18th February Saint Bernadette Soubirous

Oldest of six children born to Francois and Louise Casterot, and grew up very poor. Hired out as a servant from age 12 to 14. Shepherdess. On 11 February 1858, around the time of her first Communion, she received a vision of the Virgin; her own account of it is in the Readings section below. She received seventeen more in the next five months, and was led to a spring of healing waters. She moved into a house with the Sisters of Nevers at Lourdes where she lived, worked, and learned to read and write. The sisters cared for the sick and indigent, and at age 22 they admitted Bernadette into their order since she was both. Always sick herself, and often mistreated by her superiors, she died with a prayer for Mary‘s aid. Since the appearances of Mary to young Bernadette in 1858, more than 200 million people have visited the shrine of Lourdes.

St Bernadette Soubirous

Dear Saint Bernadette, you were chosen by Almighty God as a channel of His graces and blessings, and through your humble obedience to the requests of Our Blessed Mother Mary, you gained for us the miraculous waters of Spiritual and physical healing.

We now implore you to listen to our pleading prayers that we may be healed of our Spiritual and physical imperfections.

St Bernadette, place our petition in the hands of our Holy Mother Mary, so that she may place them at the feet of her beloved Son, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and He may look on us with mercy and compassion:

(Share your request…)

Help us, O Dear Saint Bernadette to follow your example, so that irrespective of our own pain and suffering we may always be mindful of the needs of others, especially those whose sufferings are greater than ours.

As we await the Mercy of God, remind us to offer up our pain and suffering for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins and blasphemies of mankind.

Pray Saint Bernadette, that like you, we may always be obedient to the will of our Heavenly Father, and that through our prayers and humility we may bring consolation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary who have been so grievously wounded by our sins.

Holy Saint Bernadette of Lourdes, pray for us.
Amen.

Say: One Decade of the Rosary and a Memorare.

Mary conceived without sin – Pray for us who have recourse to Thee. (x3)

Prayer to Saint Bernadette

ST. BERNADETTE,
pure and simple child,
you who were privileged to
behold the beauty of
Mary Immaculate and to be
the recipient of her
confidence eighteen
times at Lourdes;
you who did desire from then
on to hide yourself in the
cloister of Nevers and there live
and die as a victim of sinners,
obtain for us that spirit of purity,
which will lead us also
to the glorious vision of God
and of Mary in Heaven.
Amen.

Prayer to Saint Benadette

O My God, I beg You, by Your
Loneliness, not that You may
spare me affliction, but that
You may not abandon me in it.
When I encounter affliction,
teach me to see You in it
as my sole comforter.
Let affliction strengthen
my faith, fortify my hope,
and purify my love.
Grant me the grace to see
Your hand in my affliction
and to desire no other
comfort but You.
Amen.

Prayer to St. Bernadette Soubirous

“To put my hesitant footsteps in your footsteps,
Please, Bernadette, lend me your clogs.
They are for me, at the same time, symbols of good sense,
spirit of poverty and simplicity.
You know very well, alas, that I lack all of this.
Please, Bernadette, lend me your clogs.
You went to gather wood that would kindle the flame
that brings men together and comforts them.
May I too re-rekindle the hearts of those seeking,
silence, or words, or a smile, or a helping hand.
Please, Bernadette, lend me your clogs.
And should they be too small, may they make me modest.
In the knowledge that as I go forward, I have limitations,
my steps are small, I stumble and rise again.
Please, Bernadette, lend me your clogs.
To go towards Mary with more confidence,
To discover the living water offered to those who thirst.
To go to the table where bread is freely give,
Please, Bernadette, lend me your clogs.
To go towards the father who awaits and loves me.
To take part in the feast at the end of the road
After having walked, carrying my joys and sorrows,
Asking you at all times to take me by the hand,
Please, Bernadette, lend me your clogs.”
Amen.

PRAYER TO ST BERNADETTE SOUBIROUS

Saint Bernadette, little shepherdess of Lourdes, favoured with eighteen apparitions of the Immaculate Virgin Mary and with the privilege of lovingly conversing with her, now that you are eternally enjoying the entrancing beauty of the Immaculate Mother of God, do not forsake me, your devoted client, who am still in this valley of tears.

Intercede for me that I, too, may walk the simple paths of faith. Help me to imitate your example, at our heavenly Queen’s request, by saying the Rosary daily and by doing penance for sinners.

Teach me to imitate your wonderful devotedness to God and our Lady, the Immaculate Conception, so that, like you, I may be blessed with the grace of lasting faithfulness and enjoy the happiness in heaven of the eternal vision of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Pray the Novena Chaplet of St. Bernadette

Opening Prayer:

Oh, ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Healer of the Sick, Refuge of Sinners, Consoler of the Afflicted, you know my wants my troubles, my sufferings. Look upon me with mercy. When you appeared in the Grotto of Lourdes you made it a privileged sanctuary where you dispense your favors, and where many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. I come, therefore, with unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. My loving Mother, ensure my request. I will try to imitate your virtues so that I may one day share your company and bless you in eternity.
Amen

Day One:

St. Bernadette, you grew up in great poverty. You were born the daughter of a miller, and your family was evicted from the mill while you were still a child. Your father worked odd jobs and your mother did laundry for richer neighbors and other jobs to help support the family. You played a large role in helping to raise your siblings. Bernadette, patron of those in poverty, help me to see you in all those who live in poverty.

Hail Mary…

Day Two:

St. Bernadette, you suffered from physical illness throughout your life. You said, “It is so good, so sweet, and above all, so beneficial to suffer.” Your simple faith helped lead to the healing of so many. But you did not receive physical healing yourself. When you were asked why, your response was, “You see, my business is to be ill.” Grant me your simplicity to understand the value of suffering in my own life.

Hail Mary…

Day Three:

St. Bernadette, you had such a love for the Eucharist. You prepared so hard to make your first Communion even though your catechism class was difficult for you. You said, “The Eucharist bathes the tormented soul in light and love. Then the soul appreciates these words, ‘Come all you who are sick, I will restore your health.’” Give me your heart for the Eucharist.

Hail Mary…

Day Four:

St. Bernadette, you had a beautiful devotion to Our Lady, especially in the most holy Rosary, even before the apparitions. You would have your Rosary with you when you were in the fields as a shepherdess. You said, “In the evening when you go to sleep, hold your beads, doze off reciting them. Do like those babies who go to sleep mumbling ‘Mama! Mama!’’ Help me to approach Mary with the same childlike faith as you.

Hail Mary…

Day Five:

St. Bernadette, many who were closest to you did not believe that what you were seeing was real when you told them about your apparitions. Your sister made fun of you, your mother told you that you were dreaming, your aunt said it was an illusion. Through it all, you remained strong and calm. Bernadette, patron of those insulted for their faith, help me build a strong foundation for my faith that can weather whatever difficulties may come.

Hail Mary…

Day Six:

St. Bernadette, Our Lady asked you to “pray to God for the conversion of sinners.” You once said, “O Jesus and Mary, let my entire consolation in this world be to love you and to suffer for sinners.” Today, I offer my suffering up for sinners, especially those in most need of God’s mercy.

Hail Mary…

Day Seven:

St. Bernadette, you had such perfect obedience. When Our Lady asked you if it would bother you to “get down on [your] knees and kiss the ground as a penance for sinners,” you responded “Oh, no! with all my heart.” You dug with your fingers in the mud, drank muddy water, and ate grass as an obedient response to Our Lady’s requests. People thought you were crazy for your actions, but it was through your obedience that at that location, a healing spring now exists. Soften my heart that it may become more immediately obedient to God’s promptings.

Hail Mary…

Day Eight:

St. Bernadette, at the young age of 14, you had people questioning you regularly about the apparitions. You stated what happened over and over again as they tried to trick you into speaking inconsistently. You said, “My job is to inform, not convince.” Teach me to speak Truth simply with conviction.

Hail Mary…

Day Nine:

St. Bernadette, how great your humility! After all the attention you received from the apparitions, you referred to yourself as “the broom placed behind the door after it has been used.” You said, “Those who are humble of heart will be glorified. How beautiful the heavenly crown will be for those who are genuinely humble despite outward humiliations, those who follow the humility of the Savior in every way.” Through your physical trials and difficulty learning, the Lord was your strength. Teach me true humility that recognizes that the Lord is the source of my strength.

Hail Mary…

Opening Each Day:

O Most Holy Mother of my Jesus, you who saw and felt the extreme desolation of your dear Son, help me in my own time of desolation. And you saints of Heaven who have passed through this trial, have pity on those who are suffering it now and pray that I be given the grace to be faithful until death. And in a particular way, dear St. Bernadette, I ask for your intercession for the intentions on my heart

(Insert special intentions).

Closing each day:

Grow, Jesus, grow in me, in my heart, in my spirit, my imagination, my senses, by your modesty, your purity, your humility, your zeal, your love. Grow with your grace, your light, your peace. Grow despite my resistance, my pride. Grow until you reach the fullness of human perfection. Grow as you did at Nazareth before God and before men, for the glory of your Father.
Amen.