Lourdes and the Rosary
Exactly 650 years after the Virgin Mary gave St. Dominic the rosary, she began appearing to a French girl named Bernadette Soubirous on February 11, 1858. This occurred four years after Pope Pius IX defined the Marian dogma of the Immaculate Conception. The dogma states, “that from the first moment of her conception, Mary – by the singular grace of God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ – was preserved immune from original sin.”
In one apparition Mary identified herself by saying, “I am the Immaculate Conception.”
Lourdes became known as a rosary apparition because in each of her eighteen appearances Our Lady had a golden rosary draped over her right arm. As Bernadette prayed the rosary, Mary let her fingers glide over the beads and joined Bernadette in praying the Glory Be.
In addition to the many miracles that occurred at Lourdes, the apparitions sparked a renewed worldwide devotion to the rosary.
Every evening pilgrims to Lourdes gather in Rosary Square in front of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary to pray the rosary in a torchlight procession. One of the largest celebrations occurs on October 7, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
Pope Pius XI canonized St. Bernadette on December 8, 1933, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
“A rosary a day keeps the devil away.”
For the Greater Glory of God,