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12 Jul, 2024

Our Lady of Lourdes – Miracles and Graces Abound for All Who Seek

Who Is Our Lady of Lourdes?

This Marian title is in line with a series of apparitions of our lady in Lourdes, France.

This time, our lady chose a 13-year old teenager from a humble family. Her name is Bernadette Soubirous, a caring and hardworking girl in her early teens.

As one of her chores, Bernadette fetches firewood for her mother. So as usual on the cold day of February 1858, Bernadette went out for firewood with her sister and a friend to River Gave.  

Her two companions ran off ahead while she trailed behind. On getting to the river, she pulled off her sandals to wade through the water.

Just then, on hearing the rumbling of wind she looked up but realized the trees and bushes were not moving.

She turned towards the grotto at the entrance of the cave facing the river and saw a lady filled with beauty. The cave itself is illuminated with golden light and the lady is dressed in a sparkling white robe with a blue sash. She has a veil on her head, holding the rosary in her hand and standing on yellow roses.

The lady asked her to say her prayers, Bernadette obeyed but the lady had disappeared when she was done. She recounted the event when she joined the others but they mocked her in disbelief.

Bernadette on her own part did not let go of the reality that befell her. She visited the grotto again and as she expected, the lady appeared to her again. The lady demanded that a chapel be built for her on that spot and also asked Bernadette to visit her for the next fifteen days.

Finally, on the 25th of March, the lady revealed herself as the Virgin Mary and instructed her to pray for sinners.

Her incessant visits to the grotto attracted attention and soon she pulled enough people to make a crowd at the grotto.

Many miraculous healings have been recorded on the site of the grotto and it continues to attract millions of pilgrims each year.

Interestingly, a medical bureau was set up to investigate and confirm healings that are purely miraculous because a lot of people were healed by our Lady of Lourdes.

Our Lady Cannot Abandon Us To Our Fate

At one time she visited through a poor Mexican peasant, at another a novice of Daughters of Charity. Today, it is through poor Bernadette from a humble background.

She comes when we least expected her. Our lady of Lourdes was clear with what she wants- to pray and make sacrifices for sinners, as she demanded from Bernadette.

At this moment, she extended that plea to us- pray and make sacrifices for sinners.

The question here becomes who the sinners are. Well, while we put in our best not to sin but could barely manage, the magnitude of our effort still goes a long way to please God.

On the other hand, there are people who have lost their conscience and finds it hard to differentiate between good and bad.  

For yourself and these people, pray and make sacrifices.

The society we live in has decayed, smells of rot and our lady is not happy. It will be an act of charity to go out of your way and pray for this rotten society and once in a while make sacrifices too.

Do you shrink at the mention of sacrifice? Our lady cannot overburden us, you see. In every 24 hours that slide passes, there are numerous scenarios that can be converted to a sacrifice.

I can start by mentioning giving alms and visiting the sick. These are wonderful.

However, salient activities like talking less than you do become a great sacrifice too. But only when we do it intentionally as a sacrifice and use those moments of our day to reflect and pray.

It can come in other ways like eating a little less than we do or waking a bit more early to pray.

Our lady will appreciate and reward any such effort.   

Devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes

Passionate mother of Lourdes, I love you.

You visited the people of Lourdes through Bernadette, healed their sick and restored their hope.

Through this act, you revealed your everlasting presence in our lives.

Lady of Lourdes, be with me as I face these earthly snares that want to snatch me away from you. I am a sinner, heal me and give me the strength to stand the challenges that are bound to come.

Give me a heart of charity that I may see the need to pray for others, especially people who by circumstances of life are trapped in the claws of sin.

Look not upon our sin and help us with your grace. Grace to heal. Grace to forgive and to love. Grace to live this life and join you in the next.

Oh, lady of Lourdes, I firmly believe that you can hear and will grant my request. Amen.

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