18th and 19th Century: Bernadette Soubirous and the Healing Waters of Lourdes

Originally posted on 18th and 19th Century.

Bernadette before the Grotto of Massabielle at Lourdes

Bernadette before the Grotto of Massabielle at Lourdes

Bernadette Soubirous was the daughter of a miller and laundress born on January 7, 1844.

She lived in Lourdes in the south of France, and, on February 11, 1858, at the age of fourteen, she, her younger sister, and a friend were gathering wood in an area near some poplars. At one point they came to stream, and, to prevent wetting her stockings, she stopped to remove them and sat near an alcove or niche.

As Bernadette bent down to take off her stockings the wind suddenly whipped up. She was so startled she looked up, but the poplars were not moving with the wind. Bernadette was puzzled. She bent down again to take off her stockings, and, again she heard the wind. This time when she looked up she “would have uttered a loud cry if she had not been choked with fear. She trembled in all her limbs, and fell to the earth dazzled, completely overcome by what she had seen.

“There within the darkness of the niche was an amazing figure of a heavenly…

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