Bernadette of Lourdes


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Bernadette of Lourdes

Saint. original name Marie Bernarde Soubirous. 1844--79, French peasant girl born in Lourdes, whose visions of the Virgin Mary led to the establishment of Lourdes as a centre of pilgrimage, esp for the sick or crippled. Feast day: Feb. 18
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As our heroine discovers that country life is actually venal and nerve--wracking, she ironically begins to resemble her namesake Saint Bernadette of Lourdes.
Also on This Day: 1558: Calais, the last English possession on the mainland of France, was regained by the French; 1785: Jean-Pierre Blanchard and Dr John Jefferies made the first air crossing of the English Channel in a hot air balloon; 1789: The first national elections were held in the USA resulting in George Washington becoming the first president; 1844: Birth of Saint Bernadette of Lourdes (Marie-Bernarde Soubirous); 1857: The London Central Omnibus Company started its first services; 1921: The first woman jury foreman was elected in Britain; 1927: The transatlantic telephone service between London and New York opened, charging pounds 15 for three minutes.