Our Lady of Lourdes

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By Catholic Digest Staff

Our Lady of Lourdes
Feast Day: February 11

While many miracles have taken places in Lourdes, France, where Mary appeared to a 14-year old girl named Bernadette in 1858, one of the accounts especially stands out.

Witnessed by an acclaimed medical practitioner who would later win the Nobel prize for medicine, the healing of Marie-Louise Bailly in 1902 remains one of the most well documented miraculous recoveries to be exclusively attributed to Lourdes. During his train ride to Lourdes, a physician named Dr. Alex Carrel was asked to care for a critically ill young woman named Marie-Louise. Despite being warned that the trip itself could kill her, Marie, a 23-year-old woman in the terminal stages of tuberculosis, insisted on making the pilgrimage. After the shrine water was poured over her swollen, tumor filled abdomen, Dr. Carrel, who had lost his faith as a child, watched in astonishment as her deteriorating condition reversed itself. He carefully documented each progression, including the time passing between the examinations, until he found himself unexplainably facing a completely healthy patient. Without any hysteria, Maria gratefully accepted the cure, joined the Sisters of Charity, and devoted her life to intense labor of caring for the sick. Carrel later reconciled with the Church, but not before trying to find a way for science to explain the healing. He attempted to unsuccessfully replicate the event through medicine. During his research he discovered a technique for keeping tissue alive outside of the body, and developed a heart pump, becoming a precursor for modern heart surgery.

Catholic Digest Staff