Posted by: fvbcdm | February 5, 2013

Feast of Saint Agatha (5 Feb 2013)

We are within the eight days before February 11; February 11 is the anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady at Lourdes in 1858—thus this coming Monday will be the 155th anniversary of that event. So let me point out another aspect of those beautiful apparitions to Saint Bernadette. When the fourteen-year-old peasant girl saw the exquisitely beautiful young woman standing in a niche in a rocky cliff near the town of Lourdes in southwestern France, she was both entranced but also taken aback. The beautiful lady was looking at her, smiling in a friendly, kindly way. But the lady didn’t say anything. Not sure how to respond to the lady’s attention to her, Bernadette did what her first instinct told her. She reached into the pocket of her dress in which she always carried a rosary, as all the women of Lourdes did. It was familiar; it was comfortable. And somehow, she felt that the lady in the niche would not be offended by her doing that. The lady was not offended at all. In fact, she broke out into an even more radiant smile, and then with one hand, she moved down her right arm a long crystal rosary that was hanging on it and which Bernadette had not noticed before. She held it in her hand, and seemed extremely pleased as Bernadette began the prayers. She very devoutly said the Our Father’s and the Glory Be’s with the child. During the Hail Mary’s, she listened with obvious pleasure and attention. At the end of the rosary, the lady in the niche smiled again, bowed very courteously to the child, and then simply vanished. Bernadette’s mother, on hearing the story of the beautiful lady in the rock, feared that it boded no good and for two days forbade her daughter to return there. But the child, eager to see the indescribably beautiful lady again, prevailed upon her father who allowed her to return with some friends to the area which was called Massabielle. Again a few days later, she obtained permission to return to the grotto at Massabielle. It was during that third apparition that the lady spoke for the first time. She asked Bernadette if she would have the kindness to come each day for the next fifteen days to be with her. And at each apparition, their main means of communication was the rosary, which tells us of the esteem that the beautiful lady has for that form of prayer. That same beautiful lady, who is of course Mary the Mother of Jesus, told the children to whom she appeared fifty-nine years later at Fatima in Portugal, “I am the Lady of the Rosary.” There can be no doubt that Our Lady is very pleased. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.

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