St Bernadette, this little Saint form Lourdes was in reality a child with a very strong will! She was a very simple girl, illiterate but not stupid at all! We can see in this Saint's childhood the tragedy of all poor children.
Her life is depicted in a very touching way in the book: Bernadette speaks- A life of Saint: Bernadette Soubirous in Her Own Words.
The author of this inspiring book is the Catholic Theologian Rene Laurentin, who has spent twenty years to scientifically establish the History of Lourdes and of Bernadette.
Her parents were so poor that they lived in a former prison, called the “Cachot!” Because they could not feed her, they sent her to work and live in Bartres, in a farm.
Her parents had agreed with the owners of this farm that they would take care that Bernadette receive lessons of Catechism, so she could receive her First Holy Communion.
But because this exceptional girl was such a good worker, she would get more and more chores. She worked so many hours in the field that there remained no time to take lessons of Catechism.
One day our little Saint decided she would return to Lourdes to confront her parents to take her back in their home. Her parents accepted and she returned to Lourdes, just two weeks before the Queen of Heaven came to her!
No wonder Our Lady chose this girl out of all the other people living in Lourdes. She needed someone who could stand strong against the powers of evil! And that is what this courageous little girl did!
In The Song of St Bernadette you can get a very classic work about the miraculous visions at Lourdes that turned the Christian world upside down.
I encourage you to teach your kids about this little saint who learned how to abandon herself to the merciful love of God. There is a cartoon style DVD which might be just what they need to enhance their knowledge about spirituality, in a way that they like and understand.
The year of the apparitions in Lourdes, the year 1858, was a very special year! Pope Pius IX declared this year to be a holy year. Four years before, this same Pope proclaimed the Dogma of The Immaculate Conception of Mary. And the rumbling started! Both inside the Church, as outside, with the protestants!
So you can imagine what the reaction was when this illiterate peasant girl told she has been visited by Our Lady, who called herself “The Immaculate Conception”!
After the twelve apparitions St Bernadette received from the Queen of Heaven, her life changed forever!
Some time after the apparitions ended she entered a cloister and lived with the Sisters of Nevers where she worked and learned to read and write. She was admitted into their order at the age of 22 and was often mistreated by her superiors.
She died like a Saint on April 16th, 1879 and her body is incorrupt. In the year 1933 she was beatified and in 1933 she was canonized by Pope Pius XI.
Her feast day is april 16th and she is the patron Saint of the poor.