From a “Journal Dedicated to the Queen of Heaven” by Saint Bernadette Soubirous, on May 12, 1866:
Dearest Mother, how happy was my soul those heavenly moments when I gazed upon you. How I love to remember those sweet moments spent in your presence, your eyes filled with kindness and mercy for us!
Yes, dear Mother, your heart is so full of love for us that you came down to earth to appear to a poor, weak child and convey certain things to her despite her great unworthiness. How humbled she is. You, the Queen of Heaven and Earth, chose to use what is weakest in the eyes of men.
O Mary, give the precious virtue of humility to she who dares to call herself your child. O loving Mother, help your child resemble you in everything and in every way. In a word, grant that I may be a child according to your heart and Heart of your dear Son.
You know that my dearest desire is to consecrate myself in religious life so that I may better serve you and your dear Son. I am placing all my intentions under your holy protection, and I beg you to remove whatever obstacles may exist, for you can do this better than anyone.
Before you, O Mother of Christ, before your Immaculate Heart, today I wish to unite myself once again to our Redeemer, Who offered Himself for men, in order to regenerate them with forgiveness and to nourish them with His life.
You joined His offering for the salvation of the world more than anyone else. And you beg us, with [Saint] Bernadette’s voice, to accept the invitation to penance, to conversion, to prayer. Do not allow us to go our way while forgetting your appeal.
Mother of men and peoples, you who know their sufferings and their hopes, who maternally feel the consequences of their struggles between good and evil, between light and darkness, listen to our prayer, and come to the rescue of your children in trial.
In Lourdes, I renew to you for the whole Church the prayer that I love to address to you in the great Sanctuaries that are dedicated to you in the world. And here, in this land of France, I entrust the sons and daughters of this people in a special way to your maternal love. They have never ceased to honor you, in their traditions, with the art of their cathedrals, with pilgrimages, in popular piety, as well as with the devotion of spiritual authors, sure of being close to Christ by contemplating you, listening to you, praying to you. Many have been honored to consecrate themselves to you, including kings, as Louis XIII did in the name of his people.
You yourself made Bernadette Soubirous feel the experience of your sweet presence, entrusting her with a message that is the echo of the word of God entrusted to the Church.
The offering we make of ourselves before you, Our Lady, must be a personal act of each one, of each family, of each ecclesial community, and it is good to renew it for each generation, in the form that best expresses this confident trust.
Today I make this gesture together with all those in this nation who desire it, so that their Christian faith may triumph over all pitfalls, be faithfully transmitted, and be totally accepted by the younger generations. So that they are assiduous in praying to you. So that there will always be Christians with conviction, saints who draw their brothers and sisters into an ardent life of love for God and neighbor and missionary zeal. So that charity and unity, joy and hope, may always dwell in this Church. So that her testimony may favor the real progress that you desire for it throughout the nation.
O Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes, obtain for these brothers and sisters of France the gifts of the Holy Spirit, to give a new youth, the youth of faith, to these Christians and their communities, which I entrust to your Immaculate Heart and to your maternal love. Amen!
Quotes from Saint Bernadette Soubirous (from the book “A Holy Life: The Writings of St. Bernadette of Lourdes”):
“O my soul, imitate Jesus faithfully: He is gentle and humble of heart. Those who are humble of heart will be glorified. How beautiful the heavenly crown will be for those who are genuinely humble despite outward humiliations, those who follow the humility of the Savior in every way.”
“The faithful soul obeys God’s Will for the Church. Her Spouse wants her to be perfect in every way, doing all with faith and charity. In this way, the Father will be the guiding principle for her actions; the Son, the source of her light; and the Holy Spirit, the source of her love.”
“Take every opportunity to poor oil and wine on wounds as Jesus did, not vinegar, and without regard to person. Or like Jesus, reach out to the poorest, to those who are suffering most, to the most humble, the most abandoned. In the future, be more charitable to others, recognize both their physical and spiritual poverty. For love of Jesus and to glorify God, I will generously accept privations, suffering, and mortifications as Jesus and Mary did.”
“O my God, I do not ask You to keep me from suffering, but to be with me in affliction. Teach me to seek You as my only comforter; sustain my faith; strengthen my hope; purify my love. Grant me the grace to recognize Your hand in the midst of suffering and to want no other comforter than You.”
“Put faith into practice by thinking on these four truths: God is always present. Nothing happens without His permission or outside of His Will. Anything we do to others, we do to Him. All kindness and goodness are in Him. Live faith with these truths: Drive out all sin. Console all grief. Cast away all listnessness. Enrich the soul with the life of grace. One day, God will say about us: quoniam bene (‘You have done well’). How? Union with Jesus and Mary.”
“Why does God ask for this union and submission to His Will? Because it is absolutely just, loveable, superior to everything, so much so that there is no plausible reason ever to reject it. God’s Will is the only sure rule of conduct.”
“But it is not enough just to do God’s Will. I want to love doing God’s Holy Will more than anything in the world.”
“This interior life of Jesus hidden in Mary’s heart is concealed from others, but what does that matter? How easily He finds His heavenly Father in Mary! How lovingly He glorifies His Father on the altar of Mary’s heart! How He rejoices in cultivating Mary’s beautiful soul with His grace! May I too have an interior life! What does it matter if no one sees it as long as I imitate Jesus, as long as I live through Jesus and I dwell in the heart of Mary like Jesus. May I accept privations, suffering, and humiliations generously as Jesus, Mary, and Joseph did in order to glorify God.”