The liturgical memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes remembers when the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to a young French girl named Saint Bernadette Soubirous and is celebrated on February 11th.
Saint Bernadette was 14 years old when Mary appeared to her in a grotto near a river in Lourdes, France. Saint Bernadette came from a peasant family and was not formally educated; however, she had a deep love of God and did not let her lack of education hold her back from learning about the Catholic faith. When she had her first apparition in 1858, she did not know who the woman in the grotto was. However, she saw her holding a rosary and knew that she should kneel and begin to pray the rosary. Mary appeared to Bernadette 18 times that year. Though many doubted what Bernadette was seeing, the bishop approved the apparitions after Mary told Bernadette she was the Immaculate Conception, a concept Bernadette knew nothing about. During one of her 18 visits, Mary directed Bernadette to drink from muddy water that was made clean and miraculously healed a paralyzed woman.
A basilica was built near the grotto where Mary appeared a few years after the apparitions, and there have been 69 verified miraculous healing attributed to the waters at Lourdes.
Use the attached activity sheet to celebrate Our Lady of Lourdes! If you live in a warm climate, encourage your child(ren) to go out and find some leaves and flowers to decorate Mary’s grotto. If you live in a colder climate, invite your child(ren) to decorate Mary’s grotto with items around the house. Flowers made out of pipecleaners, painted, or cut out of construction paper would all add some beauty to our Blessed Mother’s grotto. Remember to tell the story of Saint Bernadette and her precious visits with Our Lady.
Our Lady of Lourdes reminds us of Christ’s healing power. Pray for healing today and let Jesus work a little miracle of healing for you.