Lourdes Part III: The Apparitions

The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubirous eighteen times in the Grotto of Massabielle.

The apparitions began on February 11th and ended on July 16th in the year 1858.

Image of the 1st Apparition, Musée Sainte-Bernadette, Lourdes

Before going to Lourdes, I had some knowledge of the apparitions.

However, I didn’t know all of details or the connections between the apparitions and what currently takes place at the Sanctuary.

I recently discovered information about the apparitions on the official Lourdes website.

In this post, I’d like to share information for the first nine apparitions.

I’ll also share connections between past and present events in Lourdes.

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The Queenship of Mary

Today, August 22nd the Church celebrates the Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

From the earliest ages of the catholic church a Christian people, whether in time of triumph or more especially in time of crisis, has addressed prayers of petition and hymns of praise and veneration to the Queen of Heaven. And never has that hope wavered which they placed in the Mother of the Divine King, Jesus Christ; nor has that faith ever failed by which we are taught that Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, reigns with a mother’s solicitude over the entire world, just as she is crowned in heavenly blessedness with the glory of a Queen (Venerable Pius XII, Ad Caeli Reginam 1).

During my recent pilgrimage in Lourdes, I witnessed Mary’s Queenship being honored in a number of ways.

One event stood out to me the most. I’d like to share it with you because it connects to today’s feast.

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Spiritual Warfare

Like it or not, you are at war.

No matter who you are — whether or not you know it — you have a mortal enemy [the devil] that wants to destroy you, not just in this life, but in the next.

No matter where you live on this planet — whether or not you can see it — you live on a hotly contested battlefield, and you can’t escape the conflict.

It’s a spiritual war with crucial consequences in your everyday life. And the outcome of that war will determine your eternal destiny (Manual for Spiritual Warfare).

For those who think this sounds dramatic or extreme, know these words are true.

They’re supported by Sacred Scripture, the teachings of the Church, writings of the saints, legitimate prophecies, and history itself.

Just look around. We see violence, corruption, crime, impurity, vice, and division at almost every turn.

Why do they exist in the world? Because of the presence of evil.

Some may be surprised to hear this truth. Others are already aware and consciously fighting the spiritual battle.

For those who are learning this for the first time, I pray you take the message to heart. Whether you believe it or not, it’s the truth; and there’s a reason you’re reading this post today.

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Quotes on the Rosary

From May to October 1917, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children in Fátima, Portugal.

She appeared to Francisco and Jacinta Marto (now canonized saints) and Lúcia dos Santos on the thirteenth day of each month.

Mary referred to herself as “the Lady of the Rosary” and told the children to pray the Rosary every day for peace in the world.

She also told them to pray and sacrifice for sinners in order to save souls from going to hell.

Since we celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Fátima on May 13th, I want to share 13 quotes on the Rosary.

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My Grandpa: A Devoted Child of God and the Blessed Mother

“All the true children of God, the predestinate, have God for their Father, and Mary for their Mother.” ~ St. Louis de Montfort

A Special Photo

My paternal grandfather loved photography and was a photographer by trade. There’s one photo in particular that’s very special to him and my family.

Grandpa and Grandma used to visit a Marian shrine near their home. During one visit, Grandpa photographed a statue of Mary.

The statue was positioned near the doorway of the chapel, which made it difficult to photograph.

He said there was no way to capture the photo without getting “hot spots” — shiny glares — on the statue’s face. (In those days, photography wasn’t digital and couldn’t be edited the way it is today.)

He tried his best, assuming hot spots would be visible when the film was developed…

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