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

by Kenny Cheng

The Lourdes apparitions are the most famous of the 18th-century Marian apparitions. On February 11, 1858, Bernadette, her sister, and a friend were out collecting wood and, hearing the sound of wind, she saw a beautiful woman in a nearby grotto. She was clothed in white, with a veil on her head, a blue sash on her hips, yellow roses on her feet, and a gold-and-white Rosary in her hands. Bernadette attempted to make the sign of the cross, but was immobilized, and only when Mary made the Sign of the Cross could Bernadette do so. Bernadette began to pray the Rosary, Mary silently counted with her and disappeared. Bernadette realized that the other girls had not seen the vision and told them to keep it secret. But her sister told their mother, who was convinced she was dreaming. On February 14, Bernadette returned to the cave with locals, who cast holy water and prayed the Rosary, thinking the apparition demonic in origin. When Mary appeared, Bernadette said, “If you come from God, please approach us.” The holy water touched her foot, and Mary walked forward, prayed a Rosary, and disappeared. The day after Ash Wednesday, February 18, a woman and a nun accompanied Bernadette to the grotto. The three of them prayed the Rosary and lit a holy candle. When Mary appeared, Bernadette asked her to write her name. Mary said there was no need and told her to come every fourteen days: “I will not promise you happiness in this life, but happiness in the next.” On February 20, Mary taught Bernadette a private prayer, the content of which has never been revealed. The day after, Mary asked Bernadette to pray for sinners.

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