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The Apparition of the
Blessed Virgin Mary at Lourdes

Feast Day: February 11

About four years after the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin, a girl named Bernadette asserted that she had seen the Immaculate Mother of God several times. The place of the apparitions was a grotto of the cliff by the bank of the Gave river, near the town of Lourdes, France, in the diocese of Tarbes.

The many great miracles which followed were evidence enough for any prudent and faithful Catholic that “the finger of God was there.” The location of a hitherto unknown spring at the grotto had been revealed in one of the apparitions; and the miracles for which Lourdes became best known were those very frequent occasions when the sick regained their health after drinking the water of the spring.

And so, as news of the benefits said to be received by the faithful at the holy grotto was spreading abroad and the number coming there was increasing day by day, the Bishop of Tarbes carried out an official investigation and then gave permission for the cult of the Immaculate Virgin at the grotto. Soon a church was built.

Vast crowds of the faithful have come to Lourdes each year, and the name of the Immaculate Mother of God keeps increasing in glory all over the world. Adding to this glory are the events during the procession of the Most Blessed Sacrament: Year after year, among the sick brought to Lourdes from all parts of the world to ask health from the Lord through the intercession of His Immaculate Mother, many are immediately cured.

Rightly influenced by these events, Pope Pius X extended to the universal Church the feast already granted to certain places by Leo XIII.

Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. I: Advent to Passion Sunday (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1963), pp. 1778-1779.

Related Link:

Epistle and Gospel for February 11