These days, all the talk is about the hashtag #shepersisted.
True, today, it’s about politics. But persisting in your beliefs is something to admire.
Today (Feb. 11) is the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes in the Catholic Church. And it’s a story about a young girl who persisted in her beliefs, despite the trials.
My family first really learned the story of St. Bernadette while reading a children’s book this summer. It truly is a beautiful story of persisting in your faith, in standing up for what you believe in even when things are difficult.
Consider: A poor teenage girl’s message is so strong that it threatens local authorities – and she even is threatened with jail for her beliefs.
In 1858, tradition states that Mary appeared to a young, ailing girl in the little French village of Lourdes. Mary appeared to Bernadette 18 times. She told her “I am the Immaculate Conception,” a then-very new teaching that Mary was conceived without sin. When Bernadette told the priest the woman had said that, it proved the apparition of Our Blessed Mother was real.
Mary appeared in a grotto, and there is a spring there that began flowing during the ninth apparition. From the 1800s through today, pilgrims have come to this grotto for physical and spiritual healing. “Lourdes water” has been associated with miraculous healing of people with illnesses, injuries and disabilities.
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Why does this story appeal to me? Because as a parent and a leader, I want my girls to know it’s OK to stand up for our beliefs and what we feel is true–even if it’s unpopular.
Learn more about St. Bernadette
Several movies tell this tale. The 1943 Academy-Award winning movie The Song of Bernadette can introduce your daughter to this story. The movie follows Bernadette’s life through childhood illnesses and trials, the apparitions and disbelief among church authorities, through acceptance and later life in the convent.
There are also countless children’s books that share the story of St. Bernadette’s faith and how young children can emulate it. Here are some of them available:
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