(1844–1879) A devout peasant to whom the Blessed Virgin appeared eighteen times between February 11 and July 16, 1858, when she was 14. The apparitions occurred in a grotto near Lourdes, southern France. Mary enjoined Bernadette to “pray for sinners” and gave the warning “Penitence!”
The grotto is now surmounted by the Church of the Rosary, which contains numerous crutches and gifts memorializing miraculous cures credited to Our Lady of Lourdes. Following the apparitions, Bernadette served as a Sister of Notre Dame at the Convent of Saint-Gildard, where for more than seven years she endured the painful and debilitating disease of tuberculosis of the bone. During the last two years of her life she developed a large tumor on her knee, which she kept a secret as long as she could so she would not be relieved of her duties. Her life is portrayed in the film The Song of Bernadette (1943) based on Franz Werfel’s novel by the same name.
Bernadette is now ascended.
Pearls of Wisdom, vol. 24, no. 12.