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St. Bernadette

Saint Bernadette Soubirous


Bernadette was born to an impoverished peasant family in Lourdes, in southern France, in the year of Our Lord 1844. She was illiterate and asthmatic, and far behind in her catechesis. In 1858, four years after the declaration of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception by Pope Bl. Pius IX, Bernadette went to gather firewood in a rocky grotto near the town. After a frightening noise, a beautiful young woman appeared in the grotto. Bernadette saw the beautiful lady seventeen more times. On February 25th, the lady directed Bernadette to dig in the dirt near the grotto; the miraculous spring of Lourdes welled up on the spot. On the feast of the Annunciation, the lady declared to Bernadette: “I am the Immaculate Conception”. Bernadette suffered great ridicule and persecution until an investigation finally approved the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin; nothing shook her faith or her humility. At the age of twenty-two, she joined the Sisters of Charity, with the name Sister Marie-Bernarde. Always in poor health, Bernadette died of tuberculosis at the age of just thirty-five. In France she is honored on February 18th.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for April 16th

AT Corinth, the birthday of the holy martyrs Callistus and Charisius, with seven others, who were cast into the sea.

At Saragossa, in Spain, the birthday of eighteen holy martyrs, Optatus, Lupercus, Successus, Martial, Urbanus, Julia, Quinctilian, Pubilus, Fronto, Felix, Caecilian, Eventius, Primitivus, Apodemius, and four others, who, it is said, bore the name of Saturninus. Under Dacian, governor of Spain, they were all together subjected to torments and slain. The glory of their martyrdom has been celebrated in verse by Prudentius.

In the same place, St. Encratis, a virgin and martyr who had her body lacerated, her breasts cut off, and her liver plucked out. As she survived these torments, she was confined in a prison until her ulcerated flesh putrefied.

In the same city, the Saints Caius and Crementius, who twice confessed the faith of Christ, and persevering in it, drank of the chalice of martyrdom.

Again in the same place, the martyr St. Lambert.

At Palencia, St. Turibius, bishop of Astorga, who with the aid of pope St. Leo, drove the heresy of Priscillian entirely out of Spain, and went to rest in the Lord with a great renown for miracles.

At Braga, in Portugal, the bishop St. Fructuosus.

The same day, St. Paternus, bishop of Avrauches.

In Belgium, near Valenciennes, St. Drogo, confessor.

At Siena, in Tuscany, blessed Joachim, of the Order of the Servites of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

At Rome, the birthday of St. Benedict Joseph Labre, confessor, who was renowned for his contempt of self and his great voluntary poverty.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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