Today is the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.
We are not, of course, required to believe that Our Lady appeared to Bernadette; private revelations are never compulsory elements of the Faith. However, the Church, after much scrutiny, has declared that the apparitions are worthy of belief, and further that Bernadette lived a life of heroic virtue - hence her elevation to the altars of the Church by canonisation and the title Saint.
And then there is the small matter of the thousands of well-attested miracles...
It is many years since I last went to Lourdes with the family, and longer since I worked as a brancardier, when a student. Every visit has left a profound impression on me.
But from now on this Feast will also always be associated with the resignation of our Holy Father.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Pray for us.
St Bernadette, Pray for us.
St Peter, Pray for us.
St Benedict, Pray for us.
The stained glass window is courtesy of www.StainedGlassInc.com
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