Getting back to our story of Lourdes and Bernadette in 1858, with the drawing to the close of the apparitions, the Grotto was in a state of flux.
Many visionaries cropped up and were proven false. Perhaps this was permitted so that they could be compared to Bernadette, and then it would quickly point out the difference between the two.
Bernadette herself finally made her First Holy Communion on June 3, 1858. It was said that it took her a long time to prepare for this event because she had difficulty learning her catechism. But just think - this was the person whom God chose to receive his Mother here on earth!
The final vision occurred on July 16th, the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Bernadette tried to resume her life as it was before the apparitions. She sought no attention, but she was in the middle of it because of all the visions to Lourdes seeking cures. Bernadette's focus was upon Mary's main message - prayer and penance. Mary's message to Bernadette is as relevant today as it was in 1858. It is up to us to live this message in our own lives. It wasn't glamorous then and it isn't now, but then Bernadette wasn't chosen for her glamor. God Bless us all!