This servant of God, canonized in 1933, was born on January 7, 1844 in Lourdes, France. While tending flocks outside the town, this simple, pious shepherdess used to pray before a grotto. One day, in 1858, she beheld there a beautiful lady clothed in white and blue with roses at her feet and a rosary hanging from her arm. On relating the incident to her mother, the latter thought she was demented and forbade her to go there again. The next Sunday, however, her mother relented and allowed her and her sisters to visit the place, but they armed themselves with holy water and recited the rosary on the way.
The vision appeared again, and Bernadette sprinkled holy water toward the rocks. The lady smiled and drew nearer, and after a while disappeared. On eighteen different occasions the vision appeared to her, at one time bidding her “drink of the fountain.” The child looked around and could see no fountain, but presently one sprang up and flowed over the rocks. At another time Bernadette begged her: “O Lady, tell me who you are,” repeating the request four times. Each time the vision grew brighter, and at length replied: “I am the Immaculate Conception.” The child then knew that she was the Mother of God. The fame of these visions spread far and wide, drawing numbers of pilgrims to seek cures in the miraculous waters of the fountain at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes. Bernadette spent her subsequent life as a humble nun until her death in 1879.
Reflection. He who orders all his acts according to the will of God, may often be spoken of by the world as simple and stupid. But in the end, he wins the esteem and confidence of the world itself and the approval and peace of God.