St. Bernadette: The Unexpected Visionary of Lourdes Essay

St. Bernadette: The Unexpected Visionary of Lourdes Essay

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Perhaps best known for her eighteen visions of the Virgin Mary, St. Bernadette Soubirous was a poor and ill French teenager who was granted with an extraordinary opportunity to have a connection with the Blessed Virgin. A practicing Catholic throughout her life, Bernadette’s faith flourished by the visions she received. St. Bernadette was one of the most humble of the saints, viewing those, even in sainthood as human (Lord and Lord 213). While sources vary, Bernadette’s prayer life as a child was categorized as pious by some, and ordinary by others (Laurentin 13). This changed as she saw Mary and later became a nun. Her spirituality, especially after these visions was directly related to the fact that she was chosen to be the visionary of Lourdes and have contact with the Virgin Mary (“St. Bernadette Soubirous”). St. Bernadette’s visions at Lourdes changed her life for the better and drastically fortified her previously existing relationship with God; St. Bernadette’s spirituality and prayer life were based off the visions she received.
Bernadette was very destitute growing up in Lourdes, France. The oldest in a large family, France’s economy crumbled and Bernadette and her family were left very poor as a result of the economic collapse. Unlikely for people facing such tough conditions, Bernadette and her family were close-knit and devout Catholics, “...the family lived in unusual harmony, apparently relying on their love and support for one another and their religious devotion” (“St. Bernadette Soubirous”). Although her family was close and faithful, Bernadette suffered very poor health throughout her short life. She was a severe asthmatic and caught Cholera while she was young. These events continued to influence her health neg...


... middle of paper ...


...Mary in her order. Bernadette said, “Every congregation is dedicated to the devotion to the Virgin” (Laurentin 245).



Works Cited
Keyes, Frances Parkinson. Bernadette of Lourdes: Shepherdess, Sister, and Saint. New York: Julian Messner, 1953. Print.
Laurentin, René. Bernadette Speaks: A Life of Saint Bernadette Soubirous in Her Own Words. Trans. John W. Lynch and Ronald DesRosiers. Boston: Pauline Books & Media, 2000. Print.
Lord, Bob, and Penny Lord. Saints and Other Powerful Women in the Church. Journeys of Faith,
1989. Print.
Pettinger, Tejvan R., “Biography of Bernadette Soubirous.” BiographyOnline.net. n.p., n.d. Web. 12 December 2013.
“Spirituality: Saint Bernadette Contra Mundum.” WordOnFire.org. Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, April 2012. Web. 12 December 2013.
“St. Bernadette Soubirous.” Catholic.org. Catholic Online, 2013. Web. 12 December 2013.

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