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Saturday, February 2, 2008

Anniversary of Lourdes Apparitions

February 2 ~ 11 marks the 150th Anniversary of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes to St. Bernadette Soubirous. The amazing story of how Mary appeared to a poor and humble young girl in a French grotto has been recounted again and again through book and film.

We have a number of resources available in honor of this special occasion--including a biography that contains the 857 words and conversations of Bernadette at Nevers. The book, aptly titled Bernadette Speaks, is currently the featured title of our Lives of the Saints Book Club. But for those of you not in the club, here's an excerpt you may enjoy that illustrates Bernadette's humanness. After she entered the convent at Nevers, Bernadette was continually visited by bishops, priests, and lay persons who wished to see the "seer of Lourdes." Bernadette's superiors tried to get around the young nun's reluctance to be put on "display" by devising a plan so that she might "accidentally" bump into the visitor. On one occasion, another young sister was told to take Bernadette for a walk outside and at a certain point pause in front of one of the plants. The following story is recounted by this same sister:

"Once we arrived in front of the parlor window, I stole a glance through the window and recognized [the superiors and visiting bishop]. I immediately took my companion by the arm and, showing her a daisy, said softly, 'Oh, my dear sister! Tell me if this wild flower isn't delightful! It is more beautiful than the flowers in the garden. Don't you find that the good Lord knows his business better than we do?'

"[Bernadette] broke away and headed for the linen room, saying: 'Blabbermouth!'" (from Bernadette Speaks, p. 436)

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