Monday, April 16, 2012

All dressed up for feast of St. Bernadette...

...and nowhere to go liturgically since she does not appear on the universal calendar, and hence, not in the missal or breviary!

I've never quite understood Bernadette's absence from the general Roman caledar, given the universal appeal of Lourdes. But no doubt Bernadette arranged for it to be so from her place of influence in heaven. During her life she did her best to retire from the notoriety and fame brought on by the beautiful Lady with the incomprehensible title of Immaculate Conception. She did her best to avoid the visitors who sought to see her at the convent where she lived until her death at age 35, although she spoke with them cheerfully when ordered by her superiors. She compared  herself as an old broom that is put back in the corner when it is no longer needed, and that is how she wanted to remain: out of the limelight, pursing holiness and humility. She was dismayed on learning of family  members who sold souvenirs at Lourdes.

Near the end of her life she wrote, "Nothing is anything more to me; everything is nothing to me, but Jesus: neither things nor persons, neither ideas not emotions, neither honor nor sufferings. Jesus is for me honor delight heart and soul."

How enviable to be able to say such a thing and mean it. And live it.

I can think of a number of modern purported visionaries who might want to discuss their current career paths with Bernadette. One can't help but admire her way, rather than the rock star model.

Since Monday of the second week of Easter has no particular precedence over a saint's feast, those of us who love St. Bernadette may pray the entire Common of Holy Women, inserting her name in the appropriate blanks.

PS. I see that some sources list Feb. 12th as Bernadette's feast. The majority list April 16th. Does anyone know which one it really is? Perhaps at Lourdes they use the February day since this would put it next to that of Our Lady of Lourdes.

For more commentary on St. Bernadette, I recommend this post at The Anchoress.