Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Wednesday 29 May |
Saint of the Day: Pope St. Paul VI
Aleteia logo
Spirituality
separateurCreated with Sketch.

St. Bernadette died on Easter Wednesday praying these words

SAINT BERNADETTE OF LOURDES

Fred De Noyelle | Godong | Leeimage

Philip Kosloski - published on 04/15/24

The final hours of St. Bernadette's life on earth were agonizing, as she united her suffering with that of Christ and prayed to the Virgin Mary for strength.

As the miraculous waters at Lourdes became widely known, St. Bernadette chose to live a life of prayer and solitude.

She joined the Sisters of Charity and spent the rest of her life in the convent at Nevers, France.

For many years she suffered various ailments and eventually died at the young age of 35.

She died on April 16, 1879, which was Easter Wednesday, the Wednesday during the Octave of Easter.

French writer Paul Joseph Henri Lasserre de Monzie wrote about the final day of her death in his pious biography, Bernadette.

He begins the chapter on her death recalling the words the priest would have said at Mass on that day:

On the Wednesday in Easter Week, the sun rose brightly as befitted a festival and all the priests of the Christian world, as they mounted the steps of the altar, began in these divine words the Introit of the Mass: “Come ye blessed of My Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

It was a fitting day for St. Bernadette as those words summarized what God was calling St. Bernadette to enjoy.

Her most tortuous hours were between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. These corresponded with Jesus’ last agony as well:

[S]he appeared to be seized by intolerable sufferings and being doubtless aware that the last thread of life was about to break, she wished to unite herself by indissoluble love to the divine agony of Him who died for us all. With her failing hand she took the crucifix which lay upon her heart and raising it to her lips, kissed twice over tenderly and slowly the Five most Sacred Wounds of our Savior Jesus.

After the 3:00 hour, she entered into her final agony:

The Mother of Sorrows present on Golgotha was present also although invisibly at the agony of this child, whom she loved and to whom she had promised happiness, not in this world but in the world to come. And Bernadette spoke to her. In a clear voice she repeated with emphasis, Holy Mary, Mother of God pray for me, a poor sinner. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for me a poor sinner.

Shortly after this, “All was not yet over. With an expressive gesture, for her breath was so far gone that her voice could no longer be heard, she said, ‘I am athirst‘…She drank a few drops, they wiped her lips and then bending her head, she breathed forth her soul to God.”

St. Bernadette died that day, uniting herself more fully to Jesus in his last agony.

Tags:
EasterSaintsVirgin Mary
Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Aleteia-Pilgrimage-300×250-1.png
Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.