Our Lady of Lourdes

Dear Friends,

Saturday, February 11 is the Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes in which we remember the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes France.   It was to little Bernadette that “the Lady” (as she called her) would reveal her long believed title of the “Immaculate Conception”.   Bernadette suffered ridicule from many towns’ people that she needed to be placed in an institution because many did not believe that she was seeing a true vision, but a figment of her imagination.   On the thirteenth apparition on March 2, 1858 she was told in the vision to “to drink of the water of the spring, to wash in it and to eat the herb that grew there”.  The next day a spring of water appeared and many believed to have the healing power of God.   Since then thousands flock to this site in Southern France to bathe of the spring, to visit this sacred place where the Blessed Mother instructed a church to be built.  For this reason the Church designated this day as World Day of the Sick.  

St.  Bernadette entered into the convent.   In her younger years she always suffered from various illnesses including asthma.   After her death her body was exhumed and to the amazement of the people of Lourdes, another miracle took place.   Bernadette’s body was incorruptible despite the rosary and crucifix in her hand had experienced the erosion of oxidation.  

This miracle is yet another testimony of God’s great compassionate love for the human person.   Even in the Gospels, the Lord Jesus feeds the hungry crowd, cures many who have diseases and even raises the dead.   God listens to the cries of those who suffer.   Those who are sick and those who are terminally ill seek God’s healing love.  Every Sunday in our parish bulletin we place the names of those parishioners who need our prayers.   Every day during Mass I remember those who seek our prayers.   We entrust them to the maternal intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.   Please remember them in your prayers as well.   They are our brothers and sisters who need our prayers.  

As we commemorate the memorial of the apparitions in Lourdes, let us pray not only for those in our community who suffer illnesses, but for their care takers and family members who endure much for the sake of love.   That internal suffering is certainly understood by the heart of the Mother of the Crucified Lord Jesus.   Pray for their courage, their endurance, and their patience.   Pray that God reward all of those who take care of and look after the sick and dying.   Our thoughts and prayers go out to especially children who suffer from various infirmities.   Our Lady is the Queen of Consolation and mother of all the followers of Jesus Christ.   Through her intercession and that of St. Bernadette of Lourdes may the Lord bringing healing and peace to all in need. 

In the Lord,
Fr. Vasquez

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