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Life of a Saint

Saint Bernadette Soubirous: The Humble Shepherdess of Lourdes, Part 2 of 2

2021-02-07
Language:English

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During a lecture in 1988, Supreme Master Ching Hai recounted the story of Saint Bernadette. “Her younger brother who always stole her bread asked her, ‘What did you see just now?’ Bernadette did not want to tell him at first, but her younger brother kept asking, so she said, ‘Okay! I will tell you, but you can’t tell anyone else.’ So she told both of them, ‘I saw a beautiful woman just now. and glorious. She was beautiful and glorious.’ But neither of them believed her. They told their mother after coming home. That’s when the trouble started. It was fine if they did not believe her themselves, but they said all kinds of things to others, so it caused trouble. Her mother beat Bernadette and said, ‘You are imagining things and you are possessed. You cannot go there anymore.’”

On February 25, 1858, the ninth appearance, 300 people were present. The Lady told Bernadette, “Go drink at the fountain and wash yourself there,” and “Eat the grass which is there.” Bernadette obeyed and dug in the ground until water started to flow out. The water was dirty, but as soon as she drank it, it became clear and flowed towards the crowd. It is now known as the miraculous water from Lourdes.

As told by the Lady, Sister Marie Bernarde did not find happiness in this world. She continued to be humble, obedient, and kind, but suffered from her fragile health. She referred to herself as the “stupid one” and felt unworthy of the marvelous graces she had received. For 13 years, she suffered without complaint, offering her prayers for the conversion of the world, as she was instructed by the Lady. Bernadette described Our Lady as being young and beautiful, “So lovely that, when you have seen Her once, you will willingly die to see Her again.”

“The place, Lourdes, became very famous later on – even the son of the emperor went there to drink the water and his illness was cured. That’s why it became famous. After that, the misunderstanding about Bernadette dissipated, but it had caused many problems for her as well as for her family.” Today, Lourdes is well known around the world, and Saint Bernadette continues to be admired and respected as a loving Saint. And so concludes the story of the little shepherdess of Lourdes, the simple and sincere soul that one day heard the Sound and saw the Light of God!

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