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Franciscan Spirit Blog

Sisterhood of Saints: Bernadette Soubirous

Oct 22, 2018
Sisterhood of Saints: Bernadette Soubirous

We all know the story of how Mary appeared to Bernadette, a simple girl of fourteen, at Lourdes.  But what sometimes gets lost in the story is Bernadette’s strong faith.  Her statements were challenged over and over again by Church officials and local authorities who attempted to catch her in lies and contradictions.

People were openly skeptical about why the Blessed Virgin would appear to a girl who was functionally illiterate; who at the time of the first apparition had not even made her First Communion. Bernadette was so unimportant! She lived with her family in a one-room cottage that had once served as a jail!

But Bernadette was spiritually indifferent to the doubts and verbal rocks thrown her way. With unfailing simplicity and calm, Bernadette shared what had happened—nothing more and nothing less—about the eighteen times in six months that she saw Our Lady. When investigators changed her words or tried to add to them, she corrected them. When they asked what it meant when Our Lady said, “I am the Immaculate Conception,” she said it was not her responsibility to explain these things, only to share the message.

And when the visions ceased, Bernadette did not make a single attempt to trade on her fame. She entered a convent—not leaving even for the dedication of the Lourdes Basilica. When someone asked why she herself, sickly her entire life, was not cured by the waters, Bernadette responded: “The Blessed Virgin perhaps desires for me to suffer. I need it.”

It can be tempting to do some self-aggrandizement, to inflate our own importance to the well-being of our family, our parish, or our employer. Yet we are all only vessels for God’s work in the world. May we, as Bernadette did, respond to the profound gifts we are given with humility, modesty, and clarity.

 

Inspiration

"From this moment on, anything concerning me is no longer of any interest to me. I must belong entirely to God and God alone. Never to myself." Saint Bernadette Soubirous

Challenge

Do a good work for a family member or a friend in secret. Don’t tell anyone but God.


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Sisterhood of Saints


Comments

Submitted by Kathy Hamilton (not verified) on Fri, 03/19/2021 - 11:28 AM

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I am a 64 year old woman, who has loved Bernadette all my life. Once when I was 13 I happened to see the only picture of Bernadette that until then I had never seen her image. She was about my age I was surprised because she looked like me. She was prettier of course. So my obsession with Saint Bernadette is an ongoing one even to this day.

Submitted by Manuel Antonio… (not verified) on Thu, 04/15/2021 - 01:02 AM

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I am 65 years old , I read about saint bernadette , I really glad that the blessed virgin appeared to such a poor girl who suffered a lot on her health , blessed forever she be ,, I sure she cured her and that now she is in heaven ❤️😇

Submitted by Cheryl M Burton (not verified) on Fri, 04/16/2021 - 10:46 AM

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God does not Judge men or women by their outward appearance. The ancient prophet Samuel even made this mistake thinking that the Lord God had chosen the older brother of the future king David, to be king based on his physical appearance which was apparently more attractive than king David. But the LORD said to Samuel : Do not Judge from his appearance.... God does not see as a mortal, who sees the appearance. The LORD looks into the heart.(1 Samuel 16:7), Which is what this short article has nicely done, looking into the humble heart of St Bernadette Soubirous. I wish that I could be that humble but I am not.

Submitted by Lika Yandall (not verified) on Fri, 04/16/2021 - 11:20 AM

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1985, I got married 2 help-out with my husband family n tried 2 saved himself from committing further suicidal issues. 1995, He asked 4 divorce, n I granted. 1996, r Sacred Heart Parish announcement of the Pilgrimage 2 (5) countries including South of France where the miracle healing water of Lourdes. I was among 16 pilgrims members attended. Because of my great need of healing emotionally/physically/mentally/n spiritually. I was heal!!! I’m still well/healthy/n fully functionally!!! I’m a Immaculate Heart member since birth. My parents dedicated me 2 her Immaculate Heart since birth. Daily I’m her vessel 2 do Eternal Father holy will.😘🧘🏽‍♂️⛪️🙏🙏🙏🌷🐣🐥🐇💘🤟

Submitted by Paula Stahl (not verified) on Fri, 04/16/2021 - 08:32 PM

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I am a 76 yr old woman. I have read much about St Bernadette and love her innocence and humility. Her incorrupt body beautiful & peaceful can teach us much about love of God&our lady

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