The wonderful feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes is celebrated on February 11, the day in 1858 when the Blessed Mother made her first appearance to St. Bernadette in a small grotto in Lourdes, France.
In all of the Blessed Mother’s appearances, she has a message, calling people to holiness. The appearances at Lourdes were different than the others because she appeared eighteen times, more than any other officially-approved apparition.
An unusual aspect of her appearances at Lourdes was the miraculous spring she asked Bernadette to dig for in the ground. This spring continues today to cure both bodies and souls when people make the journey to the Lourdes Shrine.
Perhaps the most memorable event at Lourdes was that the Blessed Mother announced who she is: “I am the Immaculate Conception.” It was only four years earlier that the pope announced the dogma, already believed by Catholics, that the Blessed Mother was conceived without Original Sin.
This doctrine is important for many reasons but especially because, in a world where abortion is common, her words emphasized that life begins at conception. The situation in the world today is one of great disregard for human life, and in our own country, especially for unborn human life. Not only are unborn babies being killed on a regular basis, but our country even exports abortifacient drugs and other contraceptives to nations around the world.
During this month of February especially, we home schooling families who dedicate our lives to educating our children need to remind ourselves and our children about the value of life. God is essentially the Creator. It is our duty to appreciate and to love as He loves. We have no right to destroy what He has created, and especially the precious life of a human being whom He wants to live eternally with Him.
The Blessed Mother always appeared to Bernadette with a white rosary and asked Bernadette to say the rosary and to “Pray, pray, pray for poor sinners!”
There is no question that our daily rosary should be for all the causes we have for our family, for our friends, for our community, for the Church. Among all our prayers, we need to include sinners, especially those who sin against God’s plan to create souls for eternity. We trust that even when the unborn are not allowed to live in this world, their souls will see the glory of God eternally.
Besides praying for those who take the lives of the tiny ones God has created, we need to pray for the mothers, most of whom do not realize what they are doing. When or if they do realize, they suffer for the rest of their lives.
As Bernadette obeyed the Blessed Mother and dug in the mud in obedience to the Blessed Mother’s command, so we need to be obedient to the Blessed Mother in saying the Rosary and praying for mothers and those “doctors” who take the lives of the unborn. As Bernadette dug in the mud, those around her thought she was crazy, but eventually, the healing spring water appeared and has healed thousands since that day.
Those in our secular society may see our prayers and our home schooling as “crazy,” but we know that God will use our prayers and our home schooling in His special plan to bring souls home to Him, to eternal life with Him.
We know the will of God is to strengthen the Faith and Family in home schooling our children. We need to keep the Faith that our efforts are being used by Him to bring more souls to eternal happiness.
Our Lady of Lourdes, help us home schooling parents to remind ourselves of our dedication to God’s plan of creation. Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.