February is dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes, whose feast we celebrate on February 11. Though skeptics have criticized the veracity of the healing spring in Lourdes, France for almost two centuries, it is estimated that over six million pilgrims travel internationally to seek healings of physical, emotional, and spiritual.
When the Blessed Mother appeared to St. Bernadette Soubirous, an illiterate, sickly peasant girl in 1858, no one – not even her family and friends – believed she’d seen an apparition. Because she didn’t claim to have seen Mary, just a beautiful lady. But, when she asked for identification, the beautiful lady said, “I am the Immaculate Conception,” a fairly new dogma at the time that few, except some clergy, knew about or understood.
St. Bernadette was a humble and obedient girl, which is likely why Our Lady chose her to be the agent of a powerful and pertinent message of hope in a time of uncertainty and secularism in a postmodern society. Once people began to hear about healings taking place at the spring, they flocked to the site in the hopes of a cure for themselves and those they loved. But St. Bernadette said of the water, “one must have faith and pray; the water will have no virtue without faith.”
PRAYERS TO OUR LADY OF LOURDES
There are several beautiful aspirations to Our Lady under this title, particularly healing ones. You may find that one or more of the following prayers speaks to you personally in your relationship with the Blessed Mother, or perhaps offers you consolation in a time of trial or suffering.
Oh, ever immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Health of the Sick, Refuge of Sinners, Comfortess of the Afflicted, you know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings. Look upon me with mercy. When you appeared in the grotto of Lourdes, you made it a privileged sanctuary where you dispense your favors, and where many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. I come, therefore, with unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. My loving Mother, obtain my request. I will try to imitate your virtues so that I may one day share your company and bless you in eternity. Amen.
Hail Mary, poor and humble Woman, Blessed by the Most High! Virgin of hope, dawn of a new era, We join in your song of praise, to celebrate the Lord’s mercy, to proclaim the coming of the Kingdom and the full liberation of humanity. Hail Mary, lowly handmaid of the Lord, Glorious Mother of Christ! Faithful Virgin, holy dwelling-place of the Word, Teach us to persevere in listening to the Word, and to be docile to the voice of the Spirit, attentive to his promptings in the depths of our conscience and to his manifestations in the events of history. Hail Mary, Woman of sorrows, Mother of the living! Virgin spouse beneath the Cross, the new Eve, Be our guide along the paths of the world. Teach us to experience and to spread the love of Christ, to stand with you before the innumerable crosses on which your Son is still crucified. Hail Mary, woman of faith, First of the disciples! Virgin Mother of the Church, help us always to account for the hope that is in us, with trust in human goodness and the Father’s love. Teach us to build up the world beginning from within: in the depths of silence and prayer, in the joy of fraternal love, in the unique fruitfulness of the Cross. Holy Mary, Mother of believers, Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us. (St. John Paul II)
During this month, we can increase our devotion to the Blessed Mother under this title as we continue to seek new ways of deepening our relationship with her.
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