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Ursuline College

‘Act, move, believe, strive, hope, cry out to God with all your heart’

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Who is St Bernadette?

St Bernadette Soubirous (St Bernadette of Lourdes)


Occupation: Between the ages of 12 and 14 Bernadette was hired out as a servant, working the lonely job of a shepherdess.

Born: 7th January 1844

Died: 16th April 1879 (aged 35, from tuberculosis)

Best known for: Saint Bernadette of Lourdes was best known as a saint who received visions from the Virgin Mary in a cave near Lourdes. She was canonized as a saint in 1933.

Biography: St Bernadette was also known as Saint Bernadette of Lourdes, she was the firstborn daughter of a miller from Lourdes from the Hautes-Pyrénées in France, and is best known for witnessing apparitions of a "young lady" who asked for a chapel to be built at the nearby cave at Massabielle.

Early Life: She was the eldest of nine children. Her family lived in extreme poverty in France. Soubirous was a sickly child and possibly due to this was only 4 ft 7 inches tall. She contracted cholera as a toddler and suffered severe asthma for the rest of her life.

Sainthood: On 8 December 1933, Pope Pius XIdeclared Soubirous a saint of the Catholic Church. Her feast day, initially specified as 18 February – the day Mary promised to make her happy, not in this life, but in the other – is now observed in most places on the date of her death, the 16th April.

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Ursuline College is an academy, and part of the Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership. The Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership is an exempt charity and a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales under company registration number 08176019 at registered address: Barham Court, Teston, Maidstone, Kent, ME18 5BZ. St Edmund's Catholic School is a business name of Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership.