Father Lawrence Lew, OP via Flickr, licensed cc
In 1858, a 14-year-old girl named Bernadette Soubirous, started seeing a beautiful lady near her hometown of Lourdes in southern France. Bernadette said the lady wore white, with a blue girdle and golden roses on her feet and a pearl rosary.
The lady visited Benadette in this out-of-the-way grotto 18 times and referred to herself as "The Immaculate Conception." During one of their visits she had Bernadette dig in the mud and a miraculous spring of water came forth. Many have been cured from the waters of this spring ever since.
I have always loved that story and I have told my kids and my husband, if it ever gets to the point that I require extraordinary medical procedures to stay alive- I'd rather take a trip to France and see Lourdes!! Even if I don't get a cure at least I'll have made one last pilgrimage to a place I've always imagined!
But here's the next best thing - Web Cam - Live from Lourdes France!
You can place a petition and have a candle lit at the grotto!
The Story of Our Lady of Lourdes in French and in English.
In years past the kids and I have watchedSong of Bernadette." Available on Netflix DVD or Amazon!
I know it made an impression on them because they have brought up parts of the movie in the past. The poverty of the Soubirous family was very striking. Two of our favorite scenes - Bernadette digging the spring at Lourdes, and at the end when her terrible suffering is revealed just before she dies - that part always gets me!
This site is pretty neat. It talks about Lourdes and about the incorruptible body of St. Bernadette with pictures!
This is an approved apparition in the church. You can read Pope Pius's Encyclical on Lourdes for yourself.
Pius XII Encyclical on lourdes