God often calls the most lowly and “insignificant” people to accomplish his most important work. Bernadette Soubirous of Lourdes was one of those people. When she was only 14, the Virgin Mary first appeared to her, followed by 17 additional apparitions. During one of Mary’s appearances, she told Bernadette to drink from a spring and wash herself there. The spring was actually only a little amount of muddy water, but gradually it became clear. That spring still flows today, and it continues to be the source of numerous healings.
Although St. Bernadette was extremely sick throughout her life, God chose not to heal her. However, she took great joy that God healed hundreds of others. The grotto where the apparitions occurred is a beautiful and serene place to visit. Jeannie and I spent several hours in quiet prayer and contemplation as we watched people touch the walls, hoping to be healed from their physical ailments.