On Sunday this weekend we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. The reason for this is that on the 11th February, 1858 Our Lady appeared to Saint Bernadette for the first time.
The feast of Our Lady of Lourdes is famous for a number of other reasons: On this date since 1993 we celebrate World Day of Prayer for the Sick. We reflect on the needs of all who suffer from illness and those who care for them.
It was the 11th February, 2013 that the recently deceased Pope Benedict announced his retirement. It was on this day in 1990 that Nelson Mandela was released after 27 years in prison.
So, for Saint Bernadette, for Pope Benedict, for Nelson Mandela and for the sick, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes is an occasion for joy and gratitude!