Our Blessed Mother appeared to a poor and sick fourteen year old girl who lived in the Pyrenees at a time of turmoil in France. On Thursday, February 11th 1858, Bernadette Soubirous, her sister Marie and another friend had gone to a nearby river to gather firewood. While Marie and her friend crossed the river to search the other side, Bernadette stayed on dry land. While searching for wood she heard a loud noise like the sound of a storm coming from a nearby grotto known as Massabielle. At the mouth of the grotto was a rosebush which was moving as if it were windy, which it was not. From the interior of the grotto she saw a golden-colored cloud, and soon after a Lady, young and beautiful who came and placed herself at the entrance of the opening above the rosebush. The Lady smiled at Bernadette and motioned for her to advance. Bernadette lost any fear she may have had and fell to her knees to pray the Rosary. After both she and the Lady completed these prayers (with the Lady only said the Lord’s prayer and the Gloria), the Lady slowly withdrew to the interior of the grotto and disappeared. The apparitions were declared authentic in 1862 and Lourdes rapidly became one of the world’s major pilgrimage sites.
This photo was taken at the Grotto of Lourdes in Emmitsburg, Maryland – USA. Many come to the Grotto hoping to heal thier dispair.