In 1858, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared eighteen times to a poor teenage girl in rural France, Bernadette Soubirous. When authorities questioned her sincerity, Bernadette, at the Lady’s word, dug a hole in the middle of a field while the crowd jeered, and within a day, a full spring began to flow from that very spot. Since then, these waters have given miraculous healings—both spiritual and physical—to many thousands of pilgrims in the little village of Lourdes.
Richly adorned throughout with full-color photographs and artwork, this book gathers together stories and meditations from great writers over the centuries who have been deeply touched by the grace of Our Lady of Lourdes—including poets, novelists and popes. Some were firsthand witnesses of miracles; others were simply moved in their souls by the beauty of Lourdes and Mary's message.
Among the many famous historical, literary, and religious figures whose writings grace this volume are Paul Claudel, Pope Pius IX, Pope Pius XII, Joris-Karl Huysmans, François Mauriac, and Émile Zola.
This gorgeously illustrated, beautifully written collection immerses readers from afar in the great mystery of Lourdes. Mary's magnificent theological message to Bernadette— "I am the Immaculate Conception"—still resounds through our world today. Lourdes: Healing and Rebirth unfolds the meaning of this enigmatic event and shows us how it can change the way we live.
"In these days of anxiety, Lourdes has not let us down. Bernadette, like her fellow saint Thérèse of Lisieux, does in fact 'spend her heaven doing good on earth'….
This very beautiful book wants to continue the adventure: to visit Lourdes through what has been said or written since the time of the apparitions, augmented by magnificent photos by a photographer in love with the place, Sophie Delay.
When you read it and contemplate the images, I invite you to hold this book in your hands as if it were a little piece of that land visited by heaven. From page to page, I invite you to let yourself be surprised, to whisper a Hail Mary, to let yourself be moved, or to perceive your heart beating more joyously. Perhaps you will feel the stirrings of a new desire to go there, to see … and all the rest will be grace."
— Thierry Hubert, O.P.