Monday, February 11, 2019

The Spring of Lourdes

The stream of the river maketh the city of God joyful: the most High hath sanctified his own tabernacle. (Psalm 45:5)
On February 25, 1858 St. Bernadette was instructed by "the Lady" to dig in the dirt near the grotto of Massabielle, the town dump, and "drink from the spring." Bernadette humbly complied, in spite of the mockery of the crowd; a spring did bubble up on the spot where she dug, and it flows to this day. What is more, there have been many miraculous cures connected with bathing in or drinking from the water of the spring, some of which have been formally recorded. Although it is not an intrinsic part of the pilgrimage, thousands of people still line up every year in order to be plunged into the icy waters of Lourdes. The spring has been channeled into several large baths in which people can immerse themselves. Most of the healings do not occur at the baths themselves but during the Eucharistic procession which takes place every afternoon. Those seeking healing of any kind, be it spiritual, emotional or physical, are encouraged to make going to confession and receiving holy communion a part of their pilgrimage. Bathing in the spring is ultimately to be seen as a symbol of the renewal of one's baptismal commitment to Christ.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Saint Josephine Bakhita

Today is the memorial of Saint Josephine Bakhita (1869-1947). She was kidnapped as a child from her home in Sudan by slave-traders and sold to various families. She suffered unspeakable abuse and torture. Finally, a Catholic family "bought" her and she was able to make it to Italy where she became a Christian and a nun. She was remarkable for many things, especially for her spirit of forgiveness and lack of bitterness. She was canonized by Pope John Paul II.

Father Mark has a beautiful meditation with rare photos of this saint to offer us today.
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