Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Mystery of Saint Bernadette’s Body

Author: Spencer Weatherman


Saint Bernadette Soubirous

In Lourdes, France, on January 7, 1844, a poor miller and his wife were blessed with a baby girl. They named her Marie-Bernadrde Soubirous. They did not know that later on their daughter would be a Saint of the Catholic Church. Saint Bernadette reported seeing eighteen apparitions of a small young lady (A&E Network). Her first vision was on January 11, 1858. It was later discovered that she was referring to the Virgin Mary. Saint Bernadette became a Christian Mystic and Saint in the Catholic Church, but she was not canonized as a Saint until 1933, which was fifty-four years after her death (A&E Network). Saint Bernadette died on April 16, 1879, of an illness. She was only 21 years old when she pasted away.  Saint Bernadette was buried in a damp grave in Nevers, France. Thirty years later her body was dug up for beatification reasons (Catholicpilgrims). It was found that her body was still preserved and intact. She looked exactly like she did on the day she had died. It is believed that it is the way of the Lord and because Saint Bernadette gazed into the eyes of the Virgin Mary. Saint Bernadette took with her the knowledge of secrets the Virgin Mary had shared with her. Saint Bernadette was a visionary and messenger who told the words of the Virgin.
"Intact, those lips which conversed with the Virgin Mary. Intact, those hands which guided by the hands of Aquero, painfully scratched the soil of Massabielle and opened for us the miraculous spring of penance. Intact and present, this heart so tender and so strong beats for the love of Jesus and His Mother, and on their account for all the sinners in the world. Intact, as if she had just gone to sleep, and awaits only the angel's call to rise to her feet. God did not want her to escape totally from our human wretchedness, nor leave her brothers and sisters for whom she gave her life. She is still among us."
 — A. Ravier, S.J. (Catholicpilgrims)
Hold mouse over image to see Bernadette at the time of her death, April 16, 1879, Animation may take a minute to download

Works Cited:
"St Bernadette of Lourdes Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2012. http://www.biography.com/people/st-bernadette-of-lourdes-9209641.

"St. Bernadette Soubirous of Lourdes." The Catholic Company. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2012. http://www.catholiccompany.com/st-bernadette-soubirous-of-lourdes-c554/?aid=117.

“Saint Bernadette.” Saint Bernadette. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2012. http://www.catholicpilgrims.com/lourdes/ba_bernadette_intro.htm.

Byran Bustard. “Saint Bernadette Soubirous.” Painting- Acrylic and Prismacolor on Illustration Board. Fine Art America, November 30, 2010. Web. 18 Oct. 2012. http://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large/saint-bernadette-soubirousbryan-           bustard.jpg.

Links for further research:

Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary
Contains information about Saint Bernadette’s religious vocation.

Followers of Jesus and Mary
Contains information about why Saint Bernadette is so important in the Catholic Church.

Eternal Word Television Network
Contains information about Saint Bernadette’s life before she became a Saint.