Tomorrow is the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. This title of Our Lady is a particular favorite of mine. I am drawn to St Bernadette's simplicity and grace that attracted the Blessed Virgin to appear to her. Our Lady's message remains the same in all her apparitions...prayer and penance. I love how Mary and Bernadette prayed the rosary together in these visions. I love how Our Lady came to heal as well, allowing miracles to take place at the Grotto. I love the significance of the visions of 15 days...15 decades of the rosary. And above all the Virgin's saying to Bernadette, "I do not promise you happiness in this life, only in the next."
The visions at Lourdes give so much cause for hope...the care of Our Lady for poor sinners and those who are sick. Mary, in revealing herself as the "Immaculate Conception," shows her deep union with God being without sin. Her love for us extends magnanimously by her purity and grace. Our Lady of Lourdes calls us to higher virtue and sanctity, while at the same time, has compassion and pity on those who invoke her aid.
St Bernadette lived a hidden life from the world following these apparitions. Her humility is astounding and her joy and peace in the midst of suffering even more so. St Bernadette declined the miraculous springs of the Grotto, and united herself intimately with Christ on the Cross through intense sufferings of tuberculosis.
I hope to have the privilege of going to Lourdes one day. The Virgin's title of Lourdes holds a special place in my heart. Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!