When my son, Peter, was 14 we visited St. Bernadette’s Church in Albuquerque, NM. He reported feeling an overwhelming sense of peace and “presence” as he sat in the pew. His experience seems consistent with all the reports associated with Our Lady of Lourdes, and the young girl who saw her.
Bernadette was 14 when she saw the Lady on the hillside outside of Lourdes and she experienced a sense of peace and awe. Bernadette was a tiny girl, whose big hearts and great love, has inspired millions to seek help from Mary, the Immaculate Conception.
Since our family’s visit to the Church, which is also the US Shrine of St. Bernadette, we have felt a renewed devotion to Mary and also Bernadette, who endured ridicule and punishment, yet she continued to humbly describe “the lady in white.” She never backed off from what she knew to be true.
Our Lady told Bernadette she could find healing water on the spot where she was first seen. Obediently, Bernadette knelt and scooped up mud. The next day a spring flowed from that spot. Since that time hundreds of miracles have been reported by those who drink or are blessed with the water of Lourdes. Of those miracles, 67 have been authenticated by the Church.
Over the course of several visions, Our Lady of Lourdes called the modern world to a renewal of prayer and penance. The world is much in need of humility too.
As I write this I reflect on the story of the Wedding Feast of Cana. Mary noticed that the good wine was gone. She told the servants of the house to “Do whatever Jesus tells you,” because she trusted that her son could change the situation at any moment. In her appearances at Lourdes and elsewhere, Mary says the same thing to us. We are to trust in Jesus and surrender to him. Then miracles happen.
Miracles of healing, as well as miracles of peace in the midst of chaos, are gifts from the Creator. Similarly, when our loving Heavenly Mother returns to us in various places and times, and the saints give us guidance by their examples of endurance and love, we receive a heavenly embrace that should bring us to our knees.
We pray for our families that we will find time every day and throughout the day to say thank you, Lord and to be aware of Jesus, Mary, Joseph and all the saints. We pray that we be strengthened to resist the temptations of the world and be renewed in faith.
We ask for the help of Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Bernadette to guide us in faith.