The Apparitions of The Blessed Virgin to Bernadette at Lourdes.
At Lourdes, on the feast of the Annunciation [March 25th] the Blessed Virgin acknowledged explicitly the Church declaration of 1854 that had, at last, proclaimed Her Immaculate Conception to be an article of Faith. This unprecedented happening reveals Its great significance. That She so explicitly acknowledged the declaration reveals how important the understanding of the Immaculate Conception is; that She is pure; without sin, as befits the Mother of God, that She is all powerful in defeating the evil ones, She is the Woman of the Book of Revelation, She is the Woman of Genesis.
The eighteen apparitions at Lourdes saw the Blessed Virgin revealing Herself as our Advocate and Mediator, She explicitly revealed, during the first apparition, when the seer; Bernadette, said the Rosary, how our prayers are heard through Hers:
“The Lady, now holding her own rosary in her joined hands, turned towards Bernadette, and
made the Sign of the Cross in a manner so reverent and dignified that the beholder strove to
reproduce it all the days of her life. Then,without moving her lips, she passed the beads
through her fingers one by one as the little girl, who had sunk to her knees, recited the prayers.”
The apparitions saw the Blessed Virgin voicing Her concerns for Her children, She who sees the punishments that await sinners. During the sixth apparition, February 21st, Bernadette asked Her what made Her sad, the Blessed Virgin replied:”Pray for sinners.” She called on people to repent, saying “repentance, repentance, repentance.” During the February 27th apparition She spoke of penance, asking Bernadette to do penance for herself first and then for others.
In the second apparition, the Blessed Virgin had also drawn our attention to the next life and to Her powerful role; remember that for those who embrace Her and who are devoted to Her, She is our Mother in this life and the next; She said to Bernadette: “I do not promise to make you happy in this world, but in the other.” The Blessed Virgin also performed a public miracle at Lourdes. On 25th February, the ninth apparition, She pointed to a piece of ground; Bernadette scratched away at the surface and a spring of water rose steadily from the spot. Twenty seven gallons of water have gushed forth from the spring every day since, and from which comes the wondrous healing waters of Lourdes. The final apparition (the eighteenth apparition) took place on July16th, feast of Our Lady of Carmel: As Lane points out: “The people of Lourdes have always cherished a special devotion to this feast. Perhaps that is why Our Lady chose it for Her final visit.”
Our Lady of Lourdes, Pray for us.
“Catch us the little foxes that destroy the vines: for our vineyard hath flourished” (Canticle of Canticles 2:15).
Crux Fidelis! (O Faithful Cross!)
Lent is upon us once again.
In the mysterious book of the Bible, the Canticle of Canticles, we find the trajectory of how God works with souls. It is seen in the repeated use of verbs having the first person pronoun as the their object or indirect object.
“Let him kiss me with the kiss of his mouth …”
“Draw me: we will run after thee to the odour of thy ointments” (1:3).
“Show me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest…” (1:6).
Kiss Me, Draw Me, Show Me.
bring me into the wine cellar and put charity in order in me (cf. 2:4).
“Stay me up with flowers, compass me about with apples: because I languish with love” (2:5).
“His left hand is under my head, and his right hand shall embrace me” (2:6),
“Behold my beloved speaketh to me:
Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come” (2:10),
“show me thy face, let thy voice sound in my ears:
for thy voice is sweet, and thy face comely” (2:14).
Embrace me, speak to me, show me thy Face…
“Catch us the little foxes that destroy the vines: for our vineyard hath flourished” (2:15).
Catch us… catch in me… the little foxes that block this loving union!
Here is the purpose of Lent summarized!
We are offered a deeper union with His Majesty…
but only if we go out in the desert and catch the little foxes inside our souls that diminish and destroy our virtues… and prevent divine union.
“The observance of Lent is the very badge of the Christian warfare. By it we prove ourselves not to be enemies of Christ. By it we avert the scourges of divine justice. By it we gain strength against the princes of darkness, for it shields us with heavenly help. Should mankind grow remiss in their observance of Lent, it would be a detriment to God’s glory, a disgrace to the Catholic religion, and a danger to Christian souls. Neither can it be doubted that such negligence would become the source of misery to the world, of public calamity, and of private woe.”—Pope “Catch us the little foxes that destroy the vines: for our vineyard hath flourished” (2:15). Benedict XIV