Our Lady of Lourdes is the name used to refer to the Marian apparition that appeared before various individuals in separate occasions around Lourdes, France. The apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes began on 11 February 1858, when Saint Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year-old peasant girl from Lourdes admitted, when questioned by her mother, that she had seen a “lady” in the cave of Massabielle, about a mile from the town, while she was gathering firewood with her sister and a friend. Similar appearances of the “lady” took place on seventeen further occasions that year. Bernadette Soubirous was canonized as a saint, and many Christians believe her apparitions to have been of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Pope Pius IX authorized the local bishop to permit the veneration of the Virgin Mary in Lourdes in 1862.