On February 11, we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, a title given to the blessed Virgin Mary venerated in honour of the Marian apparitions that occurred in 1858 to St. Bernadette Soubirous.
It is fitting that the World Day of the Sick, instituted by Pope John Paul II in 1992, share this special day. More than 5,000 cures have been documented at the healing waters of Lourdes. The Church has vigorously investigated and validated 70 of them.
The most recent was approved last year and recounts the event in 2008 when Sister Bernadette Moriau visited the shrine. She had been suffering from spinal complications which had rendered her wheelchair-bound and fully disabled since 1980. After attending the blessing of the sick at the shrine, something changed. She felt warmth and relaxation she had never felt before. She then heard a voice telling her to take off her braces. She instantaneously walked away from her wheelchair, braces, and pain medication.
Moriau’s healing could not be scientifically explained. After a serious investigation by the Catholic Church, the local bishop blessed and approved the miracle. This testimony of healing assures us that our Lady is very close to those who suffer from illnesses, and reminds us to always ask for her intercession, even plead for a miracle, for those who are suffering.
By Miguel Perez