St Bernadette of Lourdes
St Bernadette was born on 7th January 1844. She was born into a poor family and she had very poor health.
In 1858, when Bernadette was 14, she was collecting firewood with her sister and friend. While the two girls crossed the stream to the grotto, Bernadette did not as she did not want to become ill by walking through the cold water. Eventually, she decided to join the other girls. When she was taking off her shoes, she heard rustling behind her. Looking round, she saw a beautiful lady. Bernadette knelt and began to pray the Rosary. When asked, the other girls told her they hadn't seen anything.
Bernadette continued to return to the grotto and Our Lady appeared to her 17 more times. The sixteenth apparition happened on 25th March, the Feast of the Annunciation. It was this time that Our Lady revealed who she was.
On 18th January 1862, the Church declared Bernadette's visions as being authentic.
In 1866, at the age of 22, Bernadette entered the Sisters of Charity of Nevers, spending the rest of her life praying for sinners, serving as a sacristan and helping in the infirmary.
Bernadette died on 16th April 1879, at the age of 35.
Pope Pius XI beatified Bernadette of Lourdes on 14th June 1925, and canonized her on 8th December 1933.
The feast day of St Bernadette is celebrated on 16th April.