Readings & Reflections: Saturday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time & Our Lady of Lourdes, February 11,2017
Our Lady of Lourdes
On February 11,1858 A.D., a beautiful woman appeared to Bernadette Soubirous in a remote stone grotto outside Lourdes, France. On March 25 when asked her name, she replied, “I am the Immaculate Conception.” Only four years earlier, Pius IX had declared the dogma that Mary had been immaculately conceived in the womb of her mother, receiving the saving graces of her Son in anticipation of her divine Motherhood. In the spot where she requested a chapel, a spring bubbled forth. Since that time, sixty-nine official cures and hundreds of unofficial healings have been reported at Lourdes. “Mary is the one who believed and, from her womb, rivers of living water have flowed forth to irrigate human history. The spring that Mary pointed out to Bernadette here in Lourdes is the humble sign of this spiritual reality. From her believing heart, from her maternal heart, flows living water which purifies and heals” (Pope Benedict XVI). Today, the grotto at Lourdes, France, receives six million visitors each year.