Our Lady of Lourdes
Where : Lourdes , France
When: 11 February 1858
On 11 February, Bernadette Soubirous, her sister Toinette and their neighbor Jeanne Abadie went together to collect firewood. She decided to wade a little in the water near the grotto. She had hardly taken off the first stocking when she heard a gust of wind, she saw the trees were not moving. She continued taking off her stockings when she heard the same gust of wind. When she looked up at the grotto she
saw a ''lady dressed in white, wearing a white dress, a blue girdle and a yellow rose on each foot, the same color as the chain of her rosary; the beads of the rosary were white''
Bernadette tried to make the sign of the cross, but she couldn't because her hands were trembling. The lady smiled, and invited St. Bernadette to say the rosary with her. St. Bernadette tried to keep this a secret but her sister told it to her parents. After parental-cross examination, because of their story, they were given corporal punishment.
Soubirous, knowing the local area well, managed to visit the barricaded grotto under cover of darkness. There, on 25 March, she said the Virgin told her: "I am the Immaculate Conception" ("que soy era immaculada concepciou"). On Easter Sunday, 7 April, her examining doctor stated that Soubirous, in ecstasy, was observed to have held her hands over a lit candle without sustaining harm. On 16 July, Soubirous went for the last time to the Grotto. "I have never seen her so beautiful before," she reported.
The Church, faced with nationwide questions, decided to institute an investigative commission on 17 November 1858. On 18 January 1860, the local bishop finally declared that: "Mother Mary did appear indeed to Bernadette Soubirous." These events established the Marian veneration in Lourdes, which together with Fátima and the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of the most frequented Marian shrines in the world, and to which between 4 and 6 million pilgrims travel annually.
Born: 7 January 1844
Died: 16 April 1879
Canonized: 8 December 1933