Our Lady of Lourdes is a venerated title of the Blessed Virgin Mary invoked by Roman Catholics in honor of the Marian apparitions said to have occurred on numerous occasions in 1858 in the vicinity of Lourdes, France. The first of these is the apparition of 11 February 1858, when Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year-old peasant girl, admitted to her mother that a "lady" spoke to her in the cave of Massabielle (a mile from the town) while she was gathering firewood with her sister and a friend. Similar apparitions of the alleged "Lady" were reported on seventeen occasions that year, until the climax revelation of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception took place.
Bernadette Soubirous was later canonized as a Saint, and Roman Catholics and some Protestants believe her apparitions have been validated by the overwhelming popularity and testament of healings claimed to have taken place at the Lourdes water spring.
In 1862, Pope Pius IX authorized Bishop Bertrand-Sévère Laurence to permit the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lourdes. On 3 July 1876, Pope Pius IX formally granted a Canonical Coronation to the image that used to be in the courtyard of what is now part of the Rosary Basilica. This Marian title, Our Lady of Lourdes, has been widely copied and reproduced, often displayed in shrines and homes, most notably in garden landscapes
A CHRISTIAN PILGRIMAGE