August 13, 2010
Lourdes: Font of Faith, Hope, and Charity
By Br. Benet S. Exton *

By Br. Benet S. Exton *

Ficocelli, Elizabeth. New York: Paulist Press, 2007. 181 pages. ISBN 978-0-8091-4486-0.

In this book, Elizabeth Ficocelli presents the history of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, to the French peasant girl, St. Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes, France on February 11, 1858 and for several days afterwards.

In the book, the reader will learn about the apparitions, the life of St. Bernadette and what happened after the apparitions ended.

Ficocelli also talks about the Lourdes water, which people drink and bathe in. The water has cured many illnesses, both physical and spiritual. Ficocelli says there have been many miracles, but few have been officially authenticated by the Church. Part of the book is also dedicated to talking about the many volunteers who come from all over the world to work there, helping people to get in and out of the baths. These volunteers receive no compensation and must travel to and from Lourdes at their own cost.

The book also presents the various buildings of the grounds of the shrine. There are several large churches and basilicas and places of prayer. The spring where the water comes from is a fixture at the shrine as is the grotto where Mary had appeared to St. Bernadette.

One of the more personal aspects of the book is that Ficocelli also talks about her and her husband’s experiences of Lourdes and the feelings it evoked. She also spends some time talking about Venerable Pope John Paul II’s visit to the shrine.

 This is one of the few books in English that is accurate. Ficocelli did her research based on authentic sources and interviewed many people involved with the Lourdes shrine. The author had been asked by Paulist Press to write this book in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the apparitions of Mary at Lourdes. Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR wrote the foreword.

Ficocelli’s writing is very lively. The reader can feel the emotion and intensity she is writing with. Her book is very inspiring and a tremendous joy to read and ponder. It was hard to put down. Scholar and general reader will enjoy this book.

There are some black and white photos in the centerfold, endnotes, bibliography of books and websites, but no index.

This book is highly recommended to those interested in Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Bernadette.

Br. Benet Exton, O.S.B., St. Gregory's University, Shawnee, Oklahoma.
« Previous entry     Back to index     Next entry »
Ads by Google
(What's this?)
blog comments powered by Disqus


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 27, 2015

Tuesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 3:22-30


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 3:22-30

Text only

Follow us: