Wednesday, February 10, 2010

OUR LADY OF LOURDES - click to read more

Tomorrow we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, perfect moment to think about virtue of humility, and this virtue is most dear to God and Our Lady. St Bernadette, poor peasant girl, to whom Our Lady appeared in Lourdes, was made a very holy person through many trials in particular when she lived a hidden life of a nun. Her incorruptible body is preserved in the convent where she died in 1879. I recommend reading a very edifying story of her life written by Abbe Trochu more than fifty years ago in the book 'Saint Bernadette Soubirous' which may be found in some internet bookstores.
On the Immaculate excerpts from the writings of St Maximilian Kolbe
St Bernadette fragments from the book, "Recent Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary" by Stephen Breen published by The Scapular Press in 1952.

No sudden splendour broke the grey
And even tenor of your days,
No ecstasy made you forget
Your poverty in its high rays.

Mary, the lowliest can tread
With confidence the path you trod,
Your life the bright and shining star
That leads wayfarer to God. (St Therese)

"I was twelve years old when I first went to Lourdes, and the sight of some of those sick people was hard for me to bear. I wondered what the use was for some of them to travel, people who, logically, would have been much more comfortable in their beds.

Each day my father, as a doctor, went to the office of medical findings. On the third day, he came back very upset. In that office, he had seen a man seated at a table before a ham sandwich. Everybody watched with a sense of wonder a man who, that very morning, could not walk or eat normally. A few moments earlier he had stood up from his wheelchair and walked into the office. The medical certificates stating his condition declared that he was incurable.

The Church, being very cautious, acknowledged the authenticity of the miracle only later. "This man," I told myself, "was right to leave his room and come to implore Our Lady of Lourdes."

However, I later witnessed some events that in my mind were just as supernatural. As we boarded the train for our return journey, I saw some sick people embark, many of whom were very seriously ill. Overwhelmed with pity, I imagined that they felt some despair about not having been cured. But, on the contrary, many of those people had smiles on their faces. They looked happy, at peace, and a few of them even exchanged jokes.

And, in a more serious tone, a terribly crippled woman confided to her stretcher-bearer: "This trip did me so much good that I plan to come back next year... Maybe I'll see you again."

By Germaine Acremant and Jean Barbier in "For You, What Does Lourdes Represent?" After 'A Moment With Mary'
Photo credit to Fr Lawrence