Finally, on 8 December 1933, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, Bernadette was declared a Saint by Pope Pius XI. Present for this ceremony were the Reverend Mother General and one hundred and sixty of the Sisters of Nevers, Bernadette’s sister in law, and two of her nephews. With them, there were ten thousand French pilgrims. In all, the crowd exceeded forty thousand. Bishop Patrice Flynn, the Irish Bishop of Nevers, and Bishop Gerlier of Lourdes and Tarbes, were also present.
The Holy Father addressed the assembled multitude:
“To the honour of the Most Holy and Indivisible Trinity, for the exaltation of the Catholic Faith and for the spread of the Christian religion, by the authority of Our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul and by Our own, after mature deliberation and having often implored the Divine Assistance, on the advice of our venerable brethren the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, the Patriarchs, Archbishops and Bishops, We define and declare the Blessed Marie Bernarde Soubirous a Saint, and We enrol her in the Catalogue of Saints, ordaining that her memory shall be piously celebrated in the Universal Church on April 16th each year, the day of her birth in Heaven. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
The body of Saint Bernadette remains in the main chapel of the Convent of Saint Gildard in the city of Nevers, France. To this day, she remains entirely incorrupt. Less than four feet away, a constant stream of pilgrims kneel, seeking her powerful assistance in Heaven. At her shrine, flowers and candles keep the little one company.
Around her shrine are inscribed the words of the great promise made to her at Lourdes by the Most Blessed Virgin, and fulfilled by Her:
“I do not promise that you will be happy in this world, only in the next.”
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Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Anniversary of the Canonization of Saint Bernadette
8th December 1995
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette, pray for us.