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Bernadette, St.

by Micha F. Lindemans
Saint Bernadette was a French peasant girl named Bernadette Soubiros, who was born in Lourdes in 1844. At the age of 14 she claimed that she had experienced a number of visions of the Virgin Mary. Further more, the girl said that the Virgin had imparted miraculous powers of healing to the waters of a spring near a grotto in Lourdes. The Roman Catholic church declared her visions authentic, and the Lourdes grotto became a shrine for pilgrims. Bernadette joined the Sisters of Charity in 1866 and in 1877 she became a nun. She died two years later in 1879. She was beatified in 1925 and canonized in 1933. St. Bernadette's feast day is April 16.

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