||St. Bernadette School is named after Bernadette Soubirous, a simple peasant girl of Lourdes, France, who in 1858 was favoured with several visits from Our Lady. Mary’s message to Bernadette was universal. It was a plea to all of us for prayer and penance. The miraculous spring at Lourdes was also revealed to Bernadette. This symbolizes hope and continues even to this day to cure afflictions of body and spirit.Bernadette was born in Lourdes on January 7, 1844 to Francis Soubirous and his wife, Louise Casterot. Bernadette was a delicate girl afflicted with asthma and other ailments. Beginning on February 11, 1858 Bernadette had eighteen visions at the grotto of Massabielle, France. The young saint dug in the earth as directed by the vision and a spring gushed out at the foot of the rock. The Lady of the visions told Bernadette to have a chapel built at the site so that pilgrims could visit and wash in or drink from the spring. On March 25 of that year, the vision proclaimed to Bernadette, “I am the Immaculate Conception.” Her last appearance to Bernadette was on July 16.
On July 29, 1866, Bernadette took her vows at the Sisters of Charity and was given the name Sister Mary Bernard. Her life was one of service and devotion to others, with our Blessed Mother as her inspiration. Her ill health continued and she suffered many complications from her illness. Bernadette died at age 35 on April 16, 1879 and was canonized in 1933.
As Bernadette did, we too, look to our Heavenly Mother for inspiration and recognize the need for prayer and penance. St. Bernadette, our patron, guides us.
O God, protector and lover of the humble, You bestowed on Your servant, Bernadette, the favor of the vision of Our Lady, the Immaculate Virgin Mary, and of speech with her. Grant that we may deserve to behold You in heaven. Amen.