VATICAN - The Month of Mary - «Qué Soy Era Immaculada Councepciou»:
the 18 Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Lourdes in 1858 (16)
Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - Thursday 25 March 1858, revelation of the “Name”: 16ª Apparition. “ What was next?
After three weeks, life had regained some normalcy. The faithful still gathered at the grotto, but Bernadette was not to be seen. She was busy studying her catechism and preparing for her first Holy Communion. In the early morning hours on March 25th, Bernadette awoke with the familiar inner call to return to the grotto. This was a call that she could not resist. The day was an important one in the church - the feast of the Annunciation, a day when young Mary of Nazareth also received a call in her own poor dwelling. An angel visited to announce that she would become the mother of the Saviour. Bernadette joyfully rejoined the Lady in the Grotto. It had been three weeks since she had not known if she would ever see her again. This time she was determined to asked her name so she could tell the priest Would you be so kind as to tell me who you are?" The answer finally came: "I am the Immaculate Conception."
Bernadette planted a candle between two rocks as a sign of her prayer and the revelation and then ran home. Running all the way, she repeated these strange words over and over so that she would not forget them. Of course the words were spoken in her native Bigourdan dialect and were completely unfamiliar, "que soy era Immaculada Councepciou." Bernadette did not understand but the parish priest did. In fact four years earlier in 1854, Pope Pius IX made the Immaculate Conception a dogma of Catholic faith .
Note: the archangel Gabriel greeted Mary, Hail Full of Grace which was a revelation with regard to Mary. Blessed Pius IX said in the Ineffabilis Deus Encyclical 8th December 1854: “ When the Fathers and writers of the Church meditated on the fact that the most Blessed Virgin was, in the name and by order of God himself, proclaimed full of grace by the Angel Gabriel when he announced her most sublime dignity of Mother of God, they thought that this singular and solemn salutation, never heard before, showed that the Mother of God is the seat of all divine graces and is adorned with all gifts of the Holy Spirit. To them Mary is an almost infinite treasury, an inexhaustible abyss of these gifts, to such an extent that she was never subject to the curse and was, together with her Son, the only partaker of perpetual benediction. Hence she was worthy to hear Elizabeth, inspired by the Holy Spirit, exclaim: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb."» (Ineffabilis Deus). And the feast of the Annunciation was the date on which Our Lady chose to reveal to the Bernadette that she is the «Immaculate Conception».
(J.M.) (Agenzia Fides 21/5/2007; righe 36, parole 545)
Hymn 21 a Lourdes bookle
Hymn 21 b Lourdes booklet