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By Martina Moyski, Church Militant, April 15, 2023
Negotiating Heaven and earth
The Blessed Mother appeared to St. Bernadette when France was still experiencing the aftershocks of its cruel and bloody revolution of the late 1700s. The Reign of Terror had done its best to ridicule and eradicate the Catholic faith, to replace it with a new world order. But Our Lady had other plans and was set to reveal herself in France through the young Bernadette Soubirous in a way that continues to reverberate throughout the world.
By worldly standards, Bernadette may seem like an unlikely candidate for the honor of the revelations. The 14-year-old’s family was among the poorest in all of Lourdes, a modest town nestled in the Pyrenees mountains of southern France. In fact, they lived in a one-room abandoned jail. Beyond this, Bernadette suffered from asthma, and her height had been stunted by a bout with cholera in her childhood. She was also considered mentally slow, even by schoolgirls younger than her.
Nevertheless, it was none other than Bernadette Soubirous, whose feast day is April 16, to whom Our Lady deigned to appear a total of 18 times between Feb. 11 and July 16 of 1858. Indeed, it was to Bernadette that Our Lady delivered a special message of love, prayer and penance to all the world and for all time. …