Image : Saint Bernadette Soubirous April 16 is the feast of Saint Bernadette Soubirous, a mystic and visionary at Lourdes, France. Saint Bernadette is the patron saint of: Lourdes, the poor, the sick, and people ridiculed for their piety. Born in Lourdes, France, on January 7, 1844, Bernadette was the first child of Francois and Louise Soubirous, a poor peasant family. A severe asthma sufferer, Bernadette was such a poor student that she was unable to make her First Holy Communion until she was 14. She had many trials to contend with as a child — poverty, health problems, which caused her to be behind in school, many responsibilities as the oldest child of six siblings, moving from one poor place to another, and a father who escaped from his financial problems by drowning them in alcohol. Continue reading .