Our Lady of Lourdes: Table of Contents
“I do not promise to make you happy in this world but in the other.”Our Lady of Lourdes
Our Lady of Lourdes dates back to 19th century France, in the city of Lourdes, when the Virgin Mary appeared to a young woman named Bernadette in February 1858 (just four years after the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception).
Just 14 at the time, Bernadette encountered the Virgin Mary more than a dozen times. Our Lady eventually instructed the young peasant girl to dig into the ground, revealing a running spring.
In his 1872 book “Our Lady of Lourdes: The History of the Miraculous Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes,” T.I. Sisk described the encounter poetically:
“The innocent frankness of a child, the absolute purity of a Virgin, the tender gravity of the highest of maternities, a wisdom superior to that of all accumulated ages, were summed up and melted together, without injuring one another, in this marvellous countenance of a young person.
Our Lady famously told Bernadette, “I do not promise to make you happy in this life but in the next.”
During the 16th apparition, Our Lady finally revealed herself to Bernadette, who was poor, uneducated and in poor health. Few people believed her at first, but visitors starting coming to Lourdes and in 1862, a local bishop verified Bernadette’s story.
To this day, the grotto at Our Lady of Lourdes remains a popular pilgrimage site. It hosts 3 million people each year, and its healing water has 70 miracles attributed to it.
According to Marlene Watkins, author of “Everyday Miracles of Lourdes,” there are thousands of others who have come forward claiming to have experienced a miracle healing from Lourdes.
St. Bernadette was canonized in 1933.
Our Lady of the Lourdes Prayers
Our Lady of Lourdes is the patron saint of the sick, and countless people have turned to her over the past two centuries, asking for her intercession to heal them.
Pope St. John Paul II gives us this prayer, calling on the intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes:
Hail Mary, poor and humble Woman,
Blessed by the Most High!
Virgin of hope, dawn of a new era,
We join in your song of praise,
to celebrate the Lord’s mercy,
to proclaim the coming of the Kingdom
and the full liberation of humanity.
Hail Mary, lowly handmaid of the Lord,
Glorious Mother of Christ!
Faithful Virgin, holy dwelling-place of the Word,
Teach us to persevere in listening to the Word,
and to be docile to the voice of the Spirit,
attentive to his promptings in the depths of our conscience
and to his manifestations in the events of history.
Hail Mary, Woman of sorrows,
Mother of the living!
Virgin spouse beneath the Cross, the new Eve,
Be our guide along the paths of the world.
Teach us to experience and to spread the love of Christ,
to stand with you before the innumerable crosses
on which your Son is still crucified.
Hail Mary, woman of faith,
First of the disciples!
Virgin Mother of the Church, help us always
to account for the hope that is in us,
with trust in human goodness and the Father’s love.
Teach us to build up the world beginning from within:
in the depths of silence and prayer,
in the joy of fraternal love,
in the unique fruitfulness of the Cross.
Holy Mary, Mother of believers,
Our Lady of Lourdes,
pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes Feast Day
The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes is celebrated on Feb. 11. Pope Leo XIII declared the feast day in 1890.
The celebration at Lourdes itself includes a procession (which happens often at Lourdes) and an international Mass.
Churches around the world who count Our Lady of Lourdes as their patron celebrate the day with special activities, including those, such as the University of Notre Dame, that contain grottos in honor of Our Lady of Lourdes.
The eve of the feast day also marks for many the final day of novena to Our Lady of Lourdes.
Our Lady of Lourdes Novena
The Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes can be prayed during any 9 days, but is most often said beginning on February 2nd or 3rd, ending on either the eve of the Feast Day (Feb. 10) or the Feast Day itself (Feb. 11.)
This version of the Our Lady of Lourdes novena comes from Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Melbourne, Fla.:
The Opening Prayer
Happy are you, holy Virgin Mary, deserving of all praise.
From you rose the sun of justice, Christ the Lord.
The Novena Prayer
Most Holy Mother Mary, at Lourdes you asked us to do penance and to pray for the conversion of sinners. Obtain for each of us the grace of true repentance. Help those for whom we pray, and especially those who most need God’s mercy. Your Divine Son so loves every soul that He gave His life to pay the price for our redemption. Help us to return His love by making the sacrifices needed to keep his commandments.
Most Holy Mother, you offered your Divine Son to the Eternal Father when you presented Him in the temple;
offer us to the Father as your other children;
watch over us and guide us.
Blessed Mother, obtain for me the grace I most need, and especially these favors that I ask in this Novena, if they be in keeping with God’s will. Amen.
We pray for the prosperity of our parish and school, and that we may live the virtues in our daily lives, shedding our light and love on those around us. Amen.
The Prayer of Thanksgiving
In thanks, we promise to follow in your virtues, that we may one day share your glory. Our Lady of Lourdes, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your divine son while upon earth. You have the same influence now in Heaven.
Pray for us; obtain for us from your Divine Son our special requests if it be the Divine Will. Amen.
The Rosary Prayer
One decade of the Rosary is prayed
Our Lady of Lourdes, Pray for us. Saint Bernadette, Pray for us.
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.