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Bernadette Soubirous. Life and Legacy

Saint Marie Bernard Soubirous (Bernadette) was born on January 7th 1844 in Lourdes. She was the oldest sister. Due to de poor eating habits and the living contions, she had a bad health since she was a child. When she was 10, she caught cholera and asthma.

When she was 14, she saw the apparition of the Virgin 18 times.

On February 11th 1858, Bernadette and two other girls went to the forest to pick up some firewood. Suddenly, she saw a light with the shape of a young woman in the grotto she was at. The apparition and Bernadette did not say a word to each other, they only made the cross sign. That was the first apparition. There were a total of 18 of those apparitions. In one of them, the image revealed her name, “The Immaculate Conception” and in a different occasion the apparition gave Bernadette a message. She wished to have a chapel constructed, so people could go to pray there.

On July 16th, the last apparition took place, the farewell. Bernadette knew that it would be the last time she would see the Immaculate Conception.

Some time later, Bernadette was accepted in the Nevers Charity Daughters Community. In 1866 she got into the community and in 1878 she took the vows and died a few months later, on April 16th 1879.

Bernadette´s life was full of sickness and hardship, even after the apparitions. However, all these suffering consolidated and made her faith and her love for God and Virgin Mary stronger.

Saint Bernadette was canonized on December 8th 1933. Her uncorrupted body can be seen in the Nevers Convent, inside a glass coffin. The festivity in her honor is celebrated on April 16.

The Bernardette Trace


El Molino de Boly - © Sanctuaires ND de Lourdes_EURL Basilique du Rosaire

The places where Bernadette lived can be visited, as they are quite closed to the sanctuary. It is a good way to better understand the spirit and faith that guided the live of this young woman. As a result, understand the Message of Lourdes better.

Opening hours:

From April 5th to October 25th,
9am to 12noon & 2pm to 7pm.
Rest of the year, 10am to 12noon & 3pm to 5pm.

Free entrance.

The Boly Mill

The Boly Mill is the house where Bernadette Soubirous was born. The visitors can see today, on the first floor, the room where the young woman was born. The old mill is located in the ground floor

Opening Hours:

From April 5th to October 25th,
9am to 12noon & 2pm to 7pm.
Rest of the year, 10am to 12noon & 3pm to 5pm.

Free entrance.

The jail (Le Cachot)

It is the room in the old jail where Bernadette and her family had to take shelter when they had to leave the mill.

The Old Parrochial House

It is the house where the parish priest P. Peyramale used to live when the Apparitions took place. Bernadette went there in several occasions to communicate the holy Virgin requests and wishes.

Opening Hours:

From April 5th to October 25th,
9am to 12noon & 2pm to 7pm.
Rest of the year, 10am to 12noon & 3pm to 5pm.

Free entrance.

The Hospice

This big building from the 19th century and that is located near the Lourdes train station, still has the original facade. It was founded by the Nevers Charity Sisters. Bernadette spent several years here and she took her first Holy Communion.

Opening Hours:

From April 5th to October 25th,
9am to 12noon & 2pm to 7pm.
Rest of the year, 10am to 12noon & 3pm to 5pm.

Free entrance.

The Bernadette Museum

Located a few meters away from the sanctuary, this museum tells the story of the young woman´s life throughout her memories and personal objects.

Sacred Heart Parrochial Church (Old Saint Peter Church)

This church was erected on top of the old Saint Peter church and place where Bernadette was baptized on January 9th 1844. It was built after the apparition but it was inaugurated in 1903, so Bernadette did not see it.

The Bernadette Path or the Bartrés Path

The villaje of Bartrès is 2.5 miles from Lourdes. Bernadette lived there in two occasions; when she was 1 and when she was 13.


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