OUR LADY OF LOURDES: THE APPARITIONS IN LOURDES UNITED HEAVEN AND EARTH AND CALL FOR CONVERSION

photo: pxhere

SOURCE Vjera

Lourdes, a small town with about 15,000 inhabitants, in southwestern France (Hautes-Pyrénées department, Midi-Pyrénées region), on the Gave de Pau river in the Pyrenees, 60 kilometers southwest of Toulouse, is an important and popular pilgrimage destination. In 1858, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared eighteen times to the fourteen-year-old Bernardica (Bernardette) Soubirous, a miller’s daughter, in the cave of Massabielle.

The first apparition happened on February 11, 1858, when Bernardica saw Our Lady in a cave near the town, gathering firewood in the company of her sister and a friend. Similar apparitions were repeated 17 more times that year, until July 16, 1858. In her addresses to Bernardica, among other things, Maria encouraged her to dig a spring with healing water, wished for the arrival of many believers to the place of apparitions, and recommended prayers and penance for unwilling sinners. , the sick world and the conversion of unbelievers, requested the building of a church in that place and introduced herself as the Immaculate Conception.

The apparitions in Lourdes brought heaven and earth together, and were permeated with calls to prayer, penance and conversion. Marija used a poor and ignorant miller’s daughter to convey her messages. Through the Mother, the Most High chooses the small and humble in a significant way. This is a great message and a significant lesson of the Lourdes events. The Lourdes apparitions encourage the Church and the faithful to purity, modesty, willingness to sacrifice, and prayer and love for the sick, the poor and the needy.

Photo: Parish of Jastrebarsko

Pope Pius IX. authorized the local bishop in 1862 to allow the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes. Bernardette Soubirous was declared blessed in 1927 and a saint in 1933. More than 5 million pilgrims visit Lourdes every year. A basilica (1876) and a large church of St. Pius X (1958) were built next to the cave, with 20 to 30 thousand seats. Numerous physical and spiritual healings took place in Lourdes and are still taking place today.

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