On January 7, 1844, St. Bernadette Soubirous, the young girl to whom Our Lady would appear 18 times between February 11 and July 16, 1858, was born in Lourdes. To mark the 175th anniversary of her birth, the sanctuary has inaugurated the “Bernadette Year”.
On Sunday, January 6, 2019, Fr. André Cabes, rector of the sanctuary, inaugurated the Bernadette Year. All throughout the year, special events, gatherings and various ceremonies of homage will be organized by the sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes.
The city will participate as well: “This year 2019 will be the 175th anniversary of her birth and the 140th anniversary of her death. With our partners, the sanctuary and the parish, we shall continue to highlight the history of our city through the singular destiny of the most famous of its citizens,” declared Josette Bourdeu, mayor of Lourdes, on the first day of the Bernadette Year.
Bernadette Soubirous was born into a profoundly Christian family. She was baptized two days after her birth, on January 9, 1844, on the baptismal font that can still be seen today in her parish church.
She died of tuberculosis on April 16, 1879, at 3:30 p.m., at the age of 35. She was canonized by Pope Pius XI on December 8, 1933. Among other miracles, the body of the saint has remained incorrupt since her death.