Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you. I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell, but most of all, because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.
Ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, we call upon you as Health of the Sick, Refuge of Sinners, and Comfort of the Afflicted. You know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings. Deign to cast upon me a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a sanctuary whence you dispense your favours, and already many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and physical. I come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain, O loving Mother, the granting of my requests (mention them here). Through gratitude for favours, I will endeavour to imitate your virtues that I may one day share your glory.
MEDITATION: THE STORY OF LOURDES
(Part 4 – The Apparitions. Contd.)
The Sixth Apparition – Sunday, February 21, 1858:
The Beautiful Lady told Bernadette on this occasion to “pray for sinners,” which she never failed to do. Several hundred people were present on that day, including Dr. Dozous, a prominent physician in Lourdes. He told the crowd that he could find nothing abnormal about Bernadette’s physical condition, even when her mental state was trancelike: “Her pulse was regular, her respiration easy, and nothing indicated nervous excitement.”
A meeting was called by the citizens of the town, and sharp differences of opinion were expressed regarding the apparitions. They expressed concern for the dangers that could accompany gatherings of such large crowds. They persuaded the Procurer Imperial, M. Dutour, to officially forbid Bernadette to return to the Grotto. Bernadette responded that she could not give her word to refrain from going to the Grotto because she had promised the Beautiful Lady she would do so. Dutour dismissed her, and discussed this matter with two local officials: M. Jacomet, the Chief of Police; and M. Estrade, who was to become Bernadette’s and Dutour’s friend and who was also to perform an invaluable service by listening in at future conversations and scrupulously recording them word for word.
Estrade recorded a conversation between the Chief of Police and Bernadette. During that meeting, M. Jacomet deliberately tried to confuse Bernadette to change her account of the apparitions. When that attempt failed, the Chief of Police released Bernadette to the custody of her father with an admonition that he take her home and guarantee that there would be no further disturbances. But the interior call which was urging her on was stronger than any earthly admonition.
On Monday, February 22, 1858, Bernadette returned to the Grotto after school. Two policemen saw her and followed her, and so did the usual crowd. The policemen stood at respectful attention as she knelt down in her accustomed place. But as she arose, they sprang forward and asked her if she still insisted that she had seen a Beautiful Lady. “No, this time I saw nothing at all,” she answered. She was allowed to go home, but she was taunted and threatened. People said mockingly that the Beautiful Lady was afraid of the police and had found some safer place to go.
The Seventh Apparition – Tuesday, February 23, 1858:
Approximately two hundred people were present at this apparition. When Bernadette’s appearance was once more transformed, the men present removed their hats and fell to their knees. Bernadette appeared to be gravely serious and listening, and then joyful, and she would occasionally bow low. At the conclusion of the vision, which lasted an hour, Bernadette moved on her knees toward the rose bush and kissed the ground. When asked what the Lady had said, Bernadette replied that the Lady had entrusted her with three secrets, which she never revealed.
O Immaculate Queen of Heaven, we your wayward, erring children, join our unworthy prayers of praise and thanksgiving to those of the angels and saints and your own-the One, Holy, and Undivided Trinity may be glorified in heaven and on earth. Our Lady of Lourdes, as you looked down with love and mercy upon Bernadette as she prayed her rosary in the grotto, look down now, we beseech you, with love and mercy upon us. From the abundance of graces granted you by your Divine Son, sweet Mother of God, give to each of us all that your motherly heart sees we need and at this moment look with special favor on the grace we seek in this novena (make your request). O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious in your assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette, pray for us.
LITANY OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES
Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest your shining with life, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child, St. Bernadette: ‘I am the Immaculate Conception. ‘ A thousand times we congratulate you upon your Immaculate Conception. And now, O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, you know our wants, our troubles, our sufferings deign to cast upon us a look of mercy.
Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Our Lady of Lourdes, may the Lord bless + us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
N.B: FOR THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THIS NOVENA, IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU PRAY THE HOLY ROSARY ALONGSIDE (AT LEAST 5 DECADES), HOWEVER, IT IS NOT COMPULSORY. IF YOU WANT THE BEST, THEN GO FOR IT…
Compiled by Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora da Immaculada Conceição, Paulo Ramos, Maranhão, Brazil
email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
PS: Have you prayed your Rosary today?