St. Bernadette Soubirous

Name: Bernadette Soubirous

Religious Name: Sister María Bernard

Place of Birth: Lourdes, France

Date of Birth: January 7, 1844

Parents’ Names: Francisco Sobirous and Luisa Castérot

Date and Place of Death: April 16, 1879 in Nevers, France

Feast day: February 18th

Known for: Her humility. She was chosen by the Virgin Mary to be Her messenger. On February 11, 1858, she had her first apparition of the Virgin in a grotto not far from her house. St. Bernadette was always obedient and did everything that the Virgin told her to do.

One day a man came to Lourdes who hardly believed in God, and even less that the Virgin Mary was appearing there to an ignorant child. He decided to go and see Bernadette to make her confess that is was all a lie. When he arrived, he found her seated at the door of her house, mending her little brother’s socks. The man asked her in detail about the apparition. Bernadette answered all of his questions patiently. When she explained to him how the Virgin had smilied at her, the man let loose with a mean laugh, and, to make fun of her, asked if she could imitate it. The young girl said to him, “I know that you don’t relieve me, but I’m going to show you how she smilied so that you can believe.” She put her hands together, stood up, and smilied. At that moment, the man didn’t see Bernadette but the Blessed Virgin, smiling at him. Grace touched his soul and he recuperated his faith in God. That man would suffer a lot later on in his life, but what made him push on was the hope of seeing Mary smile at him once again when he reached heaven. He said, “I live for the smile of the Virgin.”