Deacon Anthony Cincotta
The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes
1 Kings 11:29-32, 12-19, Psalm 81:10-11ab, 12-13, 14-15, & Mark 7:31-37
Over two million pilgrims make their way through the mountainous country of southeastern France to Lourdes annually. Driven by belief and in prayer, they come to seek the Blessed Virgin Mary and ask for her intercession, answers, and hope for remedies. At Lourdes, people reminisce about our Lady dressed in white, with a blue sash, yellow roses at her feet, and a Rosary on her arm.
On February 11, 1858 Mary appeared to fourteen-year-old Bernadette Soubirous in the first of eighteen visits. When young Bernadette asked the Lady's name, she replied, "I am the Immaculate Conception." The pope proclaimed Mary was conceived immaculate without original sin, only four years earlier. The Blessed Virgin, through Bernadette, had come to call sinners to change their hearts through prayer and penance. She also instructed Bernadette to tell the priests to build a chapel and hold processions.
On February 25, Our Lady told Bernadette to dig in the dirt and drink from the stream. Bernadette began to excavate, and after several attempts, she was able to find the water to drink. The water continued to flow from where she had dug, with her hands, until it produced over 32,000 gallons daily. To this day, it continues to flow from this source. Over 5,000 cures were recorded, though less than a hundred have been declared miraculous by the Church. Most of these have taken place during the blessing of the crowds with the Blessed Sacrament.
Even if we never get to travel to Lourdes, France, and join in the processions with other believers, we always know that we have a Mother to help us and lead us to her Son, Jesus Christ.
Question of the Day: Will you pray the Holy Rosary every day and ask for the intercession of Mary, the Immaculate Conception?
Prayer: "Merciful God, come to the aid of our frailty. May we who keep the memory of the immaculate Mother of God rise from our iniquities with the help of her intercession. Amen." (The Lives of the Saints, Illustrated)