Our Lady of Lourdes
On this day we also remember
and offer prayers for those who are sick and suffering. The late
Pope John Paul II declared that this day should be also the World
Day of the Sick. For this year we will celebrate its 14th year.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in southern France is the most
visited pilgrimage site in the world -- principally because of the
apparent healing properties of the waters of the spring that appeared
during the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to a poor and
sickly fourteen-year-old girl, Bernadette Soubiroux.
The first apparition occurred February 11, 1858. There were eighteen
in all; the last took place July 16, of the same year. The mysterious
vision Bernadette saw in the hollow of the rock Massabielle, where
she and friends had gone to gather firewood, was that of a young
and beautiful lady. "Lovelier than I have ever seen" said
the child. She described the Lady as clothed in white, with a blue
ribbon sash and a Rosary handing from her right arm. Now and then
the apparition spoke to Bernadette.
One day, the Lady told the girl to drink of a mysterious fountain
within the grotto itself, the existence of which was unknown, and
of which there was no sign. But Bernadette scratched at the ground,
and a spring immediately bubbled up and soon gushed forth. On another
occasion the apparition bade Bernadette go and tell the priests
she wished a chapel to be built on the spot and processions to be
made to the grotto. At first the clergy were incredulous. The priest
said he would not believe it unless the apparition gave Bernadette
her name. After another apparition, Bernadette reported that the
Lady told her, "I am the Immaculate Conception". Though
the girl was unfamiliar with the term, the Pope had declared the
doctrine of the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary in 1854.
Four years after Bernadette's visions, in 1862, the bishop of the
diocese declared the faithful "justified in believing the reality
of the apparition" of Our Lady. A basilica was built upon the
rock of Massabielle by M. Peyramale, the parish priest. In 1873
the great "national" French pilgrimages were inaugurated.
Three years later the basilica was consecrated and the statue solemnly
crowned. In 1883 the foundation stone of another church was laid,
as the first was no longer large enough. It was built at the foot
of the basilica and was consecrated in 1901 and called the Church
of the Rosary.
A large church called a basilica was built where Bernadette saw
Our Lady. Although the apparitions took place over a hundred years
ago, miracles still happen there. Many people are cured of sicknesses.
Crippled people walk again. Blind people see again. Lonely, broken
people find hope again. There, where she once appeared to St. Bernadette,
Our Lady still shows her love for us.
The grotto is being visited by many pilgrims especially those who
are sick because it is believed that you will be healed. And many
other Miracles can happen after you visit the grotto.
OF THE SAINTS
BLESSED JUNIPERO SERRA
Blessed Junipero Serra was born in Petra, Spain, on November 24, 1713. The boy became a student at the Franciscan school in Palma
St. Otto lived in the twelfth century. He was born in Swabia, present-day Bavaria.
St. Thomas was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. His name in the Syriac language means "twin."
ST. ELIZABETH OF PORTUGAL
St. Elizabeth, a Spanish princess, was born in 1271. She married King Denis of Portugal at the age of twelve.
ST. ANTHONY MARY ZACCARIA
St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria was born in Italy in 1502. While he was still young, his father died.
ST. MARIA GORETTI
St. Maria Goretti was born in 1890. Her father died when she and the other five children in her family were small. At twelve, Maria was already very pretty.
BLESSED ROGER DICKENSON, BLESSED RALPH MILNER AND BLESSED LAWRENCE HUMPHREY
These three martyrs lived in England during the time of Church persecution by Queen Elizabeth I.
BLESSED EUGENE III
Blessed Eugene III was born near Pisa, Italy, in the twelfth century. He was baptized Peter.
ST. FELICITY AND HER SEVEN SONS.
St. Felicity was a noble Christian woman of Rome. She lived during the second century.
St. Benedict was born in 480. He was from a rich Italian family. His life was full of adventure and wonderful deeds.
ST. JOHN GAULBERT
St. John Gaulbert was born in Florence, Italy, at the end of the tenth century. He and his father were devastated when John's only brother, Hugh, was murdered.
ST. HENRY II.
St. Henry II was born in 972. He became the duke of Bavaria in 995. One night he had an unusual vision. St. Wolfgang, who had been his beloved teacher when he was a boy, appeared to him.
BLESSED KATERI TEKAKWITHA
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha was born in Auriesville, New York, in 1656. Her mother was a Christian Algonquin. Her father was a non-Christian Mohawk chief.
St. was born in 1221 in Tuscany, Italy, and was baptized John.
FEAST OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
This feast was instituted by the Carmelites between 1376 and 1386 under the title "Commemoratio B. Marif Virg.
ST. LEO IV.
St. Leo IV lived in the ninth century. He was a Roman by birth and spent his life in that city. Leo was educated in the Benedictine monastery near St. Peter's Basilica.
St. Frederick lived in ninth-century Utrecht, in the central part of the Netherlands. When he was ordained a priest, Bishop Ricfried put him in charge of instructing converts.
St. Macrina was the first child of St. Basil the Elder and St. Emmelia.
St. Charbel was born to a poor Maronite Family on May 8, 1828 in a mountain village of Biqa-Kafra, Lebanon.
ST. LAWRENCE OF BRINDISI.
St. Lawrence was born Caesar Rossi in Brindisi, Italy, in 1559. Brindisi was part of the Kingdom of Naples, Italy.
ST. MARY MAGDALENE.
St. Mary Magdalene was from Magdala near the Sea of Galilee. Some people identify her as a well-known sinner when she first saw Our Lord.
ST. BRIDGET OF SWEDEN.
St. Bridget was born in Sweden in 1303. From the time she was a child, she was greatly devoted to the passion of Jesus.
ST. BORIS AND ST. GLEB
St. Boris and St. Gleb, the brothers, were born toward the end of the tenth century.
ST. JAMES THE GREATER
St. James was a fisherman like his father Zebedee and his brother John.
ST. JOACHIM AND ST. ANNE
St. Anne and St. Joachim are the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
St. Pantaleon came from Nicomedia, near the Black Sea, in Asia. He lived in the fourth century.
St. Martha was the sister of Mary and Lazarus.
ST. PETER CHRYSOLOGUS
St. Peter Chrysologus was born in the small town of Imola, Italy.
ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA
St. Ignatius, the famous founder of the Jesuits, was born in 1491.
PHOTO OF THE MONTH
of the Relics of the Passion
for Holy Relics)
Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven,
submit himself to John’s baptism? John preached a
baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke
3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of
the “baptism” of Jesus bloody death upon the
cross. Jesus’ baptism is the acceptance and the beginning
of his mission as God’s suffering Servant (Isaiah
52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among
sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father’s
will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death
for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust
and submission to God?