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Catholic Essentials
"Not Believing" is not an Option!


A town in the department of Hautes Pyrenees, between Tarbes and Pau, where, between Feb 11 and July 16, 1858, our Lady appeared on 18 occasions to a peasant girl, St. Bernadette Soubirous. It subsequently became the most famous pilgrim shrine of the present day. The archives of the Lourdes Medical Bureau contain the records of several thousand cases; at a moderate estimate it may be said with certainty that these include some three to four hundred cures which medical science cannot explain. Of these, a few have been declared miraculous by the bishops of various dioceses after definite canonical enquiry. There are also undoubtedly many cures which are never reported to the bureau and others at various shrines of Our Lady of Lourdes throughout the world.  These material favors are insignificant beside the spiritual potency of Lourdes, which as a purely religious sanctuary is one of the greatest ever known. It receives over a million pilgrims a year, of which only a small proportion. averaging 15,000, are afflicted in body. The feast of the Appearing of Our Lady at Lourdes is observed throughout the Western church on February 11.

Lourdes Medical Bureau - The examination of sick people who claim to have been cured at Lourdes, during the procession of the Blessed Sacrament, in the baths (the water of which does not contain any therapeutic property), or elsewhere, is conducted at the Bureau des Constatations Medicales by unpaid and independent doctors who happen to be in Lourdes and who have registered their names at the bureau. Any doctor, of any nationality, any belief or no belief, is free to enter the bureau and make whatever enquiries he likes, and be present when any case of alleged cure is being investigated. (Definitions from A Catholic Dictionary, 1951)

Cures at Lourdes - See the official list of cures at Lourdes recognized as miraculous by the Church by clicking here.

Song of Burnadette - See this popular movie, made in 1943, on the apparitions at Lourdes.

Church Teaching on Lourdes:

  • The Virgin Mary herself desired this tie. "What the Sovereign Pontiff defined in Rome through his infallible Magisterium, the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, blessed among all women, wanted to confirm by her own words, it seems, when shortly afterward she manifested herself by a famous apparition at the grotto of Massabielle. . ."[5] Certainly the infallible word of the Roman Pontiff, the authoritative interpreter of revealed truth, needed no heavenly confirmation that it might be accepted by the faithful. But with what emotion and gratitude did the Christian people and their pastors receive from the lips of Bernadette this answer which came from heaven: "I am the Immaculate Conception!" Encyclical on "Warning Against Materialism on the Centenary of the Apparitions at Lourdes", by Pope Pius XII, July 2, 1957
  • The fiftieth anniversary of the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin gave Saint Pius X occasion to bear witness in a solemn document to the historic connection between this act of the Magisterium and the apparitions at Lourdes. "Pius IX," he wrote, "had hardly defined it to be of Catholic faith that Mary was from her very origin exempt from sin, when the Virgin herself began performing miracles at Lourdes." Encyclical on "Warning Against Materialism on the Centenary of the Apparitions at Lourdes", by Pope Pius XII, July 2, 1957
  • "Lourdes, Pyrénées, France, as a centre of pilgrimage is without rival in popularity throughout the world. A few statistics are all that shall be recorded here. From 1867 to 1903 inclusively 4271 pilgrimages passed to Lourdes numbering some 387,000 pilgrims; the last seven years of this period average 150 pilgrimages annually. Again within thirty-six years (1868 to 1904) 1643 bishops (including 63 cardinals) have visited the grotto; and the Southern Railway Company reckon that Lourdes station receives over a million travellers every yeard (Bertrin, "Lourdes", tr. Gibbs, London, 1908; "The Month":, October, 1905, 359; February, 1907, 124)." 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia, Pilgrimages


Immediately after the apparitions at Lourdes in 1858, first class miracles starting occurring on a repeated basis and continue to this day. In addition, St. Burnadette's body was also discovered incorrupt many years after her death. These miracles attest to the authenticity of the apparitions at Lourdes and have been thoroughly investigated and approved by the Catholic Church. Even doctors on the Lourdes Medical Bureau who have no religious belief at all attest to these cures! One doesn't even have to be Catholic to see these repeated cures at Lourdes are miraculous. As Catholics, why would we deny it?



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