Bernadette Soubirous

Saint Bernadette Soubirous (Occitan: Bernadeta Sobirós; 7 January 1844 – 16 April 1879), also known as Saint Bernadette of Lourdes, was the firstborn daughter of a miller from Lourdes (Lorda in Occitan), in the department of Hautes-Pyrénées in France, and is best known for experiencing Marian apparitions of a "young lady" who asked for a chapel to be built at the nearby cave-grotto at Massabielle. These apparitions are said to have occurred between 11 February and 16 July 1858, and the lady who appeared to her identified herself as the Immaculate Conception.

Despite initial skepticism from some Church authorities, Soubirous's claims were eventually declared "worthy of belief" after a canonical investigation, and the Marian apparition became known as Our Lady of Lourdes. Since her death, Soubirous's body has apparently remained internally incorrupt, but it is not without blemish; during her third exhumation in 1925, the firm of Pierre Imans made light wax coverings for her face and her hands due to the discoloration that her skin had undergone after her body was cleansed. These masks were placed on her face and hands before she was moved to her crystal reliquary in June 1925.[2] The Marian shrine at Lourdes (Midi-Pyrénées, from 2016 part of Occitanie) went on to become a major pilgrimage site, attracting over five million pilgrims of all denominations each year.

On 8 December 1933 Pope Pius XI declared Soubirous a saint of the Catholic Church. Her feast-day, initially specified as 18 February—the day her Lady promised to make her happy, not in this life, but in the next— is now observed in most places on the date of her death, 16 April.

Saint Bernadette Soubirous
Bernadette Soubirous
Saint Bernadette of Lourdes
Virgin, Consecrated Religious
BornBernadeta Sobiros
7 January 1844
Lourdes, Hautes-Pyrénées, France
Died16 April 1879 (aged 35)
Nevers, Nièvre, France
Venerated inCatholic Church
Beatified14 June 1925[1], Rome, by Pope Pius XI[1]
Canonized8 December 1933[1], Rome,[1] by Pope Pius XI[1]
Major shrineConvent of Saint Gilard (Espace Bernadette Soubirous Nevers), Nevers
Feast16 April
18 February (France, some traditionalist congregations)
PatronageBodily illness, Lourdes, France, shepherds and shepherdesses, against poverty, people ridiculed for their faith

Early stages of her life

Bernadette soubirous 1 publicdomain
St. Bernadette

Marie Bernarde Soubirous was the daughter of François Soubirous (1807–1871), a miller, and Louise (née Casteròt; 1825–1866), a laundress.[3] She was the eldest of nine children—Bernadette, Jean (born and died 1845), Toinette (1846–1892), Jean-Marie (1848–1851), Jean-Marie (1851–1919), Justin (1855–1865), Pierre (1859–1931), Jean (born and died 1864), and a baby named Louise who died soon after her birth (1866).

Soubirous was born on 7 January 1844 and baptized at the local parish church, St. Pierre's, on 9 January, her parents' wedding anniversary. Her godmother was Bernarde Casterot, her mother's sister, a moderately wealthy widow who owned a tavern. Hard times had fallen on France and the family lived in extreme poverty. Soubirous was a sickly child and possibly due to this only measured 4 ft.7in. tall. She contracted cholera as a toddler and suffered severe asthma for the rest of her life. Soubirous attended the day school conducted by the Sisters of Charity and Christian Instruction from Nevers.[4] Contrary to a belief popularized by Hollywood movies, Soubirous learned very little French, only studying French in school after age 13 due to being frequently ill and a poor learner. She could read and write very little due to her frequent illness. She spoke the language of Occitan, which was spoken by the local population of the Pyrenees region at that time and to a lesser degree today (which is similar to Catalan spoken in eastern Spain).


By the time of the events at the grotto, the Soubirous family's financial and social status had declined to the point where they lived in a one-room basement, formerly used as a jail, called le cachot, "the dungeon", where they were housed for free by her mother's cousin, André Sajoux.[5]

Bernadette soubirous 2 publicdomain
Bernadette Soubirous (in 1866)

On 11 February 1858, Soubirous, then aged 14, was out gathering firewood with her sister Toinette and a friend near the grotto of Massabielle (Tuta de Massavielha) when she experienced her first vision. While the other girls crossed the little stream in front of the grotto and walked on, Soubirous stayed behind, looking for a place to cross where she wouldn't get her stockings wet. She finally sat down to take her shoes off in order to cross the water and was lowering her stocking when she heard the sound of rushing wind, but nothing moved. A wild rose in a natural niche in the grotto, however, did move. From the niche, or rather the dark alcove behind it, "came a dazzling light, and a white figure". This was the first of 18 visions of what she referred to as aquero (pronounced [aˈk(e)ɾɔ]), Gascon Occitan for "that". In later testimony, she called it "a small young lady" (uo petito damizelo). Her sister and her friend stated that they had seen nothing.[6]

On 14 February, after Sunday Mass, Soubirous, with her sister Marie and some other girls, returned to the grotto. Soubirous knelt down immediately, saying she saw the apparition again and falling into a trance. When one of the girls threw holy water at the niche and another threw a rock from above that shattered on the ground, the apparition disappeared.[7] On her next visit, 18 February, Soubirous said that "the vision" asked her to return to the grotto every day for a fortnight.[8]

This period of almost daily visions came to be known as la Quinzaine sacrée, "holy fortnight." Initially, Soubirous' parents, especially her mother, were embarrassed and tried to forbid her to go. The supposed apparition did not identify herself until the seventeenth vision. Although the townspeople who believed she was telling the truth assumed she saw the Virgin Mary, Soubirous never claimed it to be Mary, consistently using the word aquero. She described the lady as wearing a white veil, a blue girdle and with a yellow rose on each foot – compatible with "a description of any statue of the Virgin in a village church".[9]

Soubirous' story caused a sensation with the townspeople, who were divided in their opinions on whether or not she was telling the truth. Some believed her to have a mental illness and demanded she be put in an asylum.[10]

The other contents of Soubirous' reported visions were simple and focused on the need for prayer and penance. On 25 February she explained that the vision had told her "to drink of the water of the spring, to wash in it and to eat the herb that grew there," as an act of penance. To everyone's surprise, the next day the grotto was no longer muddy but clear water flowed.[11] On 2 March, at the thirteenth of the alleged apparitions, Soubirous told her family that the lady said that "a chapel should be built and a procession formed".[4]

Soubirous' 16th claimed vision, which she stated went on for over an hour, was on 25 March. According to her account, during that visitation, she again asked the woman for her name but the lady just smiled back. She repeated the question three more times and finally heard the lady say, in Gascon Occitan, "I am the Immaculate Conception" (Qué soï era immaculado councepcioũ, a phonetic transcription of Que soi era immaculada concepcion).[4]

Some of the people who interviewed Soubirous after her revelation of the visions thought her simple-minded. However, despite being rigorously interviewed by officials of both the Catholic Church and the French government, she stuck consistently to her story.[4]

Statue of Our Lady of Lourdes in Lourdes, France

Results of her visions

After investigation, Church authorities confirmed the authenticity of the apparitions in 1862.[3] In the 150 years since Soubirous dug up the spring, 69[12] cures have been verified by the Lourdes Medical Bureau as "inexplicable" – after what the Church claims are "extremely rigorous scientific and medical examinations" that failed to find any other explanation. The Lourdes Commission that examined Bernadette after the visions ran an intensive analysis on the water and found that, while it had a high mineral content, it contained nothing out of the ordinary that would account for the cures attributed to it. Bernadette said that it was faith and prayer that cured the sick: "One must have faith and pray; the water will have no virtue without faith".[13]

Soubirous' request to the local priest to build a chapel at the site of her visions eventually gave rise to a number of chapels and churches at Lourdes. The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes is now one of the major Catholic pilgrimage sites in the world. One of the churches built at the site, the Basilica of St. Pius X, can accommodate 25,000 people and was dedicated by the future Pope John XXIII when he was the Papal Nuncio to France. Close to 5 million pilgrims from all over the world visit Lourdes (population of about 15,000) every year to pray and to drink the miraculous water, believing that they obtain from the Lord healing of the body and of the spirit.

Later years

Disliking the attention she was attracting, Bernadette went to the hospice school run by the Sisters of Charity of Nevers where she had learned to read and write. Although she considered joining the Carmelites, her health precluded her entering any of the strict contemplative orders. On 29 July 1866, with 42 other candidates, she took the religious habit of a postulant and joined the Sisters of Charity at their motherhouse at Nevers. Her Mistress of Novices was Sister Marie Therese Vauzou.[14] The Mother Superior at the time gave her the name Marie-Bernarde[10] in honor of her godmother who was named "Bernarde". As Patricia A. McEachern observes, "Bernadette was devoted to Saint Bernard, her patron saint; she copied long texts related to him in notebooks and on bits of paper. The experience of becoming 'Sister Marie-Bernard' marked a turning point for Bernadette as she realized more than ever that the great grace she received from the Queen of Heaven brought with it great responsibilities."[15]

Soubirous spent the rest of her brief life at the motherhouse, working as an assistant in the infirmary[14] and later as a sacristan, creating beautiful embroidery for altar cloths and vestments. Her contemporaries admired her humility and spirit of sacrifice. One day, asked about the apparitions, she replied:[16]

The Virgin used me as a broom to remove the dust. When the work is done, the broom is put behind the door again.

Soubirous had followed the development of Lourdes as a pilgrimage shrine while she still lived at Lourdes, but was not present for the consecration of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception there in 1876.

Unfortunately, Soubirous' childhood bout of "cholera left...[Bernadette] with severe, chronic asthma, and eventually she contracted tuberculosis of the lungs and bones."[15] For several months prior to her death, she was unable to take an active part in convent life. She eventually died of her long-term illness at the age of 35 on 16 April 1879 (Easter Wednesday),[14] while praying the holy rosary. On her deathbed, as she suffered from severe pain and in keeping with the Virgin Mary's admonition of "Penance, Penance, Penance," Bernadette proclaimed that "all this is good for Heaven!" Her final words were, "Blessed Mary, Mother of God, pray for me! A poor sinner, a poor sinner". Soubirous' body was laid to rest in the Saint Gildard Convent.


Soubirous was declared blessed on 14 June 1925[10] by Pope Pius XI. She was canonized by Pius XI on 8 December 1933.[1]

In the spring of 2015, the town of Lourdes lobbied for Soubirous' remains to be returned to Lourdes, a move opposed by the city of Nevers.[17]


Relic of bernadette
Relic of St. Bernadette and stone from the Grotto of Lourdes

Bishop Gauthey of Nevers and the Church exhumed the body of Soubirous on 22 September 1909, in the presence of representatives appointed by the postulators of the cause, two doctors and a sister of the community. They claimed that although the crucifix in her hand and her rosary had both oxidized, her body appeared incorrupt – preserved from decomposition. This was cited as one of the miracles to support her canonization. They washed and reclothed her body before burial in a new double casket.

The Church exhumed the corpse a second time on 3 April 1919. A doctor who examined the body noted, "The body is practically mummified, covered with patches of mildew and quite a notable layer of salts, which appear to be calcium salts. ... The skin has disappeared in some places, but it is still present on most parts of the body."

In 1925, the church exhumed the body for a third time. They took relics, which were sent to Rome. A precise imprint of the face was molded so that the firm of Pierre Imans in Paris could make a wax mask based on the imprints and on some genuine photos to be placed on her body. This was common practice for relics in France as it was feared that the blackish tinge to the face and the sunken eyes and nose would be viewed as corruption by the public. Imprints of the hands were also taken for the presentation of the body and the making of wax casts. The remains were then placed in a gold and crystal reliquary in the Chapel of Saint Bernadette at the motherhouse in Nevers.

Wax coverings on the corpse of Saint Bernadette Soubirous represent how her hands and face looked at the time of her death.
Saint Bernadette's incorrupt body
Saint Bernadette's allegedly incorrupt body on display in Nevers, France.

Three years later in 1928, Doctor Comte published a report on the exhumation of Soubirous in the second issue of the Bulletin de I'Association medicale de Notre-Dame de Lourdes.

"I would have liked to open the left side of the thorax to take the ribs as relics and then remove the heart which I am certain must have survived. However, as the trunk was slightly supported on the left arm, it would have been rather difficult to try and get at the heart without doing too much noticeable damage. As the Mother Superior had expressed a desire for the Saint's heart to be kept together with the whole body, and as Monsignor the Bishop did not insist, I gave up the idea of opening the left-hand side of the thorax and contented myself with removing the two right ribs which were more accessible. ... What struck me during this examination, of course, was the state of perfect preservation of the skeleton, the fibrous tissues of the muscles (still supple and firm), of the ligaments, and of the skin, and above all the totally unexpected state of the liver after 46 years. One would have thought that this organ, which is basically soft and inclined to crumble, would have decomposed very rapidly or would have hardened to a chalky consistency. Yet, when it was cut it was soft and almost normal in consistency. I pointed this out to those present, remarking that this did not seem to be a natural phenomenon."[18]

In media

  • In 1909 the French short movie Bernadette Soubirous et les Apparitions de Lourdes, directed by Honoré Le Sablais,[19][20] is the first attempt to tell with the new cinematographic art the story of Bernadette, according to RAI 3 documentary Lourdes. La storia.[21]
  • In 1924 the French film Le miracle de Lourdes directed by Bernard Simon with Pierrette Lugand in the role of Soubirous.
  • In 1926 the French film La vie merveilleuse de Bernadette directed by Georges Pallu and starring Alexandra as Soubirous.
  • In 1935 the Portuguese Georges Pallu directed La Vierge du rocher ("The Virgin of the Rock") with Micheline Masson in the role of Bernadette.[22]
  • Soubirous' life was given a fictionalized treatment in Franz Werfel's novel, The Song of Bernadette, which was later adapted by Henry King into a 1943 film of the same name, starring Jennifer Jones as Bernadette and the uncredited Linda Darnell as the Immaculate Conception. Jones won the Best Actress Oscar for this portrayal.[23]
  • On 13 October 1958, the Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse presented Song of Bernadette on the CBS television network starring Italian-born film and television actress Pier Angeli as Bernadette Soubirous. The cast also featured Marian Seldes and Norman Alden. The program, hosted by Desi Arnaz, was adapted by Ludi Claire from a story by Margaret Gray Blanton. It was directed by both Ralph Alswang and Claudio Guzmán.
  • In 1960, Andy Williams released his album The Village of St. Bernadette, which featured the 1959 song "The Village of St. Bernadette". It was one of Williams' few Top 10 singles he garnered throughout his career.
  • In 1961 Daniéle Ajoret portrayed Bernadette in Bernadette of Lourdes (French title: Il suffit d'aimer or Love is Enough) of Robert Darène.[24][25]
  • In 1961 the German TV movie Bernadette Soubirous directed by Hans Quest and starring Kornelia Boje.[26]
  • Cristina Galbó portrayed Aquella joven de blanco (A Little Maiden in White), Spain, 1965, directed by León Klimovsky.[27]
  • In 1967 a French TV movie L'affaire Lourdes directed by Marcel Bluwal and starring Marie-Hélène Breillat as Bernadette.
  • In 1981 Andrea del Boca portrayed Bernadette in a homonymous Argentine television mini-series directed by her father Nicolás del Boca[28] (4 episodes of 1 hour each).[29]
  • In 1987, Jennifer Warnes recorded "Song of Bernadette", co-written with Leonard Cohen, for her album of Cohen compositions Famous Blue Raincoat. The first verse refers to the "child called Bernadette" who "saw the Queen of Heaven once". The song has been covered by other well-known artists, including Anne Murray and Bette Midler.
  • Bernadette in 1988 and La Passion de Bernadette (The Passion of Bernadette) in 1989 by Jean Delannoy, starring Sydney Penny in the lead role.[30]
  • In 1990 Fernando Uribe and Steven Hahn directed a short animated film, Bernadette: La Princesa de Lourdes, produced by John Williams and Jorge Gonzalez, available in English since 1991 with the title Bernadette – The Princess of Lourdes.[31]
  • Angèle Osinsky portrayed Saint Bernadette in the Italian TV movie Lourdes, 2000, by Lodovico Gasparini.
  • In 2002, the musical Vision by Jonathan Smith and Dominic Hartley, depicting the life of Bernadette, debuted in Liverpool. It has been performed in the UK, France, and Nigeria.[32]
  • In 2007 the Indian film Our Lady of Lourdes directed by V.R. Gopinath and starring Ajna Noiseux.[33][34]
  • In 2009 Bernadette, an opera in three acts by Trevor Jones. First performance 2016 in Gloucestershire, England.[35]
  • In 2011 the French short movie Grotta profunda, les humeurs du gouffre directed by Pauline Curnier-Jardin and starring Simon Fravega.[36]
  • In 2011 the French film Je m'appelle Bernadette directed by Jean Sagols and starring Katia Cuq (Katia Miran).
  • In 2013 the French TV movie Une femme nommée Marie, directed by Robert Hossein and Dominique Thiel, starring Manon Le Moal.[37]
  • In 2013 Bernadette Kaviyam, a book published by Geetham Publications,Chennai. Bernadetts life explained with poetry by Poet C.P.Sivarasan,Mangalakuntu.
  • In 2015 "Le Coup de Grâce", an original song about St. Bernadette, was published and released on YouTube by American songwriter Orv Pibbs.[38]

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c d e f Ruggles, Robin (1999). Apparition shrines. Places of pilgrimage and prayer. Boston: Pauline Books & Media. p. 68. ISBN 0-81984799-2. ISBN 978-081984799-7.
  2. ^ "Lourdes".
  3. ^ a b Foley O.F.M., Leonard, Saint of the Day (rev. Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.)
  4. ^ a b c d "Saint Bernadette Soubirous", Lives of Saints, John J. Crawley & Co., Inc.
  5. ^ Taylor 42.
  6. ^ Taylor 59–60.
  7. ^ Taylor 62–63.
  8. ^ Taylor 68–69.
  9. ^ Taylor 84.
  10. ^ a b c "Biography of Bernadette Soubirous". Biography Online.
  11. ^ Taylor 88–90.
  12. ^ "Miraculous cures in Lourdes".
  13. ^ von Huben, Ellyn (11 February 2015). "10 Things to Know About Our Lady of Lourdes and St Bernadette". Word on Fire. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  14. ^ a b c "Religious life".
  15. ^ a b McEachern, Patricia (2005). A Holy Life": The Writings of St. Bernadette. San Francisco: Ignatius Press.
  16. ^ Fr. Paolo O. Pirlo, SHMI (1997). "Our Lady of Lourdes". My First Book of Saints. Sons of Holy Mary Immaculate – Quality Catholic Publications. pp. 49–50. ISBN 971-91595-4-5.
  17. ^ Henri Neuendorf (4 May 2015). "Battle over Remains of St. Bernadette of Lourdes – artnet News". artnet News.
  18. ^
  19. ^ Ruiz, Christophe (8 October 2008). "Cinéma: Un festival "Lourdes au cinéma"". La Semaine des Pyrénées (in French). Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  20. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in French) See occurrences on Google.
  21. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in Italian) RAI 3 – Lourdes. La storia.
  22. ^ Credits at IMDb.
  23. ^ The Song of Bernadette on IMDb .
  24. ^ Theatrical poster.
  25. ^ Christophe Ruiz. "Cinéma: Un festival "Lourdes au cinéma"".
  26. ^ Bernadette Soubirous on IMDb .
  27. ^ Aquella joven de blanco on IMDb .
  28. ^ "Los especiales de ATC" (in Spanish). 1981. Archived from the original on 12 November 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2013.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  29. ^ "Forever Andrea Television". Archived from the original on 16 April 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
  30. ^ Theatrical poster.
  31. ^ VHS tape and DVD Release Archived 29 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  32. ^ Broadcast Productions (7 January 2016). "Home".
  33. ^ Our Lady of Lourdes on IMDb .
  34. ^ DVD poster Archived 3 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
  35. ^ Official website.
  36. ^ Grotta profunda, les humeurs du gouffre on IMDb .
  37. ^ Une femme nommée Marie on IMDb .
  38. ^ "Le Coup de Grâce" on YouTube.


  • Taylor, Thérèse (2003). Bernadette of Lourdes. Burns and Oates. ISBN 0-86012-337-5.
  • Sadler, Anna T. The Wonders of Lourdes, (1875)
  • Clarke, SJ, Richard. Lourdes: Its Inhabitants, Its Pilgrims, and Its Miracles, (1888)
  • Keyes, Frances Parkinson. Bernadette of Lourdes (1955)
  • Laurentin, Rene. Visage de Bernadette, Lourdes (1978), (French)
  • Bernadette of Lourdes, St. Gildard, Nevers, France, (1926)
  • Annales de Notre Dame de Lourdes (Missionaries of the Immaculate Conception), Lourdes 1871 (French)
  • The Wonders of Massabielle at Lourdes (Rev. S. Pruvost), 1925
  • Notre Dame de Lourdes (Henri Lasserre), Paris 1870 (French)
  • Bernadette (Henri Lasserre), Paris 1879 (year of Bernadette's death), (French)
  • Our Lady of Lourdes (Henri Lasserre), June 1906 (English)
  • The Miracle Joint at Lourdes] From Essays by Woolsey Teller, Copyright 1945 by The Truth Seeker Company, Inc. Critique of the Lourdes story.[1]
  • Our Lady of Lourdes (Henri Lasserre), 1875 (English)
  • La Sainte Vierge a Lourdes, 1877 (French)
  • Das Lied von Bernadette (Franz Werfel), 1953 (German)
  • The Happening at Lourdes (Alan Neame), 1967
  • Lourdes (Ruth Harris), 1999
  • After Bernadette (Don Sharkey), 1945
  • And I Shall Be Healed (Edeltraud Fulda), 1960
  • Saint Bernadette (Margaret Trouncer), 1964
  • A Queen's Command (Anna Kuhn), 1947
  • Bernadette (Marcelle Auclair), 1958
  • A Holy Life: St. Bernadette of Lourdes (Patricia McEachern), 2005
  • The Story of Bernadette (Rev. J. Lane), 1997
  • The Wonder of Lourdes (John Oxenham), 1926
  • Lourdes (Émile Zola), 1895 (German)
  • Bernadette Speaks: A Life of Saint Bernadette Soubirous in Her Own Words, René Laurentin, Pauline Books and Media, 2000.
  • St. Bernadette (Leonard Von Matt / Francis Trochu), 1957
  • Bernadette of Lourdes (J.H. Gregory), 1914 (1st U.S. book)
  • Lourdes (Émile Zola), 2000 (English)
  • The Miracle of Bernadette (Margaret Gray Blanton), 1958
  • My Witness, Bernadette (J.B. Estrade), 1951
  • St. Bernadette Soubirous: 1844–1879, by Abbe Francois Trochu, TAN Books and Publishers, Inc., 1957.
  • 'We Saw Her (B.G. Sandhurst), 1953
  • Werfel, Franz. The Song of Bernadette, 1942

Magazines and articles

  • L'Illustration Journal Universal: Story covering Bernadette and apparitions from time of apparitions (23 October 1858)
  • The London Illustrated News: The Election of Pope Pius XI (11 February 1922)
  • L'Opinion Publique: The Funeral of Pope Pius IX (14 March 1878)
  • The Illustrated London News: The Conclave & Election of the Pope (9 March 1878)
  • The Graphic: With the Lourdes Pilgrims (7 October 1876)
  • Harpers Weekly: French Pilgrims – Romish Superstitions (16 November 1872)
  • The Graphic: A Trip to the Pyrenees (12 October 1872)
  • Harpers Weekly: The Last French Miracle (20 November 1858) – Recounts actual happenings at the time of apparitions
  • St. Paul Dispatch: Throne of St. Peter Made Vacant by the Death of Pope Leo XIII, (21 July 1903)
  • St. Paul Dispatch: Cardinal Sarto (St. Pope Pius X) of Venice Called to Throne of St. Peter, (5 August 1903)
  • The Minneapolis Journal: Pope Pius X is Reported Dead; Relapse Caused by Grief Over War (19 August 1914)

External links

  1. ^ [ Essay
1844 in France

Events from the year 1844 in France.


Bartrès is a commune in the Hautes-Pyrénées department in southwestern France.

The village is famous for its association with St. Bernadette Soubirous. St. Bernadette was sent there in her infancy to a wet nurse, and again in her early teens to work for the same lady as a shepherdess. Today, the village is visited by numerous pilgrims who come to pray at the village church and venerate a relic of the saint.

Catherine Rihoit

Catherine Rihoit (Born in Caen in 1950) is a French writer.

Portrait de Gabriel, her first novel, appeared in 1977. In 1979, she received the Prix des Deux Magots for Le bal des débutantes. Her 1982 novel La Nuit de Varennes ou l'Impossible n'est pas français was made into a film, That Night in Varennes, the same year.

She has written biographies of Thérèse of Lisieux (Plon, 1992), Brigitte Bardot (1986), Dalida, and Bernadette Soubirous (2009).

Dominique Peyramale

Abbé Dominique Peyramale (9 January 1811 – 8 September 1877) was a Catholic priest in the town of Lourdes in France during the apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes to the peasant girl Bernadette Soubirous in 1858. According to Bernadette, her visions occurred at the grotto of Massabielle, just outside Lourdes.

Peyramale, under instructions from his bishop, Monsignor Laurence, never visited the grotto during any of the apparitions. He therefore never saw first-hand the effects that these apparitions produced in Bernadette and the onlookers. Nevertheless, he was deeply involved in the events, interviewing Bernadette on a number of occasions. Initially convinced he was dealing with a childish prank or hoax, Peyramale was eventually convinced that Bernadette's experiences were genuine.

Espace Bernadette Soubirous Nevers

Espace Bernadette Soubirous Nevers is a former convent and the motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity of Nevers in Nevers, France, and is where the body of Saint Bernadette reposes. In 1970, it was converted into a sanctuary run by volunteers and a few sisters who administer to pilgrims and manage the building.

Grotta di Lourdes

Grotta di Lourdes (also Grotta della Madonna di Lourdes) is an artificial cave in the Vatican gardens. It was built in 1902–5 and is a replica of the Lourdes Grotto in France. The context of building this grotto is the vision of the Madonna that a young girl, Bernadette Soubirous, experienced 18 times. Prior to that the Pope had promulgated the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854.Pope Francis, a day after his appointment as the new Roman Pontiff, visited the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes on the afternoon of 15 March 2013 and offered prayers before the statue of the Virgin Mary.

Jennifer Jones

Jennifer Jones (born Phylis Lee Isley; March 2, 1919 – December 17, 2009), also known as Jennifer Jones Simon, was an American actress and mental health advocate. Over the course of her career that spanned over five decades, she was nominated for the Academy Award five times, including one win for Best Actress, as well as a Golden Globe Award win for Best Actress in a Drama. Jones is among the youngest actresses to receive an Academy Award, having won on her 25th birthday.A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Jones worked as a model in her youth before transitioning to acting, appearing in two serial films in 1939. Her third role was a lead part as Bernadette Soubirous in The Song of Bernadette (1943), which earned her the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Actress that year. She went on to star in several films that garnered her significant critical acclaim and a further three Academy Award nominations in the early-1940s, including Since You Went Away (1944), Love Letters (1945), and Duel in the Sun (1946).In 1949, Jones married film producer David O. Selznick, and appeared as the titular Madame Bovary in Vincente Minnelli's 1949 adaptation. She appeared in several films throughout the 1950s, including Ruby Gentry (1952), John Huston's adventure comedy Beat the Devil (1953), and Vittorio De Sica's drama Terminal Station (also 1953). Jones earned her fifth Academy Award nomination for her performance as a Eurasian doctor in Love is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955).After Selznick's death in 1965, Jones married industrialist Norton Simon and went into semi-retirement. She made her final film appearance in The Towering Inferno (1974). Jones suffered from mental health problems during her life and survived a 1966 suicide attempt in which she jumped from a cliff in Malibu Beach. After her own daughter committed suicide in 1976, Jones became profoundly interested in mental health education. In 1980, she founded the Jennifer Jones Simon Foundation for Mental Health and Education. She spent the remainder of her life withdrawn from the public, residing in Malibu, California, where she died in 2009, aged 90.


Lourdes (French: [luʁd]; Occitan: Lorda [ˈluɾðɔ]) is a small market town lying in the foothills of the Pyrenees. It is part of the Hautes-Pyrénées department in the Occitanie region in south-western France. Prior to the mid-19th century, the town was best known for the Château fort de Lourdes, a fortified castle that rises up from a rocky escarpment at its center.

In 1858 Lourdes rose to prominence in France and abroad due to the Marian apparitions claimed to have been seen by the peasant girl Bernadette Soubirous, who was later canonized. Shortly thereafter the city with the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes became one of the world's most important sites of pilgrimage and religious tourism. Today Lourdes hosts around six million visitors every year from all corners of the world. This constant stream of pilgrims and tourists transformed quiet Lourdes into the second most important center of tourism in France, second only to Paris, and the third most important site of international Catholic pilgrimage after Rome and the Holy Land. As

of 2011, of French cities only Paris had more hotel capacity.

Lourdes Hill College

Lourdes Hill College is an independent Roman Catholic secondary day school for girls, located in the inner-eastern Brisbane suburb of Hawthorne, Queensland, Australia. The College also operated as a boarding school until its boarding facilities were closed in 2011.

The College was named after Lourdes in France, where Mary is said to have appeared to a young girl named Bernadette Soubirous. It was founded in 1916 by the Sisters of the Good Samaritan of the Order of Saint Benedict, and currently caters for approximately 970 students from Years 8 to 12 (12 to 18 years of age), which included 70 boarders.Lourdes Hill is affiliated with the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA), and the Brisbane Schoolgirls Sporting Association (BSGSA). The school is one of eleven colleges incorporated by the Sisters of the Good Samaritan. The school was previously affiliated with the Australian Boarding Schools' Association (ABSA).

Lourdes apparitions

The Marian Apparitions at Lourdes were reported in 1858 by Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year-old miller's daughter from the town of Lourdes in southern France.

From 11 February to 16 July 1858, she reported 18 apparitions of "a Lady". Soubirous described the lady as wearing a white veil and a blue girdle; she had a golden rose on each foot and held a rosary of pearls. Despite initial skepticism from the Roman Catholic Church, these claims were eventually declared to be worthy of belief after a canonical investigation, and the apparition is known as Our Lady of Lourdes.

According to Soubirous, her visions occurred at the grotto of Massabielle, just outside Lourdes. On 16 July 1858, Soubirous visited the grotto for the last time and said: "I have never seen her so beautiful before." On 18 January 1860, the local bishop declared: "The Virgin Mary did appear indeed to Bernadette Soubirous." In 1958, Pope Pius XII issued the encyclical Le pèlerinage de Lourdes ("The pilgrimage to Lourdes") on the 100th anniversary of the apparitions. Pope John Paul II visited Lourdes three times; Pope Benedict XVI visited Lourdes on 15 September 2008 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the apparitions.

Soubirous was canonized a saint in 1933 by Pope Pius XI.

Lourdes water

Lourdes water is water which flows from a spring in the Grotto of Massabielle in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, France. The location of the spring was described to Bernadette Soubirous by an apparition of Our Lady of Lourdes on 25 February 1858. Since that time, many thousands of pilgrims to Lourdes have followed the instruction of Our Lady of Lourdes to "drink at the spring and bathe in it". Lourdes water is considered non-liturgical holy water.

Although never formally encouraged by the Church, Lourdes water has become a focus of devotion to the Virgin Mary at Lourdes. Since the supposed apparitions, many people have claimed to have been cured by drinking or bathing in it, and the Lourdes authorities provide it free of charge to any who ask for it.

Marie Therese Vauzou

Marie-Thérèse Vauzou (August 10, 1825 – November 3, 1907) was a French Catholic nun who is known as being the Mistress of Novices and later Mother Superior at the Sisters of Charity of Nevers, during the time that Bernadette Soubirous was alive.

Our Lady of Lourdes

Our Lady of Lourdes is a Roman Catholic title of the Blessed Virgin Mary venerated in honour of the Marian apparitions that reportedly occurred in 1858 in the vicinity of Lourdes in France. The first of these is the apparition of 11 February 1858, when 14-year old Bernadette Soubirous told her mother that a "lady" spoke to her in the cave of Massabielle (a kilometre and a half (1 mi) from the town) while she was gathering firewood with her sister and a friend. Similar apparitions of the "Lady" were reported on seventeen occasions that year, until the climax revelation of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception took place.In 18 January 1862, Pope Pius IX authorized Bishop Bertrand-Sévère Laurence to permit the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lourdes. On 3 July 1876, the same Pontiff officially granted a Canonical Coronation to the image that used to be in the courtyard of what is now part of the Rosary Basilica. The image of Our Lady of Lourdes has been widely copied and reproduced in shrines and homes, often in garden landscapes. Soubirous was later canonized as a Catholic saint.

René Laurentin

Father René Laurentin (French pronunciation: ​[ʁəne loʁɑ̃tɛ̃]; October 19, 1917 – September 10, 2017) was a French theologian. He is widely recognized as "one of the world’s foremost students" of Mariology and is the author of numerous books and scholarly articles on topics including Marian apparitions such as Lourdes and Medjugorje; visionaries and mystics including Bernadette Soubirous, Thérèse de Lisieux, Catherine Labouré, and Yvonne Aimée de Malestroit; as well as biblical exegesis, theology, and Vatican II.

Saint Gildard (Lurcy-le-Bourg)

Saint Gildard, or Saint Gildardus, is a saint of the Roman Catholic Church. He was a priest in the seventh century of Lurcy-le-Bourg, in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nevers. His name was in the convent of St. Gildard, which has now become Espace Bernadette, operated by the a small number of the Sisters of Charity of Nevers, and the final resting place of St. Bernadette Soubirous

Song of Bernadette (song)

"Song of Bernadette" is a song written by Jennifer Warnes, Leonard Cohen and Bill Elliott, and first recorded on Jennifer Warnes' 1986 album Famous Blue Raincoat. The title refers to Bernadette Soubirous, a young French girl in the mid-19th century who claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary on several occasions. She was canonized by the Catholic Church and proclaimed Saint Bernadette after her death.

Warnes was inspired to write the song on a bus trip near Lourdes:

I was given the name Bernadette at birth. But my siblings preferred the name "Jennifer" so my name was changed one week later. In 1979, on tour in the south of France with Leonard Cohen, I began writing a series of letters between the "Bernadette" I almost was, and "Jennifer"–two energies within me. One innocent, and the other who had fallen for the world.... So the song arose in a bus nearby Lourdes. I was...thinking about the great Saint who held her ground so well, and was not swayed from what she knew to be true. But the song is also about me longing to return to a place that was more pure, honest and true. I still long for this, and I think others do too."

The song was covered by Bette Midler and opened her 1998 studio album Bathhouse Betty.

Anne Murray included this song on her two CD set released in 1999 called "What a Wonderful World."

The song was performed as a duet by Aaron Neville and Linda Ronstadt on the former's album, "The Grand Tour". The same performers sang it live on Neville's televised Christmas special.

The title is derived from the novel The Song of Bernadette, by Franz Werfel.

The Becket School

The Becket School is an 11–18 mixed Roman Catholic academy school in Nottinghamshire, England. It was formed in 1976 by the amalgamation of two schools, Corpus Christi Grammar School and Becket Grammar School for Boys. It is one of three Catholic secondary schools in the Greater Nottingham area, along with Christ the King and Trinity School.

The school moved to its new site, on Wilford Lane, at the beginning of the 2009–10 school year and lies within the Diocese of Nottingham and the Parish of the Holy Spirit, West Bridgford.

The school has a large catchment area covering parts of the City of Nottingham, Nottinghamshire and south-eastern Derbyshire, including such places as St Anns, Carlton, Clifton, Long Eaton and West Bridgford. For Years 7 to 11 there are six forms, designated by the initial letters, BENPRT of six saints: Bernadette Soubirous, Saint Edmund Campion, Nicholas Garlick, St Patrick, Robert Ludlam and Saint Teresa.

The Song of Bernadette (film)

The Song of Bernadette is a 1943 biographical drama film based on the 1941 novel of the same name by Franz Werfel. It stars Jennifer Jones in the title role, which portrays the story of Bernadette Soubirous (later canonized Saint Bernadette) who, from February to July 1858 in Lourdes, France, reported eighteen visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The film was directed by Henry King, from a screenplay written by George Seaton.

The novel was extremely popular, spending more than a year on The New York Times Best Seller list and thirteen weeks heading the list. The story was also turned into a Broadway play, which opened at the Belasco Theatre in March 1946.

The Song of Bernadette (novel)

The Song of Bernadette (German: Das Lied von Bernadette) is a 1941 novel that tells the story of Saint Bernadette Soubirous, who, from February to July 1858 reported eighteen visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lourdes, France. The novel was written by Franz Werfel and translated into English by Lewis Lewisohn in 1942. It was extremely popular, spending more than a year on the New York Times Best Seller list and 13 weeks in first place.

The novel was adapted into the 1943 film The Song of Bernadette starring Jennifer Jones.

Virgin Mary
See also

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.