Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about Apparition of Mary at Lourdes, France (4)

by Kenny Cheng

On July 16, 1858, the day of the final Lourdes apparition, the grotto was closed off. Accompanied by her aunts and neighbours, Bernadette saw the Virgin Mary at 8pm in a nearby field. That day, Mary appeared as in the brown scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and, just as in the final Fatima apparition in 1917, was silent. After this apparition, Bernadette became increasingly famous, and she retreated to a life of contemplation at a Sisters of Charity of Nevers convent. There, the Mother Superior was especially strict with her and gave her menial tasks, thinking the visions had made her proud. Later, her health failed, so she was assigned to stitching vestments. Once, a sister asked her whether she had ever been tempted to pride; she replied, “How could that be? Mary picked me because I am most ignorant!” Suffering from tuberculosis in her right knee, she grasped the cross, crying three times, “Repent!” and finally, “Blessed Mary, Mother of God, pray for me, a pitiful sinner!” Bernadette passed away on April 16, 1879, aged 35, and the people, on receiving the news, flocked to the convent, singing, “The saint has passed away!” In 1808, her body was exhumed at Nevers and discovered to be incorrupt. And in 1933, she was canonized.

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