February 11, 1858: The Beginning of the Lourdes Miracles


Lourdes is in the southwest mountains of France, and is known for healing at least 70 people from serious illnesses after visiting. (1)

On February 11, 1858, 14-year-old Bernadette Soubirous claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary while in a cave. She claimed that she was wearing a white veil and a blue girdle. The local bishop declared, after some time, that she had in fact seem the Virgin Mary. (1)

Bernadette claimed that Mary hold her to dig into the ground to reveal a spring that was filled with healing water. (2) A total of 70 miracles have been confirmed by the Catholic Church since that day. (1)

Thousands of people have filed for their cures to be considered "miraculous", but many do not meet the criteria that the Vatican issued over 300 years ago. Illnesses must be incurable, and the healing must be sudden, instantaneous, and without relapse. Healing medication can not have been taken, because there is no way to determine if the healing took place because of the medication or the miracle. (1)


One recognized healing took place nearly 2 years ago today, on February 12, 2018. It was the 70th miracle recognized by the Catholic Church, and declared by a French bishop. (2)

The woman was a French nun who had suffered spinal complications for years, wheelchair bound and disabled since 1980. She had not taken anything, except for Morphine for the pain. (2)

In 2008, she went to Lourdes, not looking for a miracle. But after attending a blessing for the sick, she felt her pain go away. She removed her braces, and walked away from her wheelchair, never taking her pain medication again. Research determined that her healing could not be explained scientifically. The Lourdes committee sent the healing on to be blessed by the local bishop, who had the final say. It was considered miraculous. (2)

The first miracle that was recognized was Mrs. Catherine Latapie in 1862. She had suffered an injury to her right hand after a fall from a tree, her hand partially paralyzed. But, after bathing her hand in the spring, her fingers immediately regained movement and her hand had all of the capabilities it had before her fall. (3)

Louis Bouriette, in 1858, was blind in his right eye after a mine explosion that killed his brother. Immediately, he went to pray and when he washed his right eye in the spring, his vision returned immediately. It was deemed a miracle 4 years later. (4)

Henri Busquet's miracle was also approved in 1862. He was only 16 years old and suffered from early onset tuberculosis. He had a neck abscess that his doctor removed, but it kept coming back. When his parents refused to take him to Lourdes, he asked a neighbor to bring back the holy water when they visited. They did, and he put it on his neck. The next day, he woke up to find his infection gone, never to return. (4)

In 1858, a mother took her 2-year-old son Henri to the spring. He was labeled as "failure to thrive" and was on the edge of death at the time. She took him to Lourdes and bathed him. She brought him home, and he improved right away. (4)

Though the majority of miracles happened in the 1800s, and miracles in more modern years have been few and far between, there are still some. (4)

Serge Perren had an unexplained neurological condition with a poor prognosis. His wife pushed him to return to Lourdes in 1970, where he had been before with no improvement. However, upon receiving an anointing of the sick, he immediately felt better, and over time, healed completely. (4)

Serge Francois recovered in 2003 from complete immobility after 2 surgeries and a herniated disc. He drank the spring water and his healing happened immediately. It was approved as a miracle in 2011. (4)

Though thousands claim the Miracle of Lourdes, only 70 have been confirmed in a process that typically requires a lot of research, a lot of time, and "miracle" being the only possible explanation. Growing up Catholic, I had never heard of the Lourdes, and found the stories to be fascinating. And, even if medical intervention or other causes were truly the cure, these people still were confirmed to be rid of their illnesses.

And besides, there's nothing wrong with believing in a little miracle.


1. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/apr/02/religion.france

2. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/its-a-miracle-lourdes-healing-officially-declared-supernatural-84194


4. https://www.coraevans.com/blog/article/do-you-know-about-these-10-amazing-miracles-of-lourdes

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