Saint Bernadette Soubirous was born in 1844 in Lourdes, France. February 11, 1858, the Virgin Mary appeared before 14-year-old Bernadette. By July 16 of the same year, Bernadette claimed to have seen the apparition 18 times in the grotto. However, many did not believe her story — including Bernadette’s mother. Then, during one visit, Bernadette was instructed to dig at a certain spot in the cave, which revealed a spring of fresh water days later. A shrine was built there soon after and has been connected to several miracles over the years. Bernadette is the patron saint of illness. Her feast day is April 16.
Questions for Reflection:
- Do you stand up for your faith when others attack it? Why or why not?
- Would you persist in your beliefs even if your own family members didn’t agree with you? What would you say to them?