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The Vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Lourdes

Feast of Our Lady.

It is said that the Blessed Virgin appeared on eighteen several occasions to a poor and lowly, but devout and innocent, little maiden named Bernadette Soubirous, (which same was later canonized as Saint Mary Bernard,) and gave her certain messages for mankind. The first appearance was on February 11th, 1858, and the third took place on the Feast of the Annunciation, at which time the Blessed Virgin spoke, saying: I am the Immaculate Conception. Our Lady was each time seen by Bernadette in a natural niche on one side of the cavern of rock which formed the grotto of Massabielle, on the banks of the River Gave, near the town of Lourdes in France. During these various appearances of the blessed Mother, such wondrous things happened as that any prudent and faithful Christian would know that it was the hand of God at work there. In particular, a spring, up to that time invisible, gushed out of the ground, and from the waters thereof many who were sick have received healing.

Rumours of the favours which the faithful were said to have received at the sacred grotto soon caused an increase in the crowds of people that raced thither. Therefore the bishop of that diocese, after a judicial inquiry into the reputed visions and other wondrous things, decided that these things were from God. Whereupon a church was soon built, and since then almost innumerable crowds of the faithful have come hither every year, and that from all parts of the earth, to honour the spotless Mother of God. And daily, during the procession of the Blessed Sacrament, the sick are brought to be blessed thereby; and many seeking health from the Lord at the intercession of his Mother go away well.

The days are filled with prayers, sacred chant, and other solemn ceremonies; and the nights are sanctified by the pious supplications of almost countless people who walk in procession carrying lighted candles and torches, and singing the praises of the blessed Virgin. And as a result of the devotions of Christians to this holy place, a feast in honour of the Vision there granted to Bernadette is kept yearly on this date.

Collect

O GOD, who by the spotless Conception of the blessed Virgin Mary didst consecrate a dwelling-place meet for thy Son: we humbly pray thee; that we, observing the appearing of the same blessed Virgin, may obtain thy healing, both in body and soul. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

The Anglican Breviary, Frank Gavin Liturgical Foundation, Inc., New York, 1955, pages 1112-1114

Additional Information:

For additional readings, or to learn more about the Anglican Breviary, visit The Anglican Breviary Website.

Ordo Kalendars are available from the Anglican Parishes Association Book Publisher.