Our Lady of Lourdes
Our Lady of Lourdes is a Roman Catholic title of the Blessed Virgin Mary venerated in honour of the Marian apparitions that allegedly occurred in Lourdes, France. The first apparition of 11 February 1858, of which Bernadette Soubirous (age 14) told her mother that a "Lady" spoke to her in the cave of Massabielle (1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) from the town) while she was gathering firewood with her sister and a friend. Similar apparitions of the "Lady" were reported on 18 occasions that year, until the climax revelation of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception took place.
|Date||February 11 to July 16, 1858|
|Witness||Saint Bernadette Soubirous|
|Shrine||Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, Lourdes, France|
|Patronage||Lourdes, France, Quezon City, Tagaytay, Barangay Granada of Bacolod, Daegu, South Korea, Tennessee, Diocese of Lancaster, Lourdes School of Mandaluyong, bodily ills, sick people, protection from diseases|
|Feast day||February 11|
In 18 January 1862, the local Bishop of Tarbes Bertrand-Sévère Laurence endorsed the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lourdes. On 3 July 1876, Pope Pius IX officially granted a Canonical Coronation to the image that used to be in the courtyard of what is now part of the Rosary Basilica. The image of Our Lady of Lourdes has been widely copied and reproduced in shrines and homes, often in garden landscapes. Soubirous was later canonized as a Catholic saint by Pope Pius XI in 1933.
A large cult of devotion has since developed as ecclesiastical investigations sanctioned her visions. In later years, a large church was built at the site that has since become a major site of Marian pilgrimage.