Our Lady of Lourdes

February 2023

Dear Friends,

Praised be Jesus Christ!

This month we celebrate the glorious Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes (Feb. 11). Is there any one who has not heard of Lourdes? It is one of the most famous tourist and pilgrimage sites of the world because it is there that countless, unexplainable miracles both of body and soul have taken place. Here Our Lady revealed to Bernadette that she was the Immaculate Conception. Hardly thirty years had passed since Our Blessed Mother had asked St. Catherine Labore (Rue du Bac, Paris) to have a medal struck with the inscription: O Mary, Conceived without Sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. Due to the ensuing miracles, this medal of the Immaculate Conception quickly became known as the Miraculous Medal, for Our Lady promised St. Catherine Lobore: “All who wear [the medal] will receive great graces; they should wear it around the neck. Graces will abound for persons who wear it with confidence.” She also indicated that the gems/rings on her fingers that shone brightly represented those who asked for graces. The other rings with no rays, She sadly explained that those are the graces for which no one asks.

It almost seems that the appearances of Our Lady to Bernadette at Lourdes were a continuation of Mary’s important message at Rue du Bac. At Lourdes she even calls herself the Immaculate Conception. We need to have frequent recourse to Mary. We need to ask especially for the graces to sustain us in faith, hope and love along the pilgrimage of this life and for the conversion of sinners. We do this best of all by praying the Rosary which is made up of 53 Hail Marys. In each Hail Mary we actually ask Our Lady to: “pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.” Mary herself taught Bernadette to pray this prayer in a manner which so impressed Bernadette that years after the apparitions of Our Lady at the Grotto, when Bernadette was dying, her last words to Our Lady were: “Pray for me, a poor sinner.” Having seen the most pure Virgin herself, she understood better than we do, the horrible offense that sin is against God. Bernadette’s love and confidence in her Heavenly Mother guided and sustained her continuously.

We pray that you may receive an abundance of graces from the hands of our Heavenly Mother in return for your generosity to us. We ask that you join us in beseeching so much grace from Our Lady this month that the rings on her fingers as she showed them to Catherine Lobore will all be emitting steady rays upon the world!

May God bless, Mary keep, and St. Joseph protect you!

Your Sisters in the Carmel of Alexandria

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