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Apparitions of St. Bernadette Soubirous

Apparitions of St. Bernadette Soubirous

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Published by Cath90
An account of the 18 apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Bernadette Soubirous at the Grotto of Lourdes (France) in 1858.
An account of the 18 apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Bernadette Soubirous at the Grotto of Lourdes (France) in 1858.

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Published by: Cath90 on Dec 02, 2009
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First Apparition
Thursday 11 February 1858
 At half past twelve on a cold February day, Mary, the Mother of God, descended fromHeaven who met our little shepherdess in a lonely grotto. The meeting was entirelyunexpected. Who could possibly describe the following scene better than Bernadetteherself?”The Thursday before Ash Wednesday it was cold and the weather was threatening. Afterour dinner, our mother told us there was no more wood in the house and she was vexed.My sister Toinette and I, to please her, offered to go and pick up dry branches at theriverside. My mother said no, because the weather was bad and we might be in danger of falling into the Gave. Jeanne Abadie, our neighbor and friend, who was looking after herlittle brother in our house and who wanted to come with us, took her brother back to hishouse and returned the next moment telling us that she had leave to come with us. Mymother still hesitated, but seeing that there were three of us, she let us go. We took first of all the road which leads to the cemetery, by the side of which wood shavings can sometimesbe found. That day we found nothing there. We came down by the side which leads nearthe Gave and having arrived at the Pont Vieux we wondered if it would be best to go up ordown the river. We decided to go down and taking the forest road we arrived at Merlasse.Then we went into Monsieur de la Fittes field, by the mill of Savy.”As soon as we had reached the end of this field, nearly opposite the grotto of Massabieille,we were stopped by the canal of the mill we had just passed. The current of this canal wasnot strong for the mill was not working, but the water was cold and I for my part was afraidto go in. Jeanne Abadie and my sister, less timid than I, took their sabots in their hands andcrossed the stream. However, when they were on the other side they called out that it wascold and bent down to rub their feet and warm them. All this increased my fear and Ithought that if I went into the water I should get an attack of asthma. So I asked Jeanne,who was bigger and stronger than I, to take me on her shoulders. ‘I should think not!sheanswered – ‘If you wont come, stay where you are!’.”After the others had picked up some pieces of wood under the grotto, they disappearedalong the Gave. When I was alone, I threw some stones into the water to give me afoothold, but it was no use. So I had to make up my mind to take off my sabots and crossthe canal as Jeanne and my sister had done.”I had just begun to take off my first stocking when suddenly I heard a great noise like thesound of a storm. I looked to the right and to the left, under the trees of the river, butnothing moved; I thought I was mistaken. I went on taking off my shoes and stockings,when I heard a fresh noise like the first. Then I was frightened and stood straight up. I lostall power of speech and thought when, turning my head toward the grotto, I saw at one of the openings of the rock a bush – only one – moving as if it were very windy. Almost at thesame time, there came out of the interior of the grotto a golden colored cloud, and soon
after a Lady, young and beautiful, exceedingly beautiful, the like of whom I had never seenbefore, came and placed herself at the entrance of the opening, above the rose bush. Shelooked at me immediately, smiled at me and signed to me to advance, as if She had beenmy Mother. All fear had left me, but I seemed to know no longer where I was. I rubbedmy eyes, I shut them, I opened them; but the Lady was still there continuing to smile at meand making me understand that I was not mistaken. Without thinking of what I was doing Itook my Rosary in my hands and went on my knees. The Lady made with Her head a signof approval and Herself took into Her hands a Rosary which hung on Her right arm.When I attempted to begin the Rosary and tried to lift my hand to my forehead, my armremained paralyzed, and it was only after the Lady had signed Herself that I could do thesame. The Lady left me to pray all alone; She passed the beads of Her Rosary betweenHer fingers but She said nothing; only at the end of each decade did She say the Gloriawith me.”When the recitation of the Rosary was finished, the Lady returned to the interior of therock and the golden colored cloud disappeared with Her”.When asked to describe the Lady of the vision, Bernadette said -”She has the appearance of a young girl of sixteen or seventeen. She is dressed in a whiterobe, girdled at the waist with a blue ribbon which flows down all along Her robe. Shewears upon Her head a veil which is also white; this veil gives just a glimpse of Her hair andthen falls down at the back below Her waist. Her feet are bare but covered by the last foldsof Her robe except at the point where a yellow rose shines upon each of them. She holdson Her right arm a Rosary of white beads with a chain of gold shining like the two roses onHer feet.”Bernadette then continued with her story -”As soon as the Lady had disappeared Jeanne Abadie and my sister returned to the Grottoand found me on my knees in the same place where they had left me. They laughed at me,calling me an imbecile and asked me if I would go back with them or not. I now had nodifficulty in going into the stream and I felt the water as warm as the water used for washingplates and dishes.’You had no reason to make such an outcry’ I said to Jeanne and my sister Marie, whiledrying my feet; ‘the water of the canal is not as cold as you would make me believe’. Theyreplied, ‘You are fortunate not to find it so – we found it very cold’.”I asked Jeanne and Marie if they had noticed anything at the Grotto – ‘No’, theyanswered. ‘Why do you ask us?’. ‘Oh, nothing’ I replied indifferently. But before we got tothe house, I told my sister Marie of the extraordinary things which had happened to me atthe Grotto, asking her to keep it a secret.”Throughout the whole day, the image of the Lady remained in my mind. In the evening,at family prayer, I was troubled and began to cry. My mother asked what the matter was.Marie hastened to answer for me and I was obliged to give the account of the wonder
which had come to me that day.’These are illusions’ answered my mother – ‘You must drive these ideas out of your headand especially not go back to Massabieille’.”We went to bed but I could not sleep. The face of the Lady, so good and gracious,returned incessantly to my memory and it was useless to recall what my mother had said tome; I could not believe that I had been deceived.”
Second Apparition
Sunday 14 February 1858
 From that day forward, little Bernadette could think of only one thing - the beautiful Ladyshe had seen. Her normally fun-loving nature had become grave and serious.Louise continued to tell her daughter that she had to be mistaken - Bernadette did notargue, but she could not believe that she had been the prey of an illusion. Even hermothers warning that this may have been a trick of the devil seemed impossible - howcould Satan carry a Rosary and pray the Gloria?On the Friday and the Saturday, Bernadette intimated her desire to return to Massabieille -her mother ignored her pleas. On Sunday, Bernadette heard within her soul a summons,calling her once more to a meeting with the beautiful Lady of the rock.She told Marie of this, who in turn mentioned it to Madame Soubirous, who again refusedpermission. Jeanne Abadie then pleaded the cause. Finally, Louise relented and gavepermission - after all, if this was an illusion, it would prove itself to be so.Bernadette had told no-one outside the family what had occurred on Thursday. Marie, onthe other hand, had not been so reserved. Several of the local young girls knew the secret.These girls were then summoned by Marie to come to Massabieille.Bernadette armed herself with a small phial of Holy Water and left for the Grotto. As soonas she arrived at the grotto, she fell to her knees opposite the niche, and began to pray.Almost immediately, she exclaimed - "There She is! There She is!"One of the girls present told Bernadette to throw Holy Water on the Lady, in case it reallywas Satan. Bernadette did as requested. "She is not angry", she related, "On the contrary,She sanctions it with Her head and is smiling at all of us". The girls knelt around their littlecompanion and began to pray.Bernadette then fell into ecstasy; her face completely transfigured and radiating happiness.Her expression was indescribable.Just then a stone fell from the top of the Grotto, causing alarm among the girls. It was

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