A Life Overview of Saint Bernadette
Marie Bernarde Soubirous was born in 1844 on the 7th of January, in Lourdes, France. Marie was the eldest of six children and was nicknamed Bernadette. Bernadette’s family lived in poverty and she caught cholera at an early age. She had poor health for the rest of her life, suffering from asthma.
On the 11th of February, 1858, Bernadette had a vision near a small cave outside Lourdes, while doing chores and collecting firewood. This place was called the Massabielle Grotto. Bernadette was 14 years old and said she saw a beautiful woman who spoke to her. The woman told Bernadette to keep coming back to the same place to see her. During the time period between, the 11th of February and the 7th of April in 1858, Bernadette witnessed 18 visions of the woman who was The Virgin Mary.
Bernadette’s story caused a lot of talk among the people in the town. These people had many different opinions and as the days passed, the city leaders interviewed Bernadette and threatened to put her in jail if she continued going to the Grotto.
Many people saw her as being ‘slow’ or ‘simple’, but after being questioned many times by state and church officials, she never changed her story and always answered the questions confidently. In fact, Bernadette had no formal education and told information that could not be known to her.
During her total of 18 visions of Mary, Bernadette was told to have a chapel built near the cave, which eventually led to a number of chapels and churches being built in Lourdes. Bernadette was also told to dig in a certain area and when she began digging a spring of water popped out, which had healing powers. Today, this spring produces 27,000 gallons a week and the Medical Bureau of Lourdes have witnessed sick people who have been cured by the waters.
Bernadette never wanted publicity or fame. She wanted to live a quiet life and...