FEBRUARY 11, is the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, and we celebrate her messsage of peace, penance, and healing. In 1858, a 14-year-old peasant girl, Bernadette Soubirous, was gathering firewood in the countryside when a beautiful woman, standing on a rock in a natural grotto, appeared to her. This began a series of 18 apparitions in which Bernadette talked and prayed with the woman. On one visit, the mysterious woman instructed Bernadette to dig into the dry ground and drink from the spring that flowed there.
Although no spring was visible, Bernatdette scratched at the ground and a spring began to bubble up. To this day, the water continues to flow, which have have a miraculous healing property. Lourdes is well-known for the many miracles of healing that have taken place there over the years.
‘I Am the Immaculate Conception’
The woman identified herself as the Immaculate Conception, a title that identifes the privilege granted to Our Lady of being born without any trace of original sin. To this day, thousands of pilgrims flock to the grotto every year to drink from the holy spring and to draw nearer to Christ through the intercession of his Blessed Mother.