The Lourdes Earrings

The Lourdes Earrings are named after Our Lady of Lourdes.

In 1858 Our Blessed Mother appeared to a little girl named Bernadette in Lourdes, France. Our Lady came to reveal a special message to the world through little Bernadette. I had the great gift of being able to travel to Lourdes, France where I learned so much about Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Bernadette. I would love to share a few stories with you so that you can better understand the meaning behind these earrings!

The Story of Our Lady of Lourdes - How God used many different people and circumstances to bring Bernadette to the grotto

On the morning of February 11th, 1858, Bernadette’s mother, Louise, was preparing to search for wood and bones to make a meal for her family. As Louise was about to leave a little girl named Jeanne came over to their home. Jeanne convinced Louise that the children should go instead. Even with all the concerns of Bernadette’s ill health and the cold weather outside, Bernadette’s mother agreed to let her go!

While the children were on their way to look for some wood and bones they encountered an old woman washing her clothes. She told them to head towards the Rocher de Massabielle (the grotto) to find what they were looking for. When they got near the grotto there was a canal nearby that the children wanted to play in. Bernadette couldn’t go in the water because she was sick and it was cold outside. So she went to the grotto alone to look for the wood and bones. At this very place Our Lady appeared to Bernadette.
Think about God's providence for a moment. God used Bernadette’s illness, her poverty, and the people in her life to bring her to the grotto where our Lady would appear to her. God uses all things to work for the good of those who love Him (Rom. 8:28). Now today many conversions and healings take place at this exact spot!
God is doing this same thing in our very own lives. Our sufferings, circumstances, the people, the places, everything. St. Padre Pio once said, “The habit of asking 'why' has ruined the world.” We are again gently reminded, “In everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
“I do not promise you happiness in this world but in the next” (Our Lady of Lourdes to St. Bernadette).

The story continued & the meaning behind the Lourdes Earrings

When Our Blessed Mother appeared, St. Bernadette didn't know who this lady was. However, the lady is holding a pearl Rosary and begins praying it with little Bernadette. Together they both pray a Rosary together. The little pearls on the Lourdes Earrings remind us of the Rosary that Our Lady of Lourdes was holding and prayed with Bernadette.

Soon after this encounter St. Bernadette told her priest about what happened. St. Bernadette's priest asked her, "Who is this lady? You should ask her name." St. Bernadette did just that and asked the lady, "What is your name?" Our Lady reveals to her, "Que soy era Immaculada Conceptiou" (I am the Immaculate Conception). This is revealed to St. Bernadette in her very own dialect. Almost immediately after Our Lady said these words St. Bernadette raced to see her priest. Bernadette was worried that she would forget what our Lady said so as she runs she repeats over and over again, "I am the Immaculate Conception! I am the Immaculate Conception! I am the Immaculate Conception!" She knocks on her priest's door and as he opens it she blurts out, "I am the Immaculate Conception!" Confused for a moment he asks her what she meant. Bernadette explains that this is the lady's name. Her priest was dumfounded! How could Bernadette, who was uneducated, know this term of Immaculate Conception?! There is no way she would have known this term unless some Heavenly woman, like Our Blessed Mother, would have appeared to her and revealed that to her. What is so interesting about all of this is that right around this time the Marian dogma of the Immaculate Conception was being defined. 

The dogma of the Immaculate Conception states "that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege from Almighty God and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, was kept free of every stain of original sin." The Marian symbol on these earrings with an "M" and a cross remind us of how closely involved Mary is with the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. From the cross Jesus gives Mary to us as our own mother. "When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, 'Woman, behold, your son!' Then he said to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother!' And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home" John 19:26-27.

The shape of the earrings is in the form of a teardrop (or raindrop) to represent the miraculous Lourdes water. When our Lady appears to St. Bernadette she tells her to dig in a certain area in the grotto. She begins digging and digging and digging. The observers there who came to witness the apparitions of our Lady are curious as to why St. Bernadette is digging in the ground. As Bernadette continues to dig she gets dirt on her face and seems to be eating grass. By this point the people begin to think that Bernadette has gone mad. Bernadette continues to dig out of her trust for Jesus and Mary. All of a sudden water springs forth from the hole Bernadette had dug in the ground.

The water from this spring is given miraculous healing properties. There have been 67 approved miracles through Our Lady of Lourdes and the Lourdes water. Many other miracles have occurred, but haven't been documented. Many more miracles have occurred that take place spiritually through Mary's intercession.

At one point during an apparition St. Bernadette heard some rustling and violent noises behind her. There were demons trying to distract her because they were so mad that Our Lady was visiting St. Bernadette. St. Bernadette anxiously turns towards Mary for help. Our Blessed Mother simply looks at these demons and they go fleeing!

Whenever we pray our Rosary that same thing happens for us. If we are worried about something or are struggling with something we simply need to turn to our Lady who will send the demons fleeing just like she did in Lourdes. 

If you would like to learn more about Our Lady of Lourdes, I would highly encourage you to read this blog post!

The impact of Our Lady of Lourdes in my own life

While studying abroad for our last semester at Franciscan, Adam proposed to me. It was a dream come true to be engaged while living in Gaming, Austria. Adam and I traveled together all over Europe that semester. There was one week-long trip that Adam and I decided to travel separately. Adam went to Italy with a group of guys to live with the monks of Norcia. I went on a volunteer pilgrimage to Lourdes, France. We both missed each other a lot, but each felt called to these places.

Among the many memories I hold so dear to my heart from Lourdes, I will never forget one memory in particular.
While abroad I brought a small crucifix that I carried everywhere with me. I actually wanted to gift it to Adam once we were back in the states. I got this crucifix blessed and was able to venerate countless saints including St. John Paul II with it in my hand. Though I will never forget holding this crucifix while kneeling just below the space where Our Lady appeared to St. Bernadette.
It was always crowded near the grotto, but I felt called to say a prayer to Our Blessed Mother there. As I knelt looking at the statue of Our Lady with my crucifix in hand, I said a prayer for Adam and I. As I prayed I thanked Jesus and Mary for Adam and prayed that Mary would lead me to do her Son’s will. As I prayed I heard a small voice within my heart say, “This is the cross I have given you.” I knew that meant Adam and I were to be married.
About a year later Adam and I decided to use this same crucifix as our marriage crucifix. We had heard about a tradition where couples choose a crucifix to kiss at their wedding just before kissing one another. Then that same crucifix is put in a central place in the home where the couple can always go to pray before it. We did just that.
St. Bernadette said, “For here below, Love without suffering does not exist.” I knew that marriage would be purifying and in many ways I would have to die to myself, pick up my cross, and follow Christ daily together with my husband. "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” John 15:13.
The cross of dying to oneself in marriage is not always easy, but so worth it!

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