Bernadette Soubirous did not have it easy. While she was the recipient of a heavenly vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1858 when she was 14 years old, the apparition became an enormous cross for the rest of her life.
Almost everyone thought she was crazy and it took the occurrence of many miraculous healings before anyone would start to believe her. Yet, even after the Church recognized the supernatural events, the popularity of the site gave her a great deal of unwanted attention. She then sought seclusion at a convent where she continued to suffer through various trials before dying at the age of 35.
In the midst of it all she became a beautiful saint, hidden from the world after the events at Lourdes, offering up her suffering to God.
Here are a few quotes from St. Bernadette that highlight her view of suffering and the humility she had after becoming a popular visionary.
O Jesus, I would rather die a thousand deaths than be unfaithful to you!
I must die to myself continually and accept trials without complaining. I work, I suffer and I love with no other witness than his heart. Anyone who is not prepared to suffer all for the Beloved and to do his will in all things is not worthy of the sweet name of Friend, for here below, Love without suffering does not exist.
I shall spend every moment loving. One who loves does not notice her trials; or perhaps more accurately, she is able to love them. I shall do everything for Heaven, my true home. There I shall find my Mother in all the splendor of her glory. I shall delight with her in the joy of Jesus himself in perfect safety.
Oh my Mother, to you I sacrifice all other attachments so that my heart may belong entirely to you and to my Jesus.
The Blessed Virgin used me like a broom. What do you do with a broom when you have finished sweeping? You put it back in its place, behind the door!