This week in Christian history: St. Peter’s Basilica, St. Bernadette, Bob Jones backs segregation

Saint Bernadette dies – April 16, 1879

Bernadette Soubirous (1844-1879), more commonly known as St. Bernadette of Lourdes. | Public Domain

This week marks the anniversary of when Bernadette of Lourdes, a French woman who claimed to have seen visions of the Virgin Mary and was later canonized a saint, passed away at age 35.

Born to an impoverished family as the eldest of nine children, Bernadette claimed to have seen visions of the Virgin Mary as a teenager at a nearby grotto.

“Bernadette steadfastly defended the genuineness of these visions despite strong opposition from her parents, the local clergy, and civil authorities,” noted Britannica.

“She was canonized by Pope Pius XI, who authenticated her visions and the veneration of Mary as Our Lady of Lourdes.”

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