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Saint Bernadette of Lourdes


Also known as Bernada, Bernardetta, Bernardette Soubirous, Bernardette, Maria Bernadette, Marie Bernarde, Sleeping Saint of Nevers

Memorial 16 April, 18 February in France

Profile Oldest of six children in a very poor family headed by Francois and Louise Casterot. Hired out as a servant from age 12 to 14. Shepherdess. On 11 February 1858, around the time of her first Communion, she received a vision of the Virgin; her own account of it is in the Readings section below. She received seventeen more in the next five months, and was led to a spring of healing waters. She moved into a house with the sisters of Nevers at Lourdes where she lived, worked, and learned to read and write. The sisters cared for the sick and indigent, and at age 22 they admitted Bernadette into their order since she was both. Always sick herself, and often mistreated by her superiors, she died with a prayer for Mary's aid. Since the appearances of Mary to young Bernadette in 1858, more than 200 million people have visited the shrine of Lourdes.

Born 7 January 1844 at Lourdes, France

Died 16 April 1879, Nevers, France of natural causes body incorrupt

Beatified 1925

Canonized 1933 by Pope Pius XI

Name Meaning brave as a bear

Patronage against bodily ills, against illness, against poverty, against sickness, Lourdes, France, people ridiculed for their piety, poor people, shepherdesses, shepherds, sick people

Here is an image of her incurrpt body as it remains today at the Shrine in Loures, France:


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