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Immaculate Mary

posted Oct 14, 2017, 1:15 PM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Oct 14, 2017, 1:16 PM ]
Also called "Immaculate Mother" and in France "Ô Vierge Marie", this popular Marian hymn is known as the "Lourdes Hymn". It was there in 1858 that 14-year old Bernadette Soubirous saw seventeen apparitions of a “lady” who ultimately revealed herself as Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.

First sung in 1873 by pilgrims visiting the site of these apparitions, the melody is a traditional tune from the French Pyrenees, the range of mountains forming a border between France and Spain and separating the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of Europe. Its popularity with the pilgrims led it to become known as
LOURDES.

Its lyrics have been attributed to Abbe Jean Gaignet, a priest and seminary director in Luçon. While no one knows who wrote the original 8 verses, he expanded it to 120 verses. Abbreviated today down to 3 or 4, the verses provide a message of hope, comfort and faith.

In the Philippines, a version sung at novenas honoring Our Lady of Perpetual Help has a different set of lyrics:

Immaculate Mother, to you do we plead. 
To ask God, our Father, for help in our need. 

Though different cultures fit the words to the tune differently, causing some timing variations in the chorus, none is considered more correct than another.