Saint Bernadette was the oldest of six children born to François and Louise Casterot. They were quite a poor family and hired Bernadette out as a servant when she was only 12 years old.
Right around the time of her First Communion (February 11, 1858), she had a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In all, she enjoyed 18 visions of Mary. Our Lady of Lourdes led her to a spring of healing waters.
She began to live with the Holy Sisters of Nevers near the spring. There she learned to read and write as she worked diligently with the Sisters who cared for the sick and indigent. As Bernadette was unwell and poor, she fit right in. She became a Sister herself at the age of 22.
She died with a prayer for the Blessed Mother's aid and since the appearances of Our Lady to Bernadette in 1858, over 200 million people have visited the Shrine and Waters of Lourdes in hopes of healing.
Two medals are shown to illustrate each side.