Daily Theology

On February 11, 1858, in the small town of Lourdes in southern France, a sickly and impoverished fourteen-year-old girl named Bernadette Soubirous experienced the first of eighteen Marian apparitions at a grotto which would eventually become one of the world’s most popular sites of pilgrimage—particularly for those seeking healing through the intervention of the Blessed Virgin.  A century later, in the encyclical Le pelégrinage de Lourdes, Pope Pius XII wrote of how

Crowds . . . still surge into the grotto of the apparitions, to the miraculous spring, and into the shrine erected at Mary’s request. There is the moving procession of the lowly, the sick, and the afflicted. There is the impressive pilgrimage of thousands of the faithful from a particular diocese or country. There is the quiet visit of a troubled soul seeking truth. “No one,” We once said, “has ever seen such a procession of…

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