About Saint Bernadette
Did you know that Saint Bernadette had six other children in her family growing up? Well, she did and she was the oldest! Bernadette was born in 1844 on January 7th. Bernadette lived a good life, but was sick almost all of the time. Even before she had her confirmation she had been ailed by some sort of sickness almost constantly. She had to move around a lot during the cold months of the year to find a warmer place to live because the cold weather made her even more prone to sickness than usual.
Bernadette would live at home in Lourdes until she became a teenager. At that time she would move out and live with a woman one town over from there. She moved to begin working because her family needed extra money. She ran the fields for the woman and also tended to her animals. The woman began to teach her about God. This inspired Bernadette to go home and open a school to teach people about God. She mostly tutored children.
It was at this point in her life that Bernadette had a vision on the Virgin Mary. The story tells that she was gathering wood with her sister. When they had to cross a feezing cold stream, and Bernadette hesitated because it would probably not be good for her health to delve into the river. While she was alone, Mary appeared to her. This would lead to many more visions of Mary over the years for Bernadette.
Bernadette started to have visions of Mary at this point in her life. She was in the woods one day and lost contact with the group she was with. She fell and looked up and saw the Virgin Mary. Everybody thought Bernadette was going insane and did not believe her.
These visions of Mary would be a re-occuring thing for Bernadette. She would see Mary a total of eighteen times in her life, and was shown a message by Mary by the end of the visions. Bernadette built a church on a site indicated to her in a vision by Mary, and after she had done this Mary stopped appearing to her.
Still after the visions had stopped, Bernadette became more religious. Many people had stopped believing Bernadette was insane and treated her with respect and reverance. Bernadette received a lot of attention from people during her later years and she did not like this. She still treated the people with respect and kindess though because she knew that was the right thing to do.
Saint Bernadette wanted to join a convent in her later years. She met some resistance from the local nuns though because of her fame for her visions. They thought she was a phony and treated her poorly when she was just starting out as a nun. Eventually they would see Bernadette devotion to God and undying kindess and they would grow to like her and enjoy her company at the convent.
Bernadette had consistent visitors throughout the rest of her life, and did her best to help them with any advice they sought from her. However when Bernadette became very elderly her health declined significantly and she had to stop taking visitors. She would pass away on April 16, 1879 due to her life long battles with different sicknesses.