On Feb. 11, after I posted the explanation for the Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes, a Protestant friend sent me a link to her church’s stand on Mary that I would like to now respond to.
But, first a brief background explanation of Our Lady of Lourdes from AmericanCatholic.org.
On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in the apostolic constitution Ineffabilis Deus. A little more than three years later, on February 11, 1858, a young lady appeared to Bernadette Soubirous. This began a series of visions. During the apparition on March 25, the lady identified herself with the words: “I am the Immaculate Conception.”Bernadette was a sickly child of poor parents. Their practice of the Catholic faith was scarcely more than lukewarm. Bernadette could pray the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Creed. She also knew the prayer of the Miraculous Medal: “O Mary conceived without sin.”During interrogations Bernadette gave an account of what she saw. It was “something white in the shape of a girl.” She used the word aquero, a dialect term meaning “this thing.” It was “a pretty young girl with a rosary over her arm.” Her white robe was encircled by a blue girdle. She wore a white veil. There was a yellow rose on each foot. A rosary was in her hand. Bernadette was also impressed by the fact that the lady did not use the informal form of address (tu), but the polite form (vous). The humble virgin appeared to a humble girl and treated her with dignity.
The Lourdes Grotto today
One of the beautiful outcomes of Mary’s appearance in February 11, 1858, to a poor, peasant girl in Lourdes, France—besides revealing a stream of water that has been a source of healing to this day—was the name that