Lourdes and Bernadette, the story behind it

Pemandangan kota lordes dengan sungai Massabielle

Lourdes, France is actually a small city far away from Paris, but laid there a great castle to defend the valley with a great history within. In this city lived a young girl named Bernadette that was being visited by The Virgin Mary. an fourteen years old girl, daughter of Francois Soubirous and Louis Casterot who were not attending any school or catechism. She also live with asthma and TBC that made her left the world in a young age.

Born on Jan 7, 1844 at Lourdes; sent away to be fostered to Batres because her mother cannot feed her, in November 1844, then returned back to Lourdes on April 1846.

In 1855, Bernadette had a cholera, however by the simple medication she had, it cured but begin to face asthma after that. After her grandmother died on October 22, 1855, her family inherited some money, but.. it wasn’t make her family’s business going up, but the family situation became worst after the failure of her father business in a mill… so that all the family return to Lourdes and lived at the cachot (which was a prison, only one humid and unhealthy room)

The home of Bernadette

on September 1857, Bernadette was called back to Bartres, but living there also was a hard time for her, because of the hard work, solitude, humiliation. A good preparation for the apparition. in 1858, she returned to Lourdes, compare to the Bartres, she enjoyed being with her family although she has to fave the small room and poverty.

TUESDAY, Feb 11, 1858 : First Apparition at Massabielle Grotto
First, Bernadette, her sister Toinette and friend Jeanne Abadie was collecting sticks for firewoods and bones to sell. The water in front of the grotto was too cold to across, but those girl refused Bernadette wish to help her for crossing the water without taking off her shoes. When she tried to open the shoes, she heard the sound. She looked up the grotto and saw a lady dressed in white. She wore a white dress, blue sash and a yellow rose on each of her feet.The link of rosary were also yellow.

The vision made a sign of the cross, but her hand was trembling to do so. She finally recite a rosary, The apparation let her rosary beads slip through her fingers without moving her lips, and when the beads was finished, the vision suddenly disappeared . Bernadette told those girls when they came back from gathering the woods.

SATURDAY, Feb 13, 1858 :
Bernadette come to the Father Pomian, by her mother and hospice nun’s advise to tell him about what was happen in Massabielle. She said ” I saw something white that seemed to be a lady- I had heard nothing of the happening and attributed very little importance to it. When he said to the parish priest, he said we must wait

SUNDAY, FEB, 14, 1858 : The second Apparition
The second time was following sunday. She was forbidden at first because her mother was afraid that she might fell off the river, but finally she was allowed to go
The apparition happends between midday and 2o’clock. Bernadette sprinkles the lady with the holy water. telling her to remain if she came from GOD. The lady smiles.

Bernaddette was on extacy with her wide eyes gaze fixed the grotto, Antoine Nicolau lifted her to his mill until she was conscious.

THURSDAY, FEB 18, 1858 : The third Apparition
Bernadette came to the grotto, accompanied by some reliable persons. They asked to let the Lady write the purpose of her apparitions. And Bernadette put the ink, paper and pen to ask her to write down her name and what is it that you wish from me. The lady rejected to write. She said ” Would you please return here for the next fifteen days? I cannot promise you happiness in this world, but in the next

Massabielle river beside the Grotto

The conversation was distinguished by two things : first : The apparition spoke to Bernadette in Dialect of Lourdes. Secondly, the apparition addresses her as “THOU” and uses the expression “please”. A differential gesture to which Bernadette is unaccustomed. That impressed her ” I was really amazed. Noone has ever address me as thou nor requested something, please”

FRIDAY, FEB 19, 1858: 4rth Apparition
Bernadette was accompanied by 10 people at the grotto. It was in the early hour of the morning. The apparition was brief, silent without messages. Everything happen in a state of ecstasy, meditation, prayer. And she carries a blessed candle to ward off evil. Bernadette leave it burning as a sign of homage and gratitude.

Leaving lighted candle in front of the Grotto is a custom that was inspired by this gesture; Nowadays, Bernadette’s candle is symbolized by the great cone shaped candelabra that burns continuously in front of the grotto, representing the the candles brought by pilgrims in offering.

FEBRUARY 20, 1858 : The 5th Apparition
Bernadette was accompanied by 30 other people , around six in the morning. Its silent-meditative apparition, but all of them returned home with feeling of touched and amazed by the extraordinary atmosphere of peace they all absorbed at the grotto.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARy 21, 1958: The 6th Apparition
It was early hour, Bernadette was there with about a hundred people. Police force also there to check. The apparition follows the same pattern of recitation of the rosary, ecstasy and silent mediation.
FEB 21 and 24, 1958 Bernadette is being questioned by Chief Police Jacomet and Imperial Prosecutor Vital Dutour. She said ” I no longer seem to belong to this world. When she disappeared, I’m astonished to find myself still here” And Bernadette was not allowed to go to the grotto again


Bernadette obeys the instruction and was not go to the grotto as her father promised the police so that he will not go to the prison again. At the afternoon, she cannot help to go to the grotto. The apparition fails to keep the appointment, when returning home, she will sadly comment “ I don’t know what it was that I did to cause the Lady not to appear.

FEB 23,1858 : 7th Apparition
Rebelling the bans, Bernadette went to the Grotto. The apparition took place early in the morning, and the esctacy last until 1 hour. There are more than a hundred person went there. The important man came to this apparition, sent by the parish priest Peyramale to check on what might happen in the grotto. Attorney Dufo, future mayor of Lourdes and Dr Dozous, medical doctor and atheist scientist. The doctor was there to check on Bernadette in the name of science and medicine. When returning home, he was badly shaken as far as his disbelief is concerned, becomes a convert and be a key witnesses to the happening of Massabielle.

Bernadette said that she got 3 secrets that concern her alone, and cannot be said to anyone and taken these to her tomb.

WEDNESDAY, FEB 24, 1858 : 8th Apparition
The lady said on the second time, asking for prayers and penitence. 200-300 people are present.

The lady said PENITENCE, Pray for the sinners, she asked Bernadette to approach the lower part of the grotto on her knees, kissed the earth as a sign of penitence for sinners and to ear the grass growing below the grotto. After that Bernadette always repeat the same act of penitence.

FEB 25, 1858 : 9th Apparition
About 300 people attend to the grotto; the apparition took place around 5 in the morning.
The lady said, “Go to the spring, drink and wash yourself. Since Bernadette could not see the spring, she went to the river, but the lady called back and pointed a spot below the grotto to the left. She started to dig until the water flows, and drank it three times. Since the water was too muddy, she throws it away. The fourth time, Bernadette successfully drink and wash herself. She also told to eat the grass that grows near the spring. Then the apparition disappeared and she left. The attendants there were disappointed for long at the Bernadette face full of mud, they feel tricked.

These messages concerned about purification and spiritual uplifting. She was scolded by her aunt, but she said, “Let them think and say whatever they wished. I did all those things on the Lady’s request, as a sign of penitence and for sinners”. At the evening, she had to face the interrogations for two hours and convinced that she was not lying by her consistence answers.

The miniatur of Bernadette and Grotto @ Nevers

SATURDAY, FEB 27th, 1858: the 10th Apparition
On Friday, there were no apparition, she was there bitterly said that she must have done something that makes the lady upset. However, early in the morning, she returned to the grotto with 800 people gathered there. The apparition taking place in silent and Antonie Clarens was present from a far to see the following happen.

FEB 28, 1858: the 11th Apparition
It occurs around 7 in the morning in presence of 1,150 person. The commander said about the apparition, that the apparition attracting a large number of people. however, since she said that March 4th will be a special appointment, it would encouraging a great crowd to gather. And, this day was also the third times, she was interrogated.

MARCH 1st, 1858 : 12th Apparition
Took place at 7 in the morning. more than 1450 people gathered on the grotto. The Bishop was announce a religious order to go to the grotto., but monsignor Laurence was causing sensation. In this apparition, Catherine Latapie from Lubajac whom received the first healing from the spring.

MARCH 2nd, 1858: 13th Apparition
The lady said ” Please go to the priests and tell them to have a chapel built here”. But when Bernadette said that, the priest asked Bernadette to ask the lady’s name. And Bernadette was forgotten to ask the procession. At the evening she was back to ask what the lady asked her. Although the priest gave her a condition, she was released because she has already spoke what the lady wants.

MARCH 3rd, 1858 : 14th Apparition
The grotto of Massabielle was attended by about 4000 of people, but the lady was not appeared. The mass became very disappointing. It was the third times, the lady was misses the appointment. In the afternoon, she returned to the grotto, taking out her rosary, aware of the apparition and returned home happily. Bernadette returned to priest for the third time, and he welcomed her more calmly. The police was investigate the grotto to be aware for the March 4th.

MARCH 4th, 1858 : 15th Apparition
The report said, about 10,000 people was waiting, peaceful and absorbed. At the second decade of Rosary, she looks in ecstasy. She repeated the question about the apparition’s identity. Again a smile without answering, and it lasted about 50 minutes. The crowd was disappoint since there is nothing miraculously happen. Bernadette again returned to the parish to repeat the wish of the lady, however Peyramale insist on knowing the lady’s ID.

March 5-24 : during the interval she has to face all the attacks from the press, interrogation from the police.

Maria @ Lourdes

March 25, 1858 : 16 Apparition
It was 5 in the morning, that Bernadette urged to come to the grotto. Finally, Bernadette begged the Lady. ” Lady would you be so kind as to tell me who you are? . But as before, the lady smiled with no reply, and for the third time Bernadette asked the same question, the lady joins her hands, folded them over her heart and gazed the sky. Finally opening them outwards, as on the miraculous medal, and bending towards me, she said ” I am the Immaculate Conception”.

She in rush came to the parish and said ” Reverend Father, the lady told me : I am the immaculate conception” The priest was so shocked , but Bernadette said that she remembered it without knowing the meaning of it. Bernadette was quite dissapointed since the priest didn’t want to let her know what is the meaning. As a matter of fact, he was quite shock.

APRIL 7, 1858; 17th Apparition
The apparition took place around 5 in the morning, with no conversation. The miracle of the candle” happened during this apparition. it was happened when Bernadette prayed rosary in her left hand and on the left hand she held a large burning blessed candle. She burned the fingers,although the fire was quite strong, it was not effect her skin. After the apparition, the Doctor came to check her hands. there are no sign of a burn.

June 3, 1858 : Bernadette first communion
June 10, 1858 : The Grotto was banned by Mayor of Lourdes

July 16th, 1858: 18th apparition
This apparition was never mentioned. It might be that Bernadette feel that this apparition was exclusively personal. During the afternoon, she got the irresistible urge, but she was confuse since it was forbidden. Bernadette and her aunt go from other direction.

It was sunset, then when recite Hail Mary, Bernadette joined hands fall with a rapid movement for ecstasy.The lady said nothing, but she saw her clearly, and she never have been seen the lady as beautiful. And it was the last time she saw her.

July 28, 1858 : Monsignor Laurence, Bishop of Lourdes began the investigation
Okt 5, 1858 : The ban was raised by the Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III
Jan 18, 1962 : Monsignor Laurence recognize that the apparition is truthful and supra-natural nature
Apr 4, 1864 : Blessing of the Immaculate Conception statue at the Grotto.
May 19, 1866: The Crypts inauguration, the crypts is the temporary response on the wish of the virgin. ” I want a sanctuary to be build here” The final is Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

Saint Gildard, Nerves

July 7, 1866: Bernadette enter the Sisters of Charity convent in Nevers, although in Nerves she also repeat the nostalgia ” The grotto was my sky”. She also finds difficulties in adapting with other sister there and facing lots of humiliations.
Oct 30, 1867: Bernadette makes her repeated religious Profession after the first she had was by the telephone, because of her sickness.
August28,1872: First torchlight procession at the grotto of the apparition
July 2, 1876 : Consecration of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
Sept 22, 1878: Bernadette makes her perpetual voes in the convents chapel, and since December she cannot move, she murmured ” Ive been ground like a grain of wheat. I would never have imagined so much suffering (this summary of her life suffering). MY passion will endue till death . I’m happier on my bed of sorrow than a queen on her throne”
April 16, 1879 : Bernadette was attacked many times by her asthma, she moved to wheel chair to facilitate her breathing and died at 3 PM at 35 years old. He whole life message summed up on the paper found in her room ” To obey is to love! Suffering in silence for Christ is joy! Loving sincerely is giving everything. Above all, suffering
Oct 6, 1901 : Inauguration of the Rosary Basilica
Sept 22, 1909 : First identification of Bernadette body for the canonical beatification process. it was found in preservation
Sept 14, 1912: Inauguration of the way of cross around the hill of Lourdes
April 3, 1919 : Second identification
April 18, 1925 : Third identification
June 14, 1925 : Pope Pius XI proclaims the BEATIFICATION of Bernadette
July 18, 1925 : The body of Bernadette laid on a bronze and glass plate casket, placed in Nevers
Dec 8, 1933 : Pope Pius XI proclaims Bernadette SANCTITY
Feb 11,1958 : Consecration and Inauguration of the Basilica of Saint Pius X
March 25, 1988 : Inauguration the Saint Bernadette Center of Worship, the 5th church
1995 : Inauguration of the Adoration chapel next to it

All Basilica of Lourdes

based on the book of LOURDES

Saint Bernadette
Saint Bernadette

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