As a young 14-year-old girl, Bernadette Soubirous had multiple visions of the Blessed Lady in a grotto in the outskirts of Lourdes. Although her visions were widely doubted at the time, her humility, truthfulness and modesty encouraged many to believe. A few years after her reported visions, she became a nun and took the name Sister Marie Bernarde. She was later canonized by the Catholic Church. Lourdes has become one of the most popular locations of religious pilgrimage.

Short biography of Bernadette Soubirous

Bernadette was born on January 7th, 1844, into a loving and devoted family. At the time of her birth, her family were relatively prosperous; however, due to a series of misfortunes, her family were plunged into dire poverty. At one point, Bernadette’s father was arrested on suspicion of stealing firewood (a single wood plank); he was later released without charge, but the event was indicative of their poverty. Because of the family’s poverty, they were forced to live in a single room that used to be a prison cell. The cell was so dank that it was actually deemed to be too “unsanitary” even for prisoners. However, despite their material privations, the family were said to be loving and devoted to each other. The young children were brought up to accept their lot without complaint. Bernadette herself was generally very well liked and displayed great courtesy and kindliness to others. She suffered from ill health (asthma aggravated by damp living quarters) and because of the family’s poverty she missed the opportunity to get a proper schooling. When she was 14, she was still studying the basic Catechism with 7-year-old children. Thus she was intellectually ignorant of concepts such as the Immaculate Conception, which was soon to have a great impact on her life. (And, hope for us)