Healthcare Professionals for Divine Mercy

Lourdes at 150: 'A Place of Hope'

No matter how special the place is, go there 60 or more times and you're bound to get sick of it or at least once have an uneventful, even boring experience. However, if the place is as special as Lourdes, the person as boundless in energy and faith as Marie Romagnano, RN, and, it's a Jubilee Year, there's no possibility of tedium. Ennui takes a powder, outracing banality to the dust heap. Excitement, experience, and possibility move in.

Lourdes: A Most Unlikely Place

by Dan Valenti

What happened at Lourdes, France, and why there, of all places?

Let's start with the second question first. Today, we think of Lourdes as the most visited Catholic shrine in the world. But back in 1858, the ancient rock promontory shooting skyward from the ground just past the River Gave was literally a dump, used by townspeople as a place for trash.

Bernadette's Body Still Rests Incorrupt

Sister Bernadette Soubirous died at age 35 on April 16, 1879, 13 years after joining the Sisters of Charity. She lived all her professed life in the congregation's convent in Nevers, France.

As part of Bernadette's cause for beatification (to gather relics), the Vatican's Ecclesiastical Court visited the cemetery of the Sisters of Charity in Nevers, where Bernadette was buried. At 8:30 a.m. Sept. 22, 1909, officials exhumed her body, which appeared preserved from decomposition. Other exhumations took place on April 3, 1919, and in 1925. Each time the body appeared incorrupt.

The Lourdes Experience

by Dan Valenti

The appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Lourdes, France, stands as the defining, Church-approved Marian apparition of the "modern" (post-Industrial Revolution) era. Even more so than the events at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917, Lourdes represents the seminal Marian visitation if for no other reason than it was at the former garbage dump known to the locals as Massabieille (the Big Rock) that Our Lady revealed herself as the Immaculate Conception.


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