Saturday, February 10, 2007

Our Lady of Lourdes

Tomorrow is the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. From February 11, to July 16, 1858 Our Lady appeared eighteen times to 14 year old Bernadette Soubiroux in Lourdes, France.

At first incredulous, the local clergy asked her to ask the lady her name in order to prove who she was. Our Lady told Bernadette that "I am the Immaculate Conception". Although Bernadette was unfamiliar with that term, Pope Pius IX had declared it a doctrine of the church four years prior.

Our Lady instructed Bernadette to dig on the site and a stream of water appeared which continues to this day. Many come to Lourdes each year and pray for healing.

Lourdes has an official website where you can go and post an intention, which will be placed at the Grotto. (Note: I linked to the English language version.)

There is also a webcam at the Grotto which refreshes every 3 minutes.

For those of you closer to the east coast of the U.S., Mount Saint Mary's University in Emmitsburg, Maryland, has a reproduction of the Grotto of Lourdes, complete with an outdoor stations of the cross and a rosary walk as well as Mass in their glass-enclosed chapel.

There is also a stream which runs through the grotto area. Many people bring water bottles to fill when they visit. It is an excellent place to go to pray and be silent with God.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for our healing!

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"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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