Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.
In 1858 the Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubirous, near Lourdes in France, in the cavern called “de Massabielle.” Through this poor, fourteen-year-old girl, Mary calls on us to turn to God and change our lives. She has inspired in the Church a great love of prayer and good words, especially in the service of the poor and the sick.
Lourdes is a place of pilgrimage, healing, and faith. There have been 60 “recognized” miraculous cures as a result of a visit to the waters at Lourdes, although there are likely many, many more. The Church sees this as a continuation of Jesus’ healing miracles—now performed at the intercession of his mother. Some who visit Lourdes return home and experience in their bodies, many return with renewed faith.
While many believe the stories of the apparitions and miracles at Lourdes, there are many who do not. In the words that introduce the film Song of Bernadette: “For those who believe in God, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible.”