St. Bernadette Soubirous was born on January 7 and died on April 16. She was the patron saint of body illness and her feast day is April 16. Soubirous is best known for the Marian apparitions of a "small young lady" who asked for a chapel to be built at the nearby garbage dump. " On 11 February 1858, Bernadette, then aged 14, was out gathering firewood with her sister Marie and a friend near the grotto of Massabielle (Tuta de Massavielha) when she experienced her first vision. While the other girls crossed the little stream in front of the grotto and walked on, Bernadette stayed behind, looking for a place to cross where she wouldn't get her stockings wet. She finally sat down to take her shoes off in order to cross the water and was lowering her stocking when she heard the sound of rushing wind, but nothing moved. A wild rose in a natural niche in the grotto, however, did move. From the niche, or rather the dark alcove behind it, "came a dazzling light, and a white figure". This was the first of 18 visions of what she referred to as aquero (pronounced , Gascon Occitan for "that". In later testimony, she called it "a small young lady.Her sister and her friend stated that they had seen nothing."
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