One of the most visited pilgrim center is Lourdes. In the year 1858 Mother Mary appeared to Bernadette in Lourdes. Bernadette was born in a poor family and had no access to education. On Thursday 11th February 1858 was the first time Mother appeared to Bernadette. Bernadette went with her sister Toinette and neighbor Jeanne Abadie to collect some firewood and bones in order to buy some bread. After taking off her shoes and stockings to wade through the water near the Grotto of Massabielle, she said she heard the sound of two gusts of wind (coups de vent) but the trees and bushes nearby did not move. A wild rose in a natural niche in the grotto, however, did move. She says, “As I raised my head to look at the grotto, I saw a lady dressed in white, wearing a white dress, a blue girdle and a yellow rose on each foot, the same color as the chain of her rosary; the beads of the rosary were white. She was telling the Rosary and Bernadette joined her in saying the Rosary. Then the lady presented her with a beautiful smile and disappeared. This was the first apparition.
Mother appeared 18 times before Bernadette. On the 8th apparition she asked everyone to do penance and pray. During the 9th apparition Bernadette was asked to dig at a place pointed by the Mother and a spring of water gushed from there. On the 4th day after the spring appeared Louis Bouriette a blind worker regained his eye sight after washing his eyes in the spring. 2000 Gallons of water flow from the spring every day. People who drink and bathe in this water have experienced many miracles and healing. On March 25th 1858 our Lady informed Bernadette, “I am the Immaculate Conception.” This was to confirm the Immaculate Conception dogma, by the Pope Pious the IX delcared 4 years ago. Mother Mary appeared for the last time to Bernadette on 16th July.
Millions of people visit the pilgrim center every day. Lord Jesus works several miracles through the intercession of Mother Mary during the Eucharistic procession and the Rosary.
Today the world is moving fast towards a life of sin and destruction. Let us then give heed to the request made by Mother to Bernadette to do penance and pray and obtain the blessings of Mother Mary and Jesus.