|Saint Bernadette Soubirous|
St Bernadette of Lourdes
|Virgin, Consecrated Religious|
|Born||7 January 1844|
|Died||16 April 1879 (aged 35)|
|14 June 1925, Rome, by |
|8 December 1933, Rome, by |
18 February (France, some traditionalist congregations)
|Bodily illness, |
Bernadette Soubirous (
Soubirous is best known for the
Despite initial skepticism from the Catholic Church, Soubirous's claims were eventually declared "worthy of belief" after a canonical investigation, and the Marian apparition is now known as
On 8 December 1933, Pope Pius XI declared Bernadette Soubirous a Saint of the Catholic Church. Her feast-day was initially fixed for 18 February—the day her Lady promised to make her happy, not in this life, but in the next—but is now observed in most places on the date of her death, 16 April.
Marie Bernarde Soubirous was the daughter of François Soubirous (1807–1871), a miller, and Louise (née Casteròt; 1825–1866), a laundress. She was the eldest of nine children—Bernadette, Jean (born and died 1845), Toinette (1846–1892), Jean-Marie (1848–1851), Jean-Marie (1851–1919), Justin (1855–1865), Pierre (1859–1931), Jean (born and died 1864), and a baby named Louise who died soon after her birth (1866).
Bernadette was born on 7 January 1844 and baptized at the local parish church, St. Pierre's, on 9 January, her parents' wedding anniversary. Bernadette's godmother was Bernarde Casterot, her mother's sister, a moderately wealthy widow who owned a tavern. Hard times had fallen on France and the family lived in extreme poverty. Bernadette was a sickly child and possibly due to this only measured 4ft.7in. tall. She contracted