What is the secret of women who sow hope?

Anne Girault



In France, Saint Bernadette, Blessed  Zélie, Mother Yvonne-Aimée and Martha left in their wake a crop of grace. What is the secret of these women who sowed hope?


Bernadette (1844-1879) was the daughter of a miller ruined by industrialization. Her family lived in the foothills of Lourdes in southwestern France in a former prison. She barely knew how to read and write, experienced famine, humiliations and scorn. Yes the Soubirous family was united by their mutual love and prayers were said together by the parents and the children. The father would bless the bread and the mother told the Gospel. In fragile health, Bernadette tried hard to lighten her parents’ burden by helping out. While she was fetching firewood, the Virgin Mary appeared to her at the age of eleven and delivered to her the message that would attract crowds from all over the world for more than one hundred years and that would astonish theologians and scholars. However, Bernadette is not a saint because of these apparitions; she is a saint for her virtues of obedience, humility and charity. She dealt with defamation with dignity and chose the life of a nun so she could be united with Jesus and offer him her suffering. Bernadette’s message can be summarized as: "All human beings are precious in the eyes of God." Bernadette represents dignity in humility...