St. Bernadette Soubirous is famous as the young girl who experienced the apparitions (visions) of Our Lady in Lourdes, France. There were 18 visions in total that began on 11th February 1858. Since then Lourdes has become a famous shrine and site of pilgrimage. Since the visions there have claimed to be over 7,000 miraculous healings at the site with 70 being officially recognised by the Church so far.
The relic, a section of St Bernadette’s thigh bone, travels from the Basilica in Lourdes to visit every Catholic cathedral across the United Kingdom. On the 11th & 12th September the relic will be visiting Cardiff Cathedral, with the Cathedral open for private prayer and veneration. A full schedule of liturgical activities, prayers etc. will be made available closer to the time.
In speaking of the visitation, Canon Christopher Thomas, general Secretary to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales said: “The bishops saw this as not only something that will remind us of the importance of pilgrimage in our lives and the importance of the place of Lourdes in the life of many Catholics and dioceses in this country, but it will remind us of the centrality of the lives of the saints because this always points us to that greater degree of virtue that we are called to in our living of the Catholic faith.”