Saint Bernadette

(07/01/1844 - 16/04/1879)

Bernadeta Sobirós (1844-1879), better know as Bernadette of Lourdes, was a French Saint for whom St. Bernadette’s parish, church, hall and the now demolished boy’s club and old church in Crumlin is named after.

St. Bernadette’s parish was constituted in 1947 from Dolphin’s Barn, the first church was located near Rutland Avenue. In December 1957, the church moved to its present location at the cross roads of Sundrive Road and Clogher Road.

Saint Bernadette was born on January 7, 1844, in the quaint town of Lourdes, nestled in the Hautes-Pyrénées in France. The first child of François Soubirous and Louise Casterot, she experienced a happy and loving childhood until circumstances led the family into poverty.
Deprived of formal education, Bernadette’s life took a turn when, at the age of 14, she was sent to Bartrès. Returning to Lourdes in January 1858, she embarked on a journey to make her First Communion, which she achieved on June 3, 1858.

The turning point in Bernadette’s life occurred during routine tasks when she experienced apparitions of a “young lady” between February 11 and July 16, 1858. Identified as the “Immaculate Conception,” these visions led to the declaration of Our Lady of Lourdes after a canonical investigation. Bernadette’s reports were deemed “worthy of belief” on February 18, 1862, and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes emerged as a major pilgrimage site.

Amidst a media storm and societal scrutiny, Bernadette exhibited remarkable composure, rejecting financial gain and remaining steadfast in her sincerity. Life in the Cachot became untenable, prompting her admission to the hospice managed by the Sisters of Nevers in 1860. There, she learned to read and write, eventually becoming Sister Marie Bernard.

Her mission in Lourdes complete, Bernadette dedicated herself to prayer and sacrifice, adhering to the Lady’s directive to pray for sinners. Despite her illness, she lived the message of Lourdes, becoming a “living crucified” and offering herself in a profound act of love. Sister Marie Bernard passed away on April 16, 1879, at the age of 35. Pope Pius XI beatified her on June 14, 1925, and canonised her on December 8, 1933, recognising not just her role in the Apparitions but the extraordinary way she responded to that divine grace. Today, Saint Bernadette of Lourdes remains an enduring symbol of faith and devotion.

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Connection with area: Church, parish named after her.