The story behind the celebration
+ On this day, the Church commemorates the Immaculate Virgin Mary who appeared to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes, France, eighteen times between February 11 and July 16, 1858.
+ The memorial of Mary under the title of “Our Lady of Lourdes” was extended to the Universal Church by Pope Saint Pius X in 1907.
+ The apparition of Our Lady at Lourdes is one of the most celebrated events in the Catholic Church in the nineteenth century. In fact, the popularity of this devotion contributed to a renewal of the Catholic Faith in France and the shrine at Lourdes remains one of the most popular destinations for pilgrims in the world.
+ February 11, the Commemoration of Our Lady of Lourdes, is also celebrated as World Day of the Sick. To read Pope Francis’ “Message for World Day of the Sick 2021,” click here.
For prayer and reflection
“Let us ask for her intercession so that the Lord grants health of soul and body to all those who suffer from disease and the current pandemic.”—Pope Francis
– The Franciscan Sisters of the Congregation of Our Lady of Lourdes (Rochester, MN): https://rochesterfranciscan.org/
– The Franciscan Sisters of the Congregation of Our Lady of Lourdes (Sylvania, OH): www.sistersosf.org
Grant us, O merciful God, protection in our weakness,
that we, who keep the Memorial of the Immaculate Mother of God,
may, with the help of her intercession,
rise up from our iniquities.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.