April 16 - Saint Bernadette of Lourdes

Quick Facts
  • Oldest of six children born to Francois and Louise Casterot, and grew up very poor.
  • Hired out as a servant from age 12 to 14.
  • Shepherdess.
  • On 11 February 1858, around the time of her first Communion, she received a vision of the Virgin; her own account of it is in theReadings section below.
  • She received seventeen more in the next five months, and was led to a spring of healing waters. She moved into a house with the Sisters of Nevers atLourdes where she lived, worked, and learned to read and write.
  • The sisters cared for thesick and indigent, and at age 22 they admitted Bernadette into their order since she was both.
  • Always sick herself, and often mistreated by her superiors, she died with a prayerfor Mary’s aid.
  • Since the appearances of Mary to young Bernadette in 1858, more than 200 million people have visited the shrine of Lourdes.