A love marriage
Bernadette Soubirous, like her brothers and sisters, was born out of a true love story. These was rare at that time. François should have married the oldest of the Castérot daughters, Bernarde. But he was in love with the youngest, Louise who was just 17 years. His mother-in-law had no option but to give in to the evidence of this blossoming happiness.
Her baptism is announced
Two days after her birth, on 9th January 1844, and as 19th century tradition in Lourdes dictated, Bernadette’s parents invited family, friends and neighbours to the baptismal feast around a large basket of fritters, the Bigourdan doughnut.
You can imagine this setting by going to visit one of the new cribs installed in the Rosary Basilica.