Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.

But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret.

And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them.

Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.

But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.

And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.

They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting.

Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.

But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden.

And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”” -Matthew 6:1-6.16-18.