In 1858 Bernadette Soubirous saw her first vision of the Virgin Mary in Lourdes, France at the age of 14.
Young Bernadette spent her young life sick and in poverty. Though the oldest of a large family, they lived in a one-room house in poor, damp conditions. Still, the family seemed loving and religious.
One day as she and two other girls went looking for wood, she felt drawn to a grotto or small cave. In the cave, she saw a beautiful woman surrounded by light. Together they said the Rosary before the lady disappeared. They say that Mary the Mother of Jesus was the lady in the vision
Bernadette returned to this place almost daily for the next five months, seeing Mary a total of 18 times. Eventually, the catholic church built a building at the grotto. It has become a place of pilgrimage. Many say the waters there provide miracle healings.
Bernadette eventually joined a Convent in Nevers, France. She suffered from illness her whole life, dying at the age of 35. The pope canonized her.