Our Class Saint
Feast Day: 16th April
Saint Bernadette was born in 1844 in Lourdes, France. She was baptised when she was 2 days old at her parish church in Lourdes. Saint Bernadette was one of 9 children. Her family did not have much and Bernadette did not have good health, she suffered from asthma from a young age. She was the eldest daughter, so she was often put in charge of her brothers and sisters while her parents worked. Because of this, Saint Bernadette did not attend school.
One day Bernadette went to collect firewood with her sister and a friend when something happened that completely changed her life and the place where she lived. This was the first of 18 visions, when she described seeing ‘a small young lady’. Bernadette’ described her as the lady, but it was really the Virgin Mary, the mother of God. Bernadette was the only person to see her. Not everybody believed Bernadette’s story, so soon people would follow her to see for themselves. In the next few days a spring flowed and people thought the water had special healing powers. People still visit the spring today in the hope that it will heal and cure them. Bernadette always believed that faith and prayer cured the sick.
The pilgrimage site of Lourdes is in France, near the Pyrenees mountains. Every year, it is visited by millions of pilgrims. They come to Lourdes to see the site of a famous vision experienced by Bernadette. Many people visit because it is believed that spring water from the grotto can heal people if they are sick.
Saint Bernadette died on 16th April 1879. Saint Bernadette was canonised by Pope Pius XI on December 8, 1933. She is the patron saint of illness and poverty.