Happy Feast Day!

- turn off the music at the bottom of the page before playing -
At age 14, the poverty-stricken, asthmatic Bernadette Soubirous saw a vision of a beautiful Lady in a grotto on the banks of the Gave River near Lourdes, France. Though Bernadette was despised, disbelieved, and harrassed by local French authorities, crowds began to gather when news spread and when she wouldn't recant the story of her vision.

On 25 February, Bernadette was told to dig in the earth, which she did to much mockery, but there, the healing waters of the now-famous Lourdes shrine were discovered where the Lady had appeared, and on 25 March, the Lady of the vision announced that she was the Immaculate Conception and that a church should be built at the site. Bernadette became a nun at Nevers, France and, suffering much from physical ailments, died young. Her body remains incorrupt at her convent to this day. ~ Fish Eaters


Sparkles was our first child that was consecrated to Our Blessed Mother while in the womb. Needless to say, she has an enduring devotion to Our Blessed Mother. I believe it is that devotion that led Sparkles to St. Bernadette.


April 16 is the feast day (in the new calendar) of Sparkles’ self proclaimed patron saint, St. Bernadette.* When she was three or four (I can’t remember much at this time with my placenta brain) she started a prayer, “novena” (we didn’t know it was that at the time) of 3 Hail Mary’s. She was persistent that they be said every night in addition to our family and nightly prayers. She would often be found praying them on her own throughout the day. Our spiritual director informed us that this in fact this was a pious devotion but we never knew where it originated from. Nonetheless, we continued at the request of Sparkles.


About a year later she began to evoke the intercession of St. Bernadette; “ St. Bernadette, Ora Pro Nobis.”


She has continued over the years to grow in her devotion to St. Bernadette.

*We usually try to celebrate the feast days in the old Calendar if the Saint is recognized by both. This year we didn’t get a chance to celebrate St. Bernadette Soubirous feast day, February 18 in the Old Calendar because we were immersed in the Lenten Season.

This novena prayer, although short is sufficient. It would be better of course to add, if time permits, three Hail Marys or say five times the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be to the Father, or to use some of the many well-loved novena prayers from other sources. Remember that prayers must be said with the lips in order to gain the indulgences. This novena begins on April 6 and ends on April 16.

O dear little St. Bernadette, humble little shepherdess, who wonderingly beheld the Lovely Lady of the Grotto, pray for us to our Lady of Lourdes that she may heal us of our ills. St. Bernadette, pray for the sick and the afflicted.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!

300 days. S. Pen., Nov. 15, 1927.
Prayer Source: All Day With God by Blanche Jennings Thompson




Three Hail Marys
"The devotion of the Three Hail Marys is bound up with the value and the cult of the Hail Mary itself. It traces back to St. Matilda, who received it from Our Lady. The Saint had been worrying about her eternal salvation and had requested the most holy Virgin to assist her in her hour of death. Our Lady reassured her, and said, “I will grant your request. But I want you, on your part, to pray to me three Hail Marys every day. With the first of them call to mind the strength I received from the Eternal Father; with the second, the wisdom I received from the Son; with the third, the love with which the Holy Spirit filled me.” 
~Father Stefano Manelli, Devotion to Our Lady, (Academy of the Immaculate: 2000), 148.

Novena of the Three Hail Marys
The Three Hail Marys 


Additional Links:
Coloring page of St. Bernadette at Lourdes
St. Bernadette of Lourdes
My Name is Bernadette - EWTN Bio
The Stupid One - A Biography of St. Bernadette
"The Many Faces of Mary, a Love Story"
In the Footsteps of St. Bernadette
Placing your Petition at the Grotto of Lourdes
TV Lourdes
Apparitions of St. Bernadette
Our Lady of Lourdes Post


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