St Bernadette of Lourdes was born Bernadette Soubirous on the 7th January 1744 in Lourdes, France. She is well-known as the visionary and the messenger of the Immaculate Conception. According to young Bernadette, Mary called for the conversion of sinners through penance. She also urged people to visit the place of the apparitions and asked that a church be built on the site. Bernadette joined the Sisters of Notre Dame at Nevers. There she lived as Sister Maria Bernarda. ST Bernadette died in Nerves on the 16th April 1879 from a painful, incurable illness. She was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1933 and is the patron saint of Lourdes.