In a series of 18 apparitions, in Lourdes, France, Our Lady revealed to Bernadette Soubirous her name, “I am the Immaculate Conception” along with the message, “Penance, penance, penance.” A miraculous spring sprung out of the ground, where many were healed, and many pilgrims were drawn to the site.
After the apparitions ceased, St. Bernadette escaped the unwanted attention of the public and joined a convent in Nevers, France, where she became Sister Marie Bernard.
St. Bernadette had no schooling. She was a simple soul, admired for her spirit of humility and sacrifice. Once a nun asked her if she had temptations of pride because she was favored by the Blessed Mother. “How can I?” she answered quickly. “The Blessed Virgin chose me only because I was the most ignorant.”
St. Bernadette was diagnosed with tuberculosis of the bone in her right knee, she suffered greatly and was unable to take part in convent life. She embraced suffering and found great joy in uniting her suffering with the cross.
St. Bernadette was quoted as saying, “I’m happier with my crucifix on my bed than a queen on her throne.”
“Pray for sinners,” Our Lady had said to her.
“My weapons,” she wrote to the Pope, “are prayer and sacrifice.” She remained faithful to this through the end, asking Our Lady, whom she called “my mother” to unite her heart with the heart of Jesus.
This humble soul, also one of the most beautifully incorrupt saints, gave the following advice on praying the Rosary.
“In the evening, when you go to sleep, hold your [rosary] beads and doze off reciting them. Do like those babies who go to sleep mumbling, ‘Mama, Mama.’”st bernadette Soubirous
My name is Michelle Bernadette. My mama named me after this beautiful saint, and until recently, I didn’t know anything about her life after the apparitions at Lourdes.
Our family recently watched “The Passion of Bernadette” on our FORMED membership. I was blown away by her simple love for the Lord and completely inspired by her quote where she talks about dozing off to sleep mumbling “Mama, Mama” – while praying the words of the Rosary.
The Blessed Mother is indeed Our Mama. And when life gets hard, St Bernadette gives us that reminder that she’s there for us, no matter what. And when we lie our heads on our pillows at night and are drifting off to sleep, we can reach for our rosary and call out for Our Mama.