Meditation on the Rosary in Relation to Lourdes

Author: Anonymous




In no way could the Blessed Mother appear anywhere on earth without God's permission. The coming of Our Lady at Lourdes is a great gift from God.

Many people know the name Lourdes and the fact that the Blessed Mother appeared to Bernadette Soubirous in France. If we ask the question: "Why did she come?" "What was her message?" Some suggest ideas like devotion to the rosary, penance and healing. That's about it.

We want to go much farther and we can give thanks to copious notes gathered by Fr. Cros and two French books by Fr. Michel Gasnier, OP, entitled "The Message of Lourdes" and "The Divine Comedy of Lourdes." With these we can go much further in our understanding of the message of Lourdes and be deeply uplifted by all that Mary and Bernadette did, by all that happened from February 11 to July 16, 1858. We need to know the deep meaning of what took place.

As we consider the apparitions, we realize that the first three apparitions were like an introduction.

February 11, 1858

Mary appeared and Bernadette believed


February 14, 1858

With this apparition Bernadette wanted so much to see the Lady


February 18, 1858

Bernadette fell deeply in love with Mary


So the first three visits deal with faith, hope and charity. That is our invitation also as we say the first three "Hail Marys" in the rosary.

At the third apparition, a friend convinced Bernadette to bring a pen and paper and to ask the Lady: "Would you be so kind as to write your name and tell me what you want?" Our Lady answered: "What I have to tell is not necessary to put in writing. Would you do me the favor of coming here for fifteen days? In that way you will know who I am."

Mary has something to say. What is it?

But it will not be in writing. How will she do it?

Many historians of Lourdes wondered why Our Lady said so little. The answer could be simply because our human language is very poor to explain heavenly realities. The Bible regularly uses images; Jesus spoke in parables or with common every day examples; the Church uses symbolism. All these are excellent ways of giving a message. Mary used the same method. It is as if she says: the joys, the pains, the glory on the face of Christ are like what you see in Bernadette's face.

In Lourdes, Our Lady uses symbolic action. A picture is worth a thousand words. Mary used a simple way to give a message that can be understood by all. Mary wanted people to witness the apparitions. Thousands followed Bernadette. On March 4th, 20,000 people were there.

Of course symbolic interpretation is not the only way to explain the eighteen apparitions, but this way certainly coordinates all kinds of dimensions, sheds tremendous light unseen otherwise, gives precise meaning to an abundance of details otherwise unimportant, fits with all the other teachings of Lourdes, agrees with all the historical events, and, gives total meaning to all that happened.

This symbolic interpretation is a marvelous confirmation of the key point of the apparitions: the Rosary. In fact, it is only after Bernadette began the recitation of the Rosary that Mary appeared and she left very soon after the Rosary. Lourdes is the land of the Rosary. The Rosary is its permanent prayer in many languages.

Once you hear this explanation you cannot forget it or brush it aside either.

So then what happened? Mary came for a very definite purpose. She came as a teacher with a teaching plan. All that took place is very supernatural. The mysteries of the Rosary equal the main events in the life of Jesus and Mary which will all be presented, acted out. "Mary will teach Bernadette and everyone for centuries how to say the Rosary, not only with our lips, but with our heart and spirit." (Gasnier)

"Mary chose Bernadette as an actress, a child of fifteen years of age, because of her purity and docility, using her to explain one after the other the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary. She would act them out to show us how to meditate."

"To this end, Mary used a simple living tableaux, presentations, a word or gesture to point out the heart of a mystery. At times she may interrupt the recitation of the Rosary. Then a scene of the gospel would be presented to which some spectators were unknowingly drawn to play a role (Finding in the temple, Agony, Resurrection). On other occasions, Mary will condescend to become herself an actress (Finding in the temple and Assumption)."

The hillside, the rock wall, the Grotto with the niche with a double opening to the outside and inside of the Grotto served as a marvelous setting and backdrop for Our Lady to direct Bernadette as she acted out the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary with all the details that help us understand and meditate on the mysteries.

The apparitions took place between February 19 to April 7, 1858 with July 16th as a wonderful epilogue - encore, adieu.

February 19 - 24 the Joyful Mysteries

Bernadette is gracious, smiles, makes wonderful salutations, provokes our admiration - all done in ecstasy.

February 25 - March 1 the Sorrowful Mysteries

Bernadette is in pain, in poignant tragic action to the stupor of the crowd. No ecstasy at all.

March 2 - April 7 the Glorious Mysteries

Bernadette's face is transfigured, glowing. It's the glorification of the Grotto with ideas of procession, chapel to be built, all in midst of ecstasy.

Clearly Bernadette is under the direction of Mary, like a stage director, who leads Bernadette through the fifteen mysteries. Bernadette acts a lot. At times, after the apparitions she did not remember certain things she did in ecstasy. For example, she did not know why she drank the muddy water or washed in it, except that very docile, she obeyed the Lady.

On Bernadette's face can be seen joy, sorrow, jubilant joy, the very ideas of the fifteen mysteries, as she saw them in the face of Mary, like in a clear mirror. All this is revealing one after the other the successive sentiments animating the actors of the Gospel scenes, like an echo reaching deep in our own hearts. The total mystery finds its complete repercussion in Bernadette's soul and body.

She hears, listens, speaks, smiles, all according to what she sees in Mary. Her face, her hands, her gestures tell the story.

"I do like the Lady."

"She greets me, I greet her in the same way."

"Who showed you how to make the sign of the cross? I do like her."

"Why did you cry?...because she cried."

Sometimes she looked like another person with great nobility.

Even when she did bizarre things, she did not seem crazy because her face was so calm.

On February 26th she made a gesture with great force, seemingly with a sense of irritation as under divine inspiration.

The Grotto reminds us of the Grotto in Bethlehem.

Her parents are poor like Mary and Joseph.

The blind Louis Bourriette recovers his sight at the Spring like the man at Siloam.

The sufferings of Bernadette are like the sufferings of Jesus in agony.

When she drinks and washes in muddy water people are scandalized as they were with Jesus.

Not only did Bernadette act at the Grotto, sometimes the mysteries were lived out during the day and even into the evening. Many people unknowingly were brought into the action as characters in the Bible, for example, Rosine Casenave, the aunts, uncles, parents, police commissioner, Mayor, forester, etc.

A very important note: If you switch the many details from one day to the next, they are meaningless, but on the day they happened, these details show different facets of that particular mystery. The recitation of the Rosary takes place in front of the Grotto. Mary, from the niche outside, or from the one inside the Grotto (there is a passage way from one to the other) directs the entire drama performed by Bernadette and others.

Now we will consider the fifteen apparitions. Our presentation will be done in two columns: One for the Bible, one for Lourdes, so you can use the two together for meditation or either one separately. You could just place the text before you. Read the text with your eyes and at the same time, recite the Rosary. You will meditate without distraction as if you were a witness of the events of Lourdes or the life of Jesus and Mary.


First Joyful Mystery


At the moment of the Incarnation, Mary was about fifteen.

Bernadette was the same age.

Mary was a descendant of the royal family of David. At this time, the family of David had no prestige.

Bernadette was from a wonderful family of Lourdes, but at this time they lived in abject poverty.

Mary lived in the small town of Nazareth.

Bernadette lived in the small town of Lourdes.

Nathaniel said: "Can anything good come from Nazareth?" John 1:46

Mr. Dutour, a Lourdes politician said: "Can anything good come from the Soubirous home?"

After the sin of Adam and Eve, the devil kept roaming round the world. The world was in darkness.

It had been written that the Grotto of Lourdes was a picture of original sin. A desolate area, nonproductive ground, snakes moved about.

God had promised to send help. We remember the word about the serpent and the Woman.

Genesis 3:15

A wild rosebush grew there as a sign of better things.

"The angel came down from heaven."

Luke 1:28

On this day, February 19, 1858, Bernadette takes the path leading to the top of the Grotto. She went down the side so fast that no one could follow her. To go down that way you would have to hold with your hands, dig in your heels and still slide. Different witnesses said: "She came down in the wink of an a the wind." (It's the only time she came this way.)

As Christ came to Nazareth.

Mary comes to Lourdes at the Grotto of Massabielle.

Nazareth did not have a good reputation.

In the niche of the Grotto where Mary will appear there was a square stone of different composition from the Grotto which apparently at one time was used for pagan sacrifices.

"I will put enmity between you satan and the Woman, your offspring and hers; he will strike at your head while you strike at his heel."

Genesis 3:15

How appropriate and meaningful for Mary to stand on that stone since she is the one who came to crush the serpent's head through her Son.

"The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee named Nazareth."

Luke 1:26

As soon as Bernadette arrives, she kneels at the Grotto in front of the niche.

He came to announce the coming of Jesus.

She brought with her a candle of the Children of Mary. We know the candle represents Christ (Holy Saturday); so she had a candle in one hand, the Rosary in the other.

The angel came to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph of the house of David.

In all the pictures, we see the angel greeting Mary.

"The Virgin's name was Mary. Upon arriving, the angel said to her: Hail full of grace, the Lord is with you."

Luke 1:27-28

As she began the mystery of the Annunciation, Our Lady appeared. "Bernadette started greeting Mary with her hands and her head. It was really a joy to see her. It was as if, in all her life, she had never done anything else. At the same time, she kept repeating the "Hail Mary," bowing and greeting with her hands and head." A woman exclaimed: "How beautiful she is!"

"She was deeply troubled. The angel said: Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You shall conceive and bear a son and give him the name Jesus. Great will be his dignity. He will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord will give him the throne of David, his father. He will rule over the house of Jacob forever. His reign will be without end."

Luke 1:29-33

Bernadette smiled beautifully, her face changed. Her body bent forward as in prayer as she repeated the "Hail Mary." The candle in Bernadette's hand is a symbol of Christ, the light of the World.

There was a long preparation before the Incarnation, God speaking to one prophet after another.

Many times the recitation was interrupted with a dialogue between Mary and Bernadette. The beautiful smile that illumined her face was like currents of celestial joy going right through her.

Though he was in the form of God, Jesus did not deem equality with God, something to be grasped at. Rather, he emptied himself and took the form of a slave being born in the likeness of man.


Imagine the Son of God becoming a man, emptying himself. Bernadette became pale like wax. Her Aunt Bernarde said: "She is dying!"

"God the Father loved the world so much, he gave his only Son."

John 3:16

Bernadette's mother exclaimed: "O my God, don't take away my child."

The devil would have done anything to block this action, if he had known.

Catherine Emmerick in her vision of the Annunciation saw an ugly serpent at the door of Mary when the Angel Gabriel was talking to her.

All of a sudden, over the waters of the river Gave nearby, voices as of a quarreling crowd were heard: "Run away! Run away!" Bernadette said: "It made me shiver." The Lady raised her head and her eyebrow and the voices disappeared in every direction.

We can imagine how St. Joseph felt. He could not doubt Mary, but he did not know what to think.

Matthew 1:19

When her Aunt Bernarde (Bernadette's Godmother) heard the remarks of the people around her, she exclaimed: "Poor little one. How miserable I am."

Mary never told her secret to anyone. Imagine Mary's joy when Joseph told her about his dream and the clear word to take Mary as his wife.

Bernadette received three secrets that she never told to anyone. Bernadette came out of ecstasy and threw herself in the arms of her aunt. "I never asked her what the Lady said and she never told me. I did not know what to think."

"The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, hence the holy offspring to be born will be called Son of God."

Luke 1:35

That night Josephe Ouros called in Bernadette, listened to her story and offered her a medal of the Blessed Mother. Her husband, a cobbler, made her a leather cord.

"Let it be done to me as you say."

Luke 1:38

And Mary was with child.

Bernadette wore a medal of the Blessed Mother.

God was smiling over the world. It was the beginning of redemption. Remember the words of prophecy: "Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior."

Isaiah 45:8

During this apparition, the sun rose and rain began to fall.

During Advent, the Church sings the beautiful song: "Rorate Coeli Desuper" - the Savior like the sun came down in the womb of the virgin as rain falls on the grass.

(There were seven or eight persons present.)

Note: The Annunciation and Visitation are two mysteries of joy, salutation, greetings, faith and intimacy. There is a definite resemblance in the two.

Second Joyful Mystery


"Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come!"

Song of Songs 2:10

Bernadette hears the deep calling of the Lady in her heart.

In those days, Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country to a town of Judah."

Luke 1:39

She leaves the Grotto and runs down the hill jumping like a deer.

"O my dove in the clefts of the rock, in the secret recesses of the cliff, Let me see you, let me hear your voice."

Song of Songs 2:14

Bernadette comes because there in the cleft of the rock, the Lady will come and her voice is "gentle, gentle, sweet, sweet."

Mary "entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth."

Luke 1:40

Bernadette here plays the role of the Blessed Mother. She bends forward in beautiful salutations.

Imagine the joy of Mary and Elizabeth in each other's presence, greeting one another with Zechariah joining in.

Our Lady inspires a young girl, Rosine Casenave, to play unknowingly the role of Elizabeth. Rosine later wrote: "Coming to the Grotto, the thought to recite an Ave came to my mind in case it were the Blessed Virgin. Bernadette was kneeling at my left. She turned a bit to look at me and I did the same. When the Hail Mary was finished, I went with Germaine to place myself in front of Bernadette, near the rock, with my back to the Grotto..."

"And it came to pass, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary...filled with the Holy Spirit she cried out: Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb!"

Luke 1:41-42

So Rosine greeting Bernadette kept saying: Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

The Angel had said to Zechariah: "You will be mute, unable to speak until the day these things take place."

Luke 1:20

Germaine knelt there but, as Zechariah, did not say one word. The rest of the mystery is acted out between Bernadette and the Lady.

In her joy Elizabeth exclaimed: "Who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me. Filled with the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth cried out in a loud voice: 'Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb!'"

Luke 1:41-43

Bernadette greets Mary with beautiful salutations, the celestial smile on her face is so visible people exclaim "Now she sees her." It's not the same Bernadette. Her face is so radiant people comment: "angels must be like that."

"The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby leapt in my womb for joy."

Luke 1:44

Louise Baupe testified, "I heard from Bernadette's mouth or chest a prolonged 'yes' like a deep breath that made me so happy."

"Blessed is she who trusted that the Lord's word to her would be fulfilled."

Luke 1:45

Zechariah doubted and became dumb.

At a certain point, Bernadette seemed sad and pensive. It could have been the sadness of Mary realizing the condition of Zechariah because of his lack of faith.

Then Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has looked upon his servant in her lowliness."

Luke 1:48

During this apparition, Mary taught Bernadette a new, personal prayer.

"Henceforth, all generations shall call me blessed."

Luke 1:48

Words of admiration were overheard throughout the crowd and can still be heard today.

This prayer of the Blessed Mother is her Magnificat, a wonderful hymn of thanksgiving.

This unknown prayer was probably a hymn of thanksgiving. (Estrade, Sempé)

As Mary spent three months away from home in the house of Zechariah and Elizabeth.

So for two days (yesterday and today) Bernadette is away from home. She eats and sleeps at Mrs. Millet's.

The visitations end with the deep greeting of Elizabeth and Mary.

Bernadette concludes this apparition with a grateful greeting.

Third Joyful Mystery


At the time of the birth of Christ, a mighty Emperor ruled over the Roman Empire. He had progressively attained the peak of his power after having disposed of his associates. The wars were over, peace reigned completely. The Emperor occupied himself in reform and the numbering of his subjects. His name was Caesar Augustus.

At the time of the apparitions of Lourdes, history repeats itself. All that has been said of Augustus can be applied to Napoleon III. The state of the French Empire during the events of Lourdes recalls perfectly the state of the Roman Empire at the time of the birth of Christ, according to the words of St. Pius X. It was a time of peace.

The prophet Micah wrote: "and thou Bethlehem art not the least for out of thee shall come forth the ruler of my people."

Micah 5:1

Long ago, wonderful things were announced concerning Lourdes. Thirty-six years before, the Pastor, just before dying, predicted that something wonderful would happen here and St. Pius X added: "Bringing the world into a more intimate relationship with Christ our Savior."

Bethlehem was an old fortified city with its tower half-destroyed, a stop-over point in the heart of the mountains for weary travelers and their caravans.

Lourdes too was at one time a fortified city with its old castle and triple tower. A good one-night stop for the diligence (stage coach) going through the mountains.

Water from Solomon's pool near Bethlehem, through aqueducts improved by Pontius Pilate, fed the cisterns at the temple in Jerusalem.

Waters from the Grotto in Lourdes daily goes around the world to quench the thirst and heal a people of faith.

The Grotto of Bethlehem until then had been the refuge of animals.

The animals went so frequently in the Grotto of Lourdes that they had polished the stones.


Caesar Augustus ordered a census, so Joseph and Mary went from Nazareth to Bethlehem because they were of the house of David.

Luke 2:1-5

Bernadette on this Sunday came to the Grotto following a personal request of Mary.

The world in darkness...would see a great light.

St. John compares Christ to the light of the world in the prologue of his Gospel.

Bernadette knelt in front of the Grotto. She held in her hand a lighted candle, always considered in liturgy as the symbol of the Body of Christ. Her candle was shining in the dark.

"The real light which gives light to every man was coming into the world."

John 1:9

The wax represents the Body of Christ; the wick represents his soul; the flame represents his divinity.

"The real light shines in the darkness, a darkness that did not overcome it."

John 1:5

Soon her face is transformed. It lights up with heavenly beauty. It is evident that now she sees the Lady.

St. Joseph is refused from door to door...Christ, the light of the world, came unto his own, and his own received him not.

At the beginning of the apparition, wind kept blowing out the candle, to signify how Christ, the light of the world, was not accepted.

"There was no room for them where travelers lodged."

Luke 2:7

Mary unceasingly presents her child to the world. Those who accept become children of God.

But it was clear to Bernadette that the candle had to remain lit. Each time it was extinguished, Bernadette presented her candle to different bystanders, who, each in their turn, relit the candle. It's the fight of light against darkness.

There was a man named John sent by God, who came as a witness to testify to the light so that through him all men might believe.

John 1:6-8

On this day, February 21, Dr. Dozous came to check Bernadette's movements. He gave his witness: "I took her arm, placed my fingers on the radial artery. The pulse was calm, regular, the beating easy." No nervous disorders. Naturally, there was nothing abnormal.


Because there was no room in the inn, Mary and Joseph went to the Grotto.

"When I let go her arm", Dr. Dozous said, "Bernadette stood up and walked into the Grotto." It is important to note that for the first time in the series of the 15 apparitions, Bernadette enters the Grotto.

Mary brought forth her firstborn son and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luke 2:6

As Jesus wanted the poor people, the shepherds, to adore him first in the manger, there were shepherds in the field keeping night watch.

Luke 2:8

On this day, Mary wanted her people at the Grotto.

An angel of the Lord appeared to them; you have nothing to fear. I come to proclaim good news to you, tidings of great joy...

A savior has been a manger; you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes.

An eye witness said: "Her face looked like that of a newborn babe."

Suddenly a multitude of angels were with the Angel praising God: Glory to God...peace on earth.

Luke 2:10-14

On her face--the expression of radiant beauty and the most perfect peace anyone ever saw.

As "the shepherds said to one another: 'Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this event that the Lord has made known to us.'"

Luke 2:15

So, a group of laborers profiting of the leisure of this Sunday came to the Grotto.

The thought of sin dominates the mystery of the Incarnation. Jesus came for sinners--for us and for our salvation. And yet, how many still have no room in the inn and go on sinning.

"The Lady looked over my head in the distance and was really sad." Two tears ran down the cheeks of Bernadette. "When I asked Mary the reason of her sadness, she said: 'Pray for sinners.'" Bernadette's colors changed. She became pale "like a dead child in a crib." (Callet) "Then Mary looked at me again and reassured me with an expression of goodness and serenity. Then she disappeared."

"The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God."

Luke 2:20

They returned home and told everyone on the way. All who heard were filled with admiration.

Herod did not have to fear the son of the carpenter...

Till then, the authorities kept aloof.

But, behold, wise men came from the East to adore the Messiah.

On this day, Dr. Dozous, one of the most respected men of Lourdes, witnessed the apparition and testified that "Bernadette is perfectly normal and that what is happening appears to be supernatural." His testimony drew everybody's attention.

Herod summoned all the chief priests and the scribes.

Matthew 2:4

To find out where the Messiah was to be born.

The squadron chief of Tarbes was notified, witnessed the apparition, told the authorities to have a guard at the Grotto and send regular reports...The mayor, the imperial procurator, and the police commissioner had a meeting at the city hall to see how they could stop these events at the Grotto. They said they were concerned about the popular reaction. The imperial procurator said: "What good can come out of the Soubirous home?"

He is the son of the carpenter.

Months before, Mr. Soubirous had been accused, right or wrong, of having stolen a piece of wood. So there was danger here of disturbing the peace of the city.

Herod was troubled and privately called the wise men and diligently learned from them the exact time the star appeared.

Matthew 2:3-4

Mr. Jacomet secretly called Bernadette, and asked her innumerable questions making believe he was interested, hoping by persuasion to put an end to this affair. "Don't be afraid, I want to know everything for myself...what you say is very interesting." Bernadette was answering every question with no difficulty and no hesitation.

Once Herod realized that he had been deceived by the astrologers, he became furious.

Matthew 2:16

Herod decided the best way was to get rid of this child. He ordered the Massacre of all the boys two years old and under in Bethlehem and its vicinity.

Matthew 2:16

Realizing that Bernadette throughout this questioning was neither getting tired nor confused, but that he was becoming confused, Jacomet all of a sudden changed his attitude and language. He took a horrible and menacing attitude: "You're lying," he screamed, "you're deceiving everybody. If you do not confess the truth right away, I'll have the police pick you up. I will put you in prison. I will punish you."

Mr. Jacomet* stood up...all of a sudden Mr. Soubirous, Bernadette's father, stormed into the office of the police commissioner, claimed his daughter, promised to keep her away from the Grotto and walked out with his daughter.

The angel told Joseph: "Get up, take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt."

Matthew 2:13

Bernadette on this day is also questioned by the imperial procurator and by Abbe Pène, parish assistant.

*Later Bernadette said he was so mad he could not find the opening to the ink well.

Fourth Joyful Mystery


It is important to understand that in the fourth joyful mystery we are invited to meditate on two very different episodes: the Purification of Mary and the Presentation of Jesus in the temple. The way Mary chose to do this was to take two days. In Lourdes on Monday, February 22, 1858 Mary did not appear. It was the Purification. On February 23, 1858, Tuesday, the Presentation of Jesus was acted out.


"When the days came to purify them according to the law of Moses, the couple brought him up to Jerusalem so that He could be presented to the Lord. For it is written in the law of the Lord 'Every first-born male shall be consecrated to the Lord.' They came to offer in sacrifice 'a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons' in accord with the dictate in the law of the Lord...the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform for him the customary ritual of the they fulfilled the prescriptions of the law.

Luke 2:22-24, 27, 39

As we remember yesterday, there was quite an episode in Lourdes with the law in the police Commissioner's office. Today there is another law that comes into play. Mr. Soubirous promised to the police that Bernadette would not go to the Grotto, so now there is the question of the authority of the parents and the obedience they deserve. However, for Bernadette there was also a higher law that had a hold on her: she had promised the Lady to come for fifteen days.

Mary clearly gives a lesson of obedience to the law in submitting herself to all the prescriptions for the purification. Jesus would be obedient for thirty years (greatest lesson He taught) and then obedient unto death and death on the cross.

The Soubirous parents insist on February 22nd Bernadette will not go to the Grotto in the morning but go to school, with the possibility of a change of mind in the afternoon. So Bernadette put her alphabet book in her basket and went to school. In the afternoon, there is no change, Bernadette is to go to school. This was very hard for Bernadette, really a dilemma. She said "I have to disobey you or the Lady."

However, when Bernadette reached the top of the hill, near the police station, a mysterious hand prevented her from going any further. She tried in vain. She could not go forward. Some police in the window watched her feet just stamping the ground without moving forward. The only way her feet could go is to turn towards the Grotto.

On February 2nd, we celebrate the Feast of the Purification of Mary and we bless the candles in Church. It is a feast of lights and the candle procession reminds us that Christ is the light of the world.

Bernadette says "bring me my godmother's candle." This was a candlemas candle blessed on February 2nd for the Feast of the Purification. It's one o'clock. Bernadette heads for the Grotto, flanked by two gendarmes and about fifty women and children.

Mary is faithful to the law.

Bernadette is accompanied by law enforcers to fulfill the law.

As Mary went to the temple for purification.

Bernadette went to the Grotto for purification.

Mary went to the temple with Jesus for the purification they did not need. She gave a beautiful lesson of obedience, respect and submission to the law.

As soon as she arrives at the Grotto, Bernadette kneels, lights her candle and recites her Rosary with her eyes fixed on the niche where Mary usually appears. But this time Mary does not come. After Bernadette prayed a long time, she understood that there would be no apparition and she seemed very sad. "I don't know how I failed the Lady." This is a real purification for Bernadette.

As long as the law was in the way, Bernadette could not see the Lady.

Someone asked her. "Do you see her?" Bernadette answered: "The Marshal is there. I can't see anything." The Marshal cut in: "If you were not a stupid little girl, you would know that the Virgin is not afraid of the police, since she is without sin. You, why are you afraid? Could it be that you feel a little guilty of lying? I am looking and I can't see a thing and that's clear to you too..." Her aunt blew out the candle and walked away with Bernadette.

Bernadette left the Grotto. A deep sadness came over her. She wondered if she had done anything wrong, if she had offended in any way. She was inconsolable. (Was she crying over our need of purification?)

She stopped at the Savy Mill and sat in a chair. Bernadette's mother was there next to her daughter, sweating profusely. Miss Estrade asked: "Do you know the girl." "I am the sad mother." She was breathing sorrowfully.

Your heart will be pierced by a sword...your child will be a source of contradiction...

(Could it be this was done a day earlier to put all the suffering on this day and all the joy in the next?)

That evening Bernadette went to see Father Pomian in the confessional. He told her: "They don't have a right to stop you from going."


The mystery of the Presentation is, above all, the mystery of the vocation of Christ. Coming into the world, he was able to say:

"Sacrifice or oblation you wished not, but ears open to obedience you gave me. Holocausts or sin offering you sought not then said I 'Behold I come.' In the written scroll it is prescribed for me, to do your will, O my God is my delight and your law is within my heart."

Psalm 40:7-9

In today's apparition, Bernadette discovers her vocation. Today, February 23rd, Bernadette, so glad to see the Lady, is in profound ecstasy. Father Pène wrote: after the first decade, her rosary stopped sliding between her fingers, everything in her denoted that she was deeply absorbed by a mysterious presence. Her face was transformed. First could be seen an unexplainable ravishing joy beyond description and at the same time, a supernatural beauty, something so pure, so gentle that the spectators were just thrilled. While all eyes were riveted on her, Bernadette seemed to be completely isolated from everything, neither seeing, nor hearing anything around her.

She had a heavenly face. She seemed afraid to lower her eyelids for fear of losing the object of her contemplation...clearly looking like ecstasy and beatitude (Estrade).

During the apparition, greetings, large signs of the cross interrupt the slow recitation of the Rosary. Bernadette signifies yes, no, is sad, smiles. A conversation seems to be going on. Questions, answers, surprises, confidences, secrets were multiplied. Whatever was happening in Bernadette's soul was reflected in her face.

Behold, I come to do your Will.

Later she explained:

Jesus offered himself to the Father. From now on he would be completely at his disposition.

"While I was praying, the Lady called me by name, Bernadette, and I answered: 'Here I am.'"

There lived in Jerusalem at the time a certain man named Simeon. He was just and pious and awaited the consolation of Israel and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not experience death until he had seen the anointed of the Lord.

Luke 2:25-26

The Pastor of Lourdes invited Mr. Estrade "a just and God fearing man" to go to the Grotto. "Go, accompany those women, said Rev. Peyramale. I would not be at all angry that someone serious witnessed what is happening."

He came to the temple, now inspired by the Holy Spirit, and when the parents brought in the Child Jesus to perform for him the customary ritual of the law, he took him into his arms and blessed God.

Luke 2:27-28

So Mr. Estrade came to the Grotto for the first time on February 23rd. Right from the beginning of the ecstasy he was charmed and thrilled.

"The child's father and mother were marvelling at what was being said about him."

Luke 2:33

He wrote: "Spontaneously, mechanically us men who were there removed our hats and bowed like humble women."

After the apparition he said: "I was like a man coming out of a dream. I could not get over my emotions. A whole world of thoughts were going through my soul. Even though the Lady was hidden from me, yet I felt her presence and I was convinced that her maternal glance had rested on my head. O solemn hour of my life!"

"Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word, in peace; because my eyes have seen the salvation which thou has prepared before the face of all peoples."

Luke 2:25-31

O Mother, my hair is white, I am close to the tomb...I do not dare look at my iniquity and more than ever I need to take refuge under the mantle of your mercy. When, at the supreme hour, I will appear before your majestic Son, deign be my protectress and remember that you saw me on the days of your manifestation kneeling and believing under the sacred vault of your Grotto of Lourdes. (Divine Comedy #129-130.)

The father and mother were in admiration of what was being said of the child.

In the temple there was a dialogue that provoked admiration in Joseph and Mary and three secrets that caused:

sadness - his child is for the fall

joy - and the rise of many in Israel

fear - your heart will be pierced by a sword so that the thoughts of many may be laid bare.

Many times the joy in Bernadette's face changed into sadness but neither one nor the other can be compared to anything here below. At certain moments Bernadette listened, then she spoke; we could not hear her voice. We could only see the movements of her lips; but this movement, whether slow or fast or brusquely interrupted or cut by intervals of rest was all in harmony, clearly showing the emotions of the seer, her admiration and her joy, her fear and her sadness. It was really impossible not to see there a real conversation between the child and a supernatural person. (Divine Comedy Fr. Pène.)

Then, Simeon revealed this secret to the Blessed Mother: "This child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign that shall be opposed. And thy own soul a sword shall that the thoughts of many hearts may be laid bare."

Luke 2:34-35

Today, three secrets are confided to Bernadette that she brought with her in the tomb. From these secrets "she probably drew a lot of understanding and strength to accomplish faithfully and in a holy way the Mission she received." (Fr. Bouix - her Confessor)

Already, in the Presentation, we can discern the passion of Christ and the Mother of Sorrows.

On this day, Bernadette made many signs of the cross, "so pious, so noble, it seemed they could be made only in heaven." These signs of the cross represent perfectly the passion.

"There was also a certain prophetess, Anna by name, daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was constantly in the temple, worshipping day and night in fasting and prayer. Coming on the scene at this moment, she gave thanks to God and talked about the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem."

Luke 2:36-38

Fr. Pène's sister also was at the Grotto in the role of Anna. He wrote: "I still can see her, when she came back from Massabielle. She too seemed to be coming from another world. She narrated what happened at the Grotto with such enthusiastic conviction that I found myself all caught up in the same emotions." (Divine Comedy 130.)

When Jesus was presented by Mary in the temple, he was coming to make up for the sin of Adam and Eve. "The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it..."

Genesis 3:6

Anna Dupas, a poor woman, that day wanted so much to give something to Bernadette. Apples were very scarce at that time and she had a nice red one left. She really wanted to give it to Bernadette. "She thanked me but did not want it. I really insisted, no matter what I did she always refused." (Cros 237.)

Often we see Mary depicted with the Christ Child on her lap and John the Baptist standing nearby.

That evening, Bernadette was seen with a child in her lap, next to her was the little boy Jean Marie.

Fifth Joyful Mystery


The parents of Jesus used to go every year to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover.

Luke 2:41

Bernadette went to the Grotto each day for the rendezvous with the Lady. Today, February 24th Mary will play the role of Jesus and Bernadette the role of Mary.

The city of Jerusalem was overflowing with people for the feast.

There were so many people at the Grotto. Everyone is at Massabielle. There is a lot of pushing. Everyone seems to be fighting for the first place.

"When he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. And after they had fulfilled the days, when they were returning, the boy Jesus remained in Jerusalem, and his parents did not know it."

Bernadette kneels, lights her candle, makes the sign of the cross and begins the rosary. At the end of the first decade, her face turned white, like a cloud passed over her face. Where is the Lady? Sighs were heard four of five times.

"They had come a day's journey before it occurred to them to look for him among their relatives and acquaintances."

She begins an anxious search for her, trembling, walking slowly inside the Grotto, looking towards the vault.

"And not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem in search of him."

Luke 2:42-45

Will we ever understand the anguish of Joseph and Mary seeking the child? Or for us the horror of losing Jesus?

Not finding her, she comes back down with two tears fixed on her cheeks. Then she was really crying profusely. Others began to cry; some of the men were deeply moved.

During about an hour (the time of the apparition), this search was repeated four or five times. The last time she was walking all bent forward as though under a terrible weight. She was asked to kiss the ground. The Lady said: "Do you mind?" "O no." She goes up the incline, but at each step she stops, kneels and kisses the ground.

Suddenly her anxiety was felt by all. When the people saw how pale she was they cried out: She is going to die!

As in the Presentation, there is a glimpse of calvary: rise and fall of many, plus, your heart will be pierced by a sword. Here too because our loss of Jesus can only be through our sins.

At one point she stood up inside the Grotto, looked at the place of the apparition. She turns around, her face full of tears and through the sobbing was heard three times. - penance, penance, penance. This is a new word and a new idea in the message of Lourdes. Penance and prayer for the conversion of sinners. Then Bernadette returns to her usual place.

"And it came to pass after three days, that they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who were listening to him were amazed at his understanding and his answers."

Luke 2:45-47

Then, her face beamed. Those nearby heard a soft, hardly perceptible Ah!, as if to say: Ah! there you are. When the Lady reappeared, Bernadette's whole body bent forward, with a beautiful smile, beautiful greeting, her eyes fixed on the Lady. Again she was in ecstasy, her face beaming in radiant white, as if wrapped in a ray of light. The witnesses were able to observe easily the transformation on her face.

When his parents saw him, they were astonished and his mother said to him: "Son, why have you done this to us? You see your father and I have been searching for you in sorrow.

And he said to them: Why did you search for me?"

Luke 2:48-49

During the apparition, the Marshall and another gendarme cut through the crowd, came next to Bernadette, put his face next to hers, shook her shoulder and said (treating her as one who breaks the law): what do you see funny girl? Bernadette did not make any movement, did not turn her eyes. Bernadette left everything up to God.

"Did you not know that I had to be in my Father's house." Jesus defended the work of his Father.

Luke 2:49

Mary came to proclaim the Rosary. On that day the rosebush on which Mary stood was mishandled and a branch fell to the ground. Mary showed some displeasure and Bernadette started crying* and said who touched the rosebush?

The caravan had left three days earlier, so the Holy Family left by themselves. "Jesus went down with them and came to Nazareth and was obedient to them. His mother meanwhile kept all these things in her heart. Jesus for his part progressed steadily in wisdom and age and grace before God and men."

Luke 2:51-52

After the apparition, surprisingly, very few people walked with Bernadette on her way home.

*After the apparitions, Bernadette did not remember having cried at all.

This is the end of the joyful mysteries. This last mystery is joy mixed with tears. Bernadette will have much growing to do overnight. Tomorrow will be the agony.


First Sorrowful Mystery


Jesus went out and made his way, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives.

Luke 22:39

Bernadette, at the same time as usual, went to the Grotto, on Thursday, February 25. It's 5:30 a.m. Some 300 persons were at the Grotto.

The hour is at hand, let us go. If I don't go the Paraclete will never come.

John 16:7

Today Bernadette repeated: "Let me go by." "Let me go by."

Jesus went to the garden with his disciples. He had often met there with his disciples.

John 18:2

Bernadette went to the Grotto followed by the customary people.

"But when He was at the place, he said to them, 'Pray, that you may not enter into temptation!'"

Bernadette kneels at what is now called "Bernadette's Place." And prays.

Jesus takes with him Peter, James and John.

Bernadette is accompanied by her three aunts.

In the garden, the humanity of Jesus is sorely tried. He was overcome by sadness. It was our infirmities that He bore.

Isaiah 53:4

"My soul is sad unto death."

The Lord laid upon him the guilt of us all.

Isaiah 53:6

There was in him no appearance that would attract us to him.

Isaiah 53:2

Today for Bernadette, there is no ecstasy, no transfiguration in her face. She makes the sign of the cross and begins to pray, her eyes fixed on the Grotto. Her face was sad.

She was overwhelmed by the evil of the world, as if she was going to die.

Her face lost all her composure.

(Looked decomposed).

And he himself withdrew from them about a stone's throw.

Luke 22:41

Jesus went down on his knees and prayed in these words: "Father, if it is your will, take this cup from me, yet not my will but yours be done!"

Luke 22:41-42

The apostles fell asleep-

Before the end of the first decade, she stands, passes her candle to her aunt, walks on her knees over to the Grotto, crosses the bushes, goes beyond underneath the rock, deep inside the Grotto, and kisses the ground. She enters carefully, gently she moves over the branches hanging down.

She seemed really upset that some people who followed her mishandled the rose bush and other bushes. She indicated her displeasure, walked backward and with a sign of the head motioned to back-off.


Bernadette comes underneath the opening in the Grotto, on the right side. Mary tells her to go to the other side. She goes over on her knees along the back wall to the east wall.

Bernadette stays just a few moments, then returns directly to her original place where she prays a few moments.

Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter: "Could you not, then, watch one hour with me?"

Matthew 26:40

Then he returned to the place of the agony. He prays for a second time. "Father may this cup pass away from me. But thy will be done."

The Lady points to the other side of the Grotto where Bernadette was a moment ago and tells Bernadette to go drink at the fountain, wash, and eat some grass. Bernadette heads in the direction that the Lady pointed, then suddenly turns, goes towards the river Gave. Mary said, "No, not at the river."

Again a second time he went away and prayed saying: "My Father, if this cup cannot pass away unless I drink it, thy will be done. And he came again and found them sleeping...And leaving them he went back again, and prayed a third time, saying the same words over."

Matthew 26:43-44

Bernadette looks at Mary in the Grotto, pointing again to the left side. She goes over, falls on her knees, then bends really low - nearly on her stomach and starts scratching the soil. A trickle of water came out of the red dark dirt, not enough, so she dug some more. Water filed the hole. Mary kept encouraging Bernadette.

A third time he prayed, "If this chalice can pass away from me..., but your will be done, not mine."

Three times she cupped water in her hand and threw it out. Finally she drinks some and then drinks again and again.

And falling into an agony he prayed more earnestly and his sweat became like drops of blood running down upon the ground.

Luke 22:44

Then she takes some water and washes (dirties) her face. Three times she takes pieces of grass and eats them.

And there appeared to him an angel from heaven to strengthen him.

Luke 22:43

Her aunt Bernarde came forward, wiped her face, soiled with red dirt and mud, and accompanied her afraid Bernadette would fall. The Lady seems very satisfied.

Jesus returned a third time and said to the disciples: "Still sleeping? The hour is on us. You will see that the Son of Man is to be handed over to the clutches of evil men. Rouse yourselves. Come along. See, my betrayer is near."

Mark 14:41-42

For a third time Bernadette returns to her original place. Bernadette stays just a few moments, leaves for Lourdes - totally unconscious of the crowd who surrounds her laughing, mocking her. The aunt said, "it seems like a comedy" and rushes her away.

If, therefore, you seek me, let these go their way.

John 18:8

Then all his disciples left him and fled.

Matthew 26:56

All the spectators followed the different phases of this strange scene with an awful feeling and a kind of stupor. A cry of deception and pity was heard on all the lips; "Bernadette is gone, the poor child is going crazy!" Most of those in attendance disappeared. (Estrade.) The Grotto was soon empty.

You will be scandalized this night because of me.

Everyone seemed deceived...nothing went on as usual.

It is written, "I will strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered."

Mark 14:27

People left, sad, confused, dismayed. Many were discouraged or lost faith in Bernadette.

And the soldiers "brought him to Annas first...If I have spoken ill, bear witness to the evil, but if well, why dost thou strike me?"

John 18:13,23

"In the evening of this day full of enigma" (February 25), recounts Mr. Estrade, "I called Bernadette to my home. I made her talk. I looked for arguments, for surprises and contradictions in her story."

Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas.

John 18:24

Now the chief priests and all the Sanhedrin were seeking witness against Jesus, that they might put him to death, but they found none.

Mark 14:55

Many false witnesses were brought forward but none could agree. They were looking in vain for witnesses to condemn him to death.

"Nothing in the answers and in the reflections of the child denoted any kind of intellectual deviation whatsoever." (Estrade.)

In the evening the Imperial Procurator requested to see Bernadette. He tried to find contradiction in her story. He menaced to have her sleep in prison. He pretended to send for the police commissioners.

When Moses hit the rock in the desert, water flowed as later from the side of Christ: water - living water came out.

When Bernadette scratched the ground in the Grotto, the spring began to flow.

So on Pentecost the water will start flowing in greater abundance.

Second Sorrowful Mystery


In the agony Jesus underwent a great deal of interior suffering. Now in the scourging it will be exterior.

Bernadette, in obedience to the Lady, will perform acts of penance, accepting suffering in her body and humiliation in her soul.

At daybreak all the chief priests and elders of the people took formal action against Jesus to put him to death. They bound him and led him away to be handed over to Pilate, the procurator.

Matthew 27:1-2

The "strong minds" of Lourdes mock the visitors of the Grotto for their great deception of yesterday. Nevertheless, some 800 persons come to the Grotto on this Friday, February 26, many pushing in order to get a better view.

The Jewish people, who had awaited the Messiah for centuries, had suddenly placed all their confidence in Christ when he triumphantly entered Jerusalem. But, now, most were deceived at the thought of a tragic ending.

The visitors of the great part remain under the shock of their bitter deception; for them, the ideal, imagined according to their own fancy, suddenly vanished like a beautiful rose whose petals too quickly fade and fall. (L'Ami 1908.)

Pilate said I find no guilt in this man...and he sent him to Herod. Now Herod put many questions to Jesus, but he made him no answer.

Luke 23:4,7,9

But Herod, with his soldiers, treated him with contempt and mocked him, arraying him in a bright robe, and sent him back to Pilate.

Luke 23:11-12

Today, Bernadette does not kneel at her customary place on arriving. Straight and without hesitation...she goes up the incline; the flowing spring found is no surprise to her; she makes her broad sign of the cross, bends low, drinks from the spring and washes herself...Then, she goes to her place, kneels and begins her rosary. (L'Ami.)

Pilate said: "I will therefore chastise him and release him."

Luke 32:16

If thou release this man, thou art no friend of Caesar.

John 19:12

Whom do you wish that I release to you? Barabbas...or Jesus?

Matthew 27:17

Barabbas! Now Barabbas was a robber.

John 18:40

It is on this very day that the spring becomes an instrument of divine Mercy; Louis Bourriette, a blind man (after 20 years) regains his sight.

Jesus is surrounded by the soldiers.

There she is. Move! She is like wrapped in the crowd.

Pilate, seeing that a riot was breaking out, took water and washed his hands in sight of the crowd, saying: "I am innocent of the blood of this just man."

Matthew 27:24

Our Lady appeared when Bernadette was reciting the second decade - the Scourging. At that moment the sorrowful drama is felt in her soul and lived in her body.

On Good Friday, in the prayers of the liturgy, we read this loving reproach of Jesus: "O my people, tell me, what have I done to you to deserve this scourging?" Three times in succession we kneel at the unveiling of the cross saying: "It is through your cross that you have saved the world, that joy spreads throughout the world...." David had said: "You have torn my body...and at the very same time you have spread joy around me." (Gasnier.)

On her knees, she starts greeting the invisible Lady three times. She bows slightly, then more and, finally to the ground. At the same time, she seems filled with joy and manifests her happiness by small childish outbursts of laughter. (Gasnier.)

She never seemed more happy. Her attitude will help so much that the spectators will leave today happy and content.

Pilate then took Jesus and had him scourged.

John 19:1

Tears soon stream down her cheeks. Bernadette falls in contemplation. Suddenly, the Lady tells her: (Those nearby can hear moaning) "You will kiss the ground for sinners." Right away the child bends her head, and her eyes full of tears, she profusely kisses the ground...act of obedience, of humility and love. (L'Ami.)

Pilate therefore again went outside and said to them, "Behold, I bring him out to you, that you may know that I find no guilt in him."

John 19:4

Soon after, on her knees, she climbs to the Grotto, repeatedly kissing the ground. (Petitot)

She was full of mud: her face, her hands, her knees. Having practiced penance, she acquired the right to be heard. (Gasnier.)

On Good Friday, the priest presents us the cross three times in adoration and reparation.

She had heard the words "Penance, Penance, Penance." Now she was putting them in practice.

Bernadette stands, turns to the crowd, places her finger on her lips, with rosary in one hand, extends her arms. Energetically invites everyone to kneel. Most remained immobile. She repeated the gesture forcefully. She seemed irritated, as if possessed by divine inspiration. Those around cried out and motioned to kneel. All followed their example, kissing the holy ground. (L'Ami.)

For Bernadette kissing the ground was an answer to the request of Our Lady done in humility consecrated by love.

As the blood of Jesus poured out of his body from the scourging to cleanse us from sin.

Rain fell on those in attendance at one point during the apparitions.

Catherine Emmerich in her experience of the scourging said a man shouted: "Do you want to kill him? You can see, he can't take anymore. He will die."

Bernadette's aunt Lucille at this moment gave a loud cry and fainted. The cry pulled Bernadette out of ecstasy. She looked at her aunt and said: "Auntie, don't be afraid."

...for we have not a high priest who cannot have compassion on our infirmities, but one tried as we are in all things except sin.

Hebrews 4:15

Then Bernadette went into the Grotto, washed herself, and ate some grass. Eating grass seemed a way to be united in the humiliation, sufferings, triumphant strength and love, as we can do in communion.

Third Sorrowful Mystery


The crowning with thorns is but the prolongation of the scourging. Mockery is added to the suffering.

The events at the Grotto today are but a reproduction of yesterday. A large crowd is in attendance.

Jesus predicted He would suffer...this was partly realized by orders from Caiaphas, Herod and Pilate.


On this Saturday, February 27, at 6:30 a.m., Bernadette arrived, and as on the two preceding days went through a number of penitential exercises. (Petitot.)

Jesus is surrounded by the cohort, about 500 soldiers.

A large crowd was in attendance.

Then Pilate handed him over to them.

John 19:16

Now the soldiers led him away into the courtyard of the praetorium.

Mark 15:16

The soldiers...gathered together about him the whole cohort. And they stripped him and put on him a scarlet cloak.

Matthew 27:27-28

Like a lamb under the hand of the shearer.

Bernadette knelt, became considerably pale, smiled, greeted, became sad as if she were going to cry, and smiled, again she was ready. (Gasnier.) "To obey an order of the Lady, she stood, removed her head covering, and gave it together with her lit candle to some person around her; she knelt again, and started to climb rapidly on her knees, in the wet soil, the incline leading to the center of the Grotto, up to the edge of the rocks." (Petitot.)

On the way, many times she would spread her hands, place them on the ground, kiss the soil, lift her head quietly, clasp her hand and continue.

And plaiting a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed into his right hand; and bending the knee before him, they mocked him saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" and they spat on him, and took the reed and kept striking him on the head.

Matthew 27:29-30

All around the child, some people sneered and fleered. They stood before her to look at her in the face. They treated her as a fool. Her Godmother hearing all the comments did not even dare look at the poor child. Some people, she said, were saying bad things around us. (Gasnier.)

And when they had mocked him, they took the cloak off him, and put his own garments on him.

Matthew 27:31

However, the general attendance was in respectful awe.

Bernadette frequently kissed the ground, soiling her face. She did this with so much ardor that a few days later some doctors wrote: "in her delirium she bit the ground." Coming into the Grotto, at the highest accessible point, she turned and went back down, always on her knees and kissing the ground, till she arrived at her former place. She prayed a little while, then went up and down in the same way again. (Petitot.)

Think of Christ, under torture, thirsty, trembling, moaning, his face cooled only by blood flowing from thorns on his Head.

All the time, faint moaning was heard from her lips, and her tiny body trembled all over.

Bernadette's face was not recognizable. Deep sadness covered her face, a kind of indescribable smile, strange pallor, lips a bit parted, eyes turned upward. She did not seem to be any longer from this world.

Pilate, therefore, again went outside and said to them, "Behold, I bring him out to you, that you may know that I find no guilt in him." Jesus, therefore, came forth, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak. And said to them, "Behold, the man. Ecce homo."

John 19:4-5

In Pilate's courtyard, everything was mockery, there was a crown, gestures of adoration, the title of king, the salute and subjects all around. But what the soldiers were doing in derision and blasphemy, Bernadette accomplished in a true spirit of adoration and reparation. Through it all, she is looking at the Lady and manages to smile. (Gasnier.)

When the chief priests and the attendants saw him, they cried out, saying, "Crucify him! Crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him."

John 19:6

The Jews answered him, "We have a law and according to that law he must die, because he has made himself the Son of God!" And from then on Pilate was looking for a way to release him. But the Jews cried out, saying, "If thou release this man, thou art no friend of Caesar."

John 19:7,12

Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.

John 19:16

They did not dress her with a purple cloak like a fool, but treated her that way. Around her, people were smiling, laughing, stood in front to look at her straight in the face, as if she were crazy. Her aunt said, "I did not dare look at her. People were saying all kinds of bad things around us." However, the general attendance was in respectful awe.

Bernadette goes to the spring, washes her face and eats a few bits of grass.

The soldiers "led him out to crucify him. And they forced a certain passer-by, Simon of Cyrene, coming from the fields, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to take up his cross."

Mark 15:20-21

Towards the end of the interview, all of a sudden, the Lady seemed to recollect herself as someone meditating a grave decision. Then, she broke her silence and told Bernadette in a solemn tone that seemed like an order: "Go tell the priests that a chapel must be built here." (L'Ami.)

The Pastor received Bernadette rudely, but he understood; and, after she left, he was convinced: "This child is truly sent by God. All is truth in her." (L'Ami.)

And he became her staunch protector.

The crowning with thorns is a mystery of disgrace and derision, a mystery of the royalty of Christ.

He is crowned - with thorns

He is adored - in mockery

He is hailed - as King of the Jews

Surrounded by the whole cohort like a human crown.

Bernadette is mocked, laughed at, the object of bad words.

She is totally surrounded by a crown of people, even on the side of the Grotto - hanging on the ledge.

Fourth Sorrowful Mystery


On this Sunday, all the laborers profited of their leisure to be at the Grotto; even some soldiers from the Fort of Lourdes were there. When Bernadette arrived, she recited a few decades of the rosary; then became nearly immobile. It's clear she sees the Lady. She stops praying. Her eyes are fixed on the niche. She seems to be listening with a great attention.

"And when they had mocked him, they took the purple cloak off him, and put his own garments on him, and led him out to crucify him."

Mark 15:20

Then as if following an order, she stands, removes her headdress, giving it to someone nearby, then she falls on her knees and climbs on her knees, the incline leading to the opening of the Grotto, kissing the ground very frequently. But the crowd was so compact, she couldn't move. (Petitot.)

And so they took Jesus and led him away. And bearing the cross for himself, he went out to the place called the skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha.

Two soldiers noticing her embarrassment, on their own accord, pushed through the crowd and came to Bernadette's rescue, one on each side, as if they had been commanded. They ordered: Make way! Make way! Make way! and accompanied Bernadette wherever she wanted to go. (Petitot.)

Jesus taking his cross began to walk towards Calvary. As Jesus fell three times on the way to Calvary...

Bernadette three times makes the ascent of the incline to the Grotto which then was fairly steep. Each time returning to her place.

And they forced a certain passer-by, Simon of Cyrene, coming from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.

Mark 15:20-21

Christ commands all of us to take up our cross and follow him. We must understand Jesus offers his crown to each of us

as an invitation

as a necessity

as an order.

Of course, as we have already said, the staunch protector of Bernadette, her Simon of Cyrene, is without doubt the Curé of Lourdes. But in the eyes of God, everyone must take up the cross and follow Jesus. As the soldiers forced Simon, so today, Verges, the forester, all of a sudden, as if possessed by inspiration from above, turned around and in a loud voice, exclaimed: "Kiss the ground, everybody!" Verges gave the example, knelt and kissed the ground a number of times like Bernadette. (Gasnier.)

Everyone tried to follow the example, providing they could kneel because of the size of the crowd.

A woman wipes the face of Jesus.

Many tried to come close to Bernadette but it was impossible to get through the serried ranks.

Today there were more people than ever before. More than two thousand spectators had assembled around the Grotto. (Petitot.)

Now there was following him a great crowd of people, and of women, who were wailing and lamenting him. But Jesus turning to them said: "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me but for yourselves and for your children. For behold days are coming in which men will say, 'Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore, and breasts that never nursed.' Then they will begin to say to the mountains 'Fall upon us,' and to the hills, 'cover us.' For if in the case of green wood they do these things, what is to happen in the case of the dry?"

Luke 23:27-31

An aunt of Bernadette, holding the lit candle, followed Bernadette, and, imitating her, frequently kissed the ground.

All of us are this dry wood that burns easily.

Again she washes at the spring and eats a few bits of grass. (Gasnier.)

Other Reflections

Jesus walking by on the way to Calvary - deserves all our respect.

On this day the crowd did not tolerate anyone with hat or umbrella.

Nothing distracted Jesus on the way to Calvary. It was his hour, nothing could stop him.

When Bernadette arrived at the summit of her Golgotha, she was really absorbed and seemed alone in the midst of this great crowd, no noise, no incident whatsoever disturbed her.

Christ walked through the crowd, in deep union with the Father, totally absorbed in his sacrifice, offering himself for all, unconcerned about his condition - the dirt, the blood, the spittle.

She was deeply absorbed in what she was doing, in contemplation of the Lady, carrying out all her orders. At the sight of her, it was hard not to cry.

As Jesus began to suffer persecution from the moment of his birth to his death...

When Bernadette acted out the mystery of the Nativity, her persecutions began and will continue to the end.

After the Last Supper, Jesus went to Gethsemane and was arrested.

On the 28th of February, Bernadette is arrested after the Solemn Mass at the church.

The District Representative by the order of the commissioners grabbed Bernadette and brought her to the Judge of Instruction.

They threaten to put her in prison and put her to death. "I am ready, put me in prison. Be sure it's solid. Soon I will escape."

Two others who were criminals were led along with him to be crucified.

Luke 23:32

The Judge of Instruction reminds her that her father had to spend time in prison (for allegedly stealing a piece of wood).

The wife of Pilate begs her husband to have nothing to do with this man.

The Sister Superior came and begged the authorities to release Bernadette.

Pilate said: "What wrong has he done? I find nothing in him deserving of death."

The authorities admitted: "What do we do? We have no grounds against her."

Fifth Sorrowful Mystery


The soldiers of the procurator "led him away to crucify him."

Matthew 27:31

From the path to the Grotto eight or ten soldiers walked in pairs in front of Bernadette. A crowd followed. (Gasnier.)

One of them gave the command to march. (Petitot.)

"Now there was following him a great crowd of the people."

Luke 23:27

All categories were present at the crucifixion of the Son of God.

In the crowd could be seen people of all ages and conditions: men, women, and children, laborers, peasants, rich men and soldiers. There was a large attendance, nearly two thousand five hundred on this Monday, March 1st.


Today Bernadette's father and mother also come to the Grotto.

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary Magdalene with the disciple whom he loved.

John 19:25-26

...Mary the mother of James the younger and Joses and Salome.

Mark 15:40

Next to Bernadette was her mother, her Godmother, her aunt, and Father Dezirat, a young priest just ordained.

"And they came to the place called Golgotha, that is, the Place of the Skull. And they gave him wine to drink mixed with gall; but when he had tasted it, he would not drink."

Matthew 27:33-34

Bernadette knelt, holding in one hand a lighted candle, in the other her rosary. Soon she entered into ecstasy. She tried to cross over to the Grotto on her knees and with clasped hands, but it was impossible because of the crowd. So a soldier spontaneously placed himself in front of Bernadette and walking backward ordered "Make room!" Bernadette walked on her knees, kissing the ground. Then she went to the spring, always preceded by the soldiers. She drank, and then returned to her place.


Bernadette knelt. O good! The Lady was there smiling at her! She took a rosary and started the sign of the cross with it. Bernadette seemed to be listening more attentively...she put her hand in her pocket and showed her own rosary to the Lady.

Jesus is stripped of his garments.

But the Lady asked: "Where is your rosary?" Bernadette showed her the rosary in her hand. The Lady continued: "You are mistaken, that rosary is not yours." Bernadette understood and later explained: "Pauline Sans had asked me to use her rosary when I saw the Lady...She told me: 'that is not your rosary.' Then I took out mine. The Lady smiled and said: 'Use that one.'"

When Bernadette lifted her rosary, her father said: "Quick lift up your rosaries." Many did so.

Bernadette's gesture showing her rosary to the Lady was not well interpreted. Many followed her example and presented their rosaries to heaven. Soon after, the anticlerical newspapers of Paris told how the "little comedian of Lourdes, the visionary who treats the crowd like a bunch of monkeys and has them perform all kinds of odd practices...for a bit of variety in the ceremonies...decided to usurp the priestly functions..." (L'Ami.)

"They crucified him,"

Mark 15:24

"and the criminals, one on his right hand and the other on his left."

Luke 23:33

In the eyes of some people Bernadette is between two criminals: her father allegedly accused of stealing a piece of wood and her mother accused by some of drinking.

The Son of Man must be lifted up so that all who believe may have eternal life in him.

John 3:14-15

When you lift up the Son of Man you will come to realize that I AM.

John 8:28

Bernadette was on her knees and, yet, she seemed to be lifted up and not touching the ground. (L'Ami.)

Also, in Lourdes the rosary was lifted up and still is all the time.

Think of the deep union between the Will of Jesus and that of the Father, the joy of accomplishing the Father's Will and the indescribable suffering of Jesus praying for the sins of the whole world since the beginning of time till the end of the world, the eyes of Jesus are on the Father and on the abyss of sin.

All this was seen in the face of Bernadette.

Here we have a unique opportunity to see the face and the soul of Bernadette and also the faces and souls of Jesus and Mary because of this wonderful description of Fr. Dezirat, the young priest who stood next to her like St. John. "Bernadette was kneeling, very straight, her head lifted up looking in the direction of the niche. Her whole body seemed drawn by the apparition. While saying the rosary Bernadette was moving her lips. It was clear by her attitude and the expression in her face that her soul was ravished. It was as if she wasn't even breathing, except for a few soft expressions of joy.

What deep peace! What suave serenity! What high contemplation! The smile is beyond all description. The best artist could never reproduce it, could never reproduce the charm, the grace. The gaze of the child towards the apparition was so delightful. Her smile was so beautiful, it would be impossible to imagine anything so pure, so sweet, so loving.

Jesus suffering for the pain in his mother. Mary suffering for the pain in her Son. The two are like one. The Redeemer and the Co-Redemptrix, both intimately united in the work of salvation.

We have all the reasons to believe, with St. Thomas, that on the cross, Christ was enduring excruciating suffering, at the same time he experienced divine happiness because He was doing the Will of the Father and saving the world.

What impressed me as much as the smile and the looks was the joy and the sadness that were depicted one after the other on the face of Bernadette. Celestial joy, vivid sadness like a two edged sword, deep as the abyss. However, it did not alter at all the peace in her face. When the phenomena succeeded one another, it was quite like lightening, but nothing abrupt, all was done with an admirable transition with nuances that I cannot describe. It was good to be there. I felt as if I were in the vestibule of heaven. What I saw is what I testify."

The joys were longer than the sadness alternating in less that a minute, but with the most perfect calm in the midst of the most profound sadness.

In the moments of joy, it was as if a brilliant ray was on her face. In the moments of sadness it was like a veil covered her face, as if her soul was deeply absorbed by indescribable pain. Her eyes were wide open, filled with love. Around I could hear people praying, crying.

Bernadette's face was the same color as her candle, like the face of an angel. No one could ever put her in that state. I was deeply moved to see her like that.

(Jean Domingieux.)

Jesus on the cross and Mary at the foot of the cross experienced similar pain and happiness.

Bernadette is reliving both the anguish and the happiness of Jesus and Mary.

The silence was stunning.

"Now there was standing by the cross of Jesus his mother...and the disciple...whom he loved."

John 19:25-26

"Pilate also wrote an inscription and had it put on the cross. And there was written, 'Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.' Many of the Jews therefore read this inscription...and it was written in Hebrew, in Greek and in Latin."

John 19:19-20

Near the child could be seen her mother and a young priest, Father Dezirat. (Gasnier.)

"And the soldiers also mocked him..."

Luke 23:36

The police report read in the Café de Lourdes ridiculed a sort of blessing of rosaries.

"And the passers-by were jeering at him..."

Mark 15:29

Miss Estrade said: "It is evident Bernadette is laughing at us."

"In like manner, the chief priests with the Scribes and the elders, mocking, said he saved others, himself he cannot save."

Matthew 27:41-42

When Bernadette arrived in Lourdes, she had to give all kinds of explanations...even Father Pène called her.


Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. But about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying,..."My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?"

Matthew 27:45-46

During the apparition there was a tremendous silence all around the Grotto which was broken only by deep sighs and moaning.


The Seven Last Words

1.Father forgive them, they don't know what they are doing.

Bernadette is accused of acting like a priest blessing rosaries.

Father forgive them...

2.Today you will be with me in Paradise.

Pauline Sans asked Bernadette to use her rosary at the Grotto.

3.Behold your mother, behold your son.

With the presentation of the rosaries, Mary accepts her children, they accept their mother.

4.My God, my God, why has Thou abandoned Me.

At one point, Bernadette was unable to go through. The soldiers leading the way had been cut-off by the crowd. Bernadette stopped, sat on her heels, looked right and left.

5.I thirst. They gave him gall.

John 19:28

The soldiers backing up to lead the way went to the spring where Bernadette drank - mud remained on her lips.

6.All is consummated.

Bernadette gave a final sigh of moaning and breath of joy.

7.Father into your hands I commend my spirit.

Bernadette looked at the Lady once more; thus ended the apparition.

The Centurion who stood guard over him, on seeing the manner of his death, declared, "clearly this man was the Son of God!"

Mark 15:39

Bernadette was awesome!

"One of the soldiers opened his side with a lance and immediately there came out blood and water."

John 19:34

Was Pilate afraid enough of the threats to write to the Emperor about the death of Jesus to explain his action?

The Imperial Procurator of Lourdes that night wrote to the General Procurator to explain the activities stating that nothing was yet against the law, but that he was ready to explore it if need be.


First Glorious Mystery


The evangelists have spoken a great deal of all Christ did on Easter, but hardly anything is to be found about the resurrection itself.

All the writers speak of what Bernadette did during the whole day of March 2, but very little is to be found about what happened during the apparition in the morning.

As the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the sepulcher.

Matthew 28:1

(Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James and Salome.)

Luke 24:10

That morning Bernadette was accompanied by her two aunts; they went to the Grotto. Bernadette was in ecstasy at the entrance of the Grotto.

An angel of the Lord came down from heaven...and he said to the women..."Jesus of Nazareth is not here; He is risen. Go quickly, tell his disciples that he has risen; and behold, he goes before you into Galilee; there you shall see him."

Matthew 28:2, 7

The Blessed Lady appeared to Bernadette and told her: "Go tell the priests to have a chapel built here and to come in procession."

And they departed quickly from the tomb in fear and joy, and ran to tell his disciples.

Matthew 28:8

And having returned from the tomb, they reported all these things to the eleven...But this tale seemed to them to be nonsense, and they did not believe the women."

Luke 24:10-11

Bernadette, having received a new message for the priests: to come in procession, did not for one moment shrug from this duty. Her aunts, sick with fear, decided to accompany her to the rectory. As soon as she was in the presence of the pastor, as in a single word, Bernadette said: "The Lady wants a procession to the Grotto." L'Abbe Peyramale (see crowning with thorns) seemed more rude than ever: "Liar, how do you want us to make a procession to this Lady?" (Petitot.)

"You didn't see anything. A lady does not come out of a hole." Bernadette was so taken off guard that she forgot half of the message.

The night of his resurrection, Jesus builds his church. "Receive the Holy Spirit...As the Father sent me, I send you."

Through the resurrection, all the channels of grace open up-Sacrifice of the Altar, forgiveness of sins, communion...We need a chapel, people need to come.

When it was late that same day...Jesus came...and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore rejoiced at the sight of the Lord...Now Thomas...was not with them. The other disciples therefore said to him, 'We have seen the Lord.' But he said to them, 'Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."

John 20:19, 24-25

Then the pastor said: "If the Lady is the one you lead us to believe, I will indicate to her a way to be recognized and give authority to her message. At the Grotto she stands over a rose bush. Well, tell her on my part, to make this rose bush blossom suddenly in front of the assembled crowd. The morning you come to tell me this wonder took place, I will believe in your word and I promise to accompany you to Massabielle."


Mary Magdalene twice went to see the apostles to tell them of the resurrection.

John 20:1, 18

Our Lord appeared twice to the apostles.

John 20: 19, 26

Bernadette knew she had not thoroughly accomplished her mission; that night she wanted to return to the rectory. The aunts refused to go. Dominiquette Casenave accompanied Bernadette on this second visit on the same day.

"Thomas 'Bring here thy finger, and see my hands, and bring here thy hand, and put it into my side; and be not unbelieving, but believing.' Thomas answered and said to him, 'My Lord and my God.' Jesus said to him, 'Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed. Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed.'"

John 20:27-29

"Reverend Pastor, the Lady dressed in white told me to ask the priests to have a chapel built at the Grotto." The Pastor softened. "When we know her name, we will build her a chapel, and it will not be a small one, no, but a good large one." (Petitot.)

Bernadette left the rectory and said, "I am very happy; I did my errand."

After the crucifixion, the disciples were at a loss to understand the events: "We thought that he was the one..." Then a cry of triumph: "He is risen"...but they refused to believe.

The crowd had real difficulty with the last apparitions, walking on her knees, drinking and washing in muddy water, eating grass. Suddenly, a triumphant message: "Go tell the priests to build a chapel and come in procession." Most, like the apostles, refused to believe. The Pastor needs a sign (that the rosebush bloom) in March.

The apostles stayed away. "The story seemed like nonsense and they refused to believe."

Luke 24:11

Only Peter and John went to the tomb.

John 20:3

The priests stayed away not to encourage Bernadette in case the whole story was false. Yet some believed.

Could this be the work of the devil? Bernadette is too humble. She does not lie. She keeps to her story even at the threat of prison and death...Would the devil ask for a chapel and procession?

Either we believe in the resurrection, or we don't. Jesus is the Son of God and our Savior, or he isn't. If he is, our lives must be influenced by him.

The whole question boiled down to this...Believe or don't believe in the message of Bernadette.

What is very striking in the mystery of the resurrection, both in Jerusalem and in Lourdes is the identity of the message in all its details:

The message is given to women

It is to be given for the priests

It was delivered in two separate times

the content is symbolically the same.

Today in Lourdes is celebrated the resurrection. It's time now, go tell the priests to build a chapel.

Second Glorious Mystery


But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he goes before you in Galilee; there you shall see him as he told you.

Mark 16:7

The Blessed Virgin had asked Bernadette to come to the Grotto for fifteen days.

Many people arrived the day before and spent the night at the Grotto.

After all the famous events of the condemnation and death of Christ, the apostles, knowing that Christ had risen, did all they could to see him.

Bernadette, after the ordeal of the preceding evening in her interview with the Pastor, was looking forward to the meeting with the Lady, to tell her her difficulties, doubts and to talk to her.


The Ascension, in fact, is the disappearance of Christ with a promise to return.


On the morning of Wednesday, March 3, Bernadette before 7:00 a.m. made her early morning pilgrimage to the Grotto, she kissed the ground, knelt in her usual place, took her rosary and recited her prayer. She waited quite a while. Not seeing the Lady over the wild rose bush, bowing her head, she thought an instant, then she kissed the ground again, made the sign of the cross, and with a heart filled with sadness, she got up and left. "The Lady didn't come today." (L'Ami.)

You are sad for a time, but I will see you again then your heart will rejoice.

John 16:32

Back home, leaning on her bed, her face in her hands, filled with sadness she said: "What have I done to her! Maybe she is upset (angry) with me!"

They therefore who had come together began to ask him saying, "Lord, wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom of Israel?" But he said to them, "the exact time is not yours to know, the Father has reserved that to himself."

Acts 1:6-7

For Bernadette, this was a real trial. She rejoiced so much in seeing the Lady...This very thought had been her strength...However, she did not complain, she had profited too well of the lessons of obedience and humility. She suffers, but at the thought of her worthlessness, she submits herself.

(L'Ami du Clergé 1908.)

The apostles had real reasons to fear having been the disciples of Jesus who was put to death.

Her mother, trembling added: "They will put us in prison."

Ascension is the disappearance of Christ, with the promise to return.

Around nine o'clock Bernadette felt a deep desire to return to the Grotto. The desire was so strong, nothing seemingly could stop it. After much hesitation her parents allowed her to go. So Bernadette returned to Massabielle by way of the Fort to avoid drawing attention.

Then he was seen by more than five hundred brethren at one time.

1 Corinthian 15:6

To her great surprise, three to four thousand people who were there in the morning were not discouraged and had kept waiting nearly three hours. No one could explain why they stayed. The "worthy" had stayed.

On this March 3rd it is not Bernadette who came at 9:00 a.m. Our Lady called her, came first and waited for Bernadette to arrive.

Bernadette immediately on seeing the Lady fell in ecstasy. The Lady told her: "You did not see me this morning because some people who wanted to see your face in my presence were not worthy. They had spent the night and dishonored the Grotto."

This is very interesting: they were not worthy to see the face of Bernadette reflecting the face of Jesus and Mary.

And while they were gazing up to heaven as he went, two men stood by them in white garments, and said to them, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up to heaven? This Jesus who has been taken from you into heaven, shall come in the same way as you have seen him going up to heaven." Then they returned to Jerusalem.

Acts 1:11, 12

As on the Ascension, Christ was taken away from the sight of the gazing apostles, so in Lourdes Our Lady does not appear to Bernadette. Whereas, in Jerusalem two angels had come to reassure the disciples, in Lourdes, the Virgin herself comes to reassure Bernadette.


The Apostles returned in great joy.

Bernadette left the Grotto very happy.

"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be my witnesses...even to the very ends of the earth." And when he had said this, he was lifted up before their eyes and a cloud took him out of their sight.

Acts 1:8-9

Bernadette visited the Pastor again. What do you want today. The Lady smiled when I told her you wanted a miracle. When I told her to make the rose bush bloom, she smiled again. But she does want a chapel. "Do you have money to build a chapel?" "No I don't." "Neither do I. Tell the Lady to give you some."

John who had taken Mary into his home accompanied her.

The Pastor was not so opposed this time. Bernadette asked her preferred cousin and Godfather Jean-Marie to accompany her the next day. He promised. But Mary encouraged her not to get too close to him because he would be taken soon. She is the one who stayed and followed Jesus.

Third Glorious Mystery


After the betrayal and death of Judas, Peter told the apostles another one "must become a witness with us of his resurrection." And they put forward two...and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

Acts 1:22-26

On March 3, Bernadette asked her cousin and Godfather Jean-Marie, her favorite, to accompany her on the next day to the Grotto.

Father Gasnier sees in this gesture the disciple John who became the protector of the Blessed Virgin, or maybe Matthias, the new apostle.


Both in Jerusalem and in Lourdes this is the day of the Holy Spirit.

Again the records of this day are unique; from her rising to the apparition, Bernadette said seven words that make us think of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.

1- The gift of Wisdom seeks to be in deep communication with God above all.

Jeanne-Marie Védère, Bernadette's cousin, wanted to be close to Bernadette to be close to Our Lady at the next apparition so she slept at the Soubirous' home. Bernadette reassured her: "Be in peace, you will be there close to me." Jeanne was in deep peace. Blessed are the peacemakers, the seventh beatitude is the fruit of Wisdom.

2- The gift of Knowledge helps us to see everything in God.

At 5:00 a.m. three doctors from Bordeaux came to question Bernadette with their human approach. Bernadette promptly excused herself to go to church. She had a superior knowledge.

3- The gift of Understanding gives us quick understanding of what to say or what to do. The Holy Spirit is the guide.

At the 6:30 Mass suddenly after Communion, Bernadette left. She had like a sudden illumination that is what she was to do. "I felt pushed interiorly to leave."

4- The gift of Fear of the Lord is the fear to lose or to be separated from God.

"We went down the road below the Fort; there was such a crowd I was really afraid to be separated from Bernadette so I told her." She assured Jeanne-Marie: "Relax, you will be close to me."

5- The gift of Piety is a gift that gives us great love for God Our Father and for all his children.

Bernadette was deeply recollected. A man came to her and said: My daughter is blind; she cannot find her way alone. Please pray for her. Bernadette answered: "You pray also and wash her eyes with the water at the Grotto."

6- The gift of Counsel helps us to understand what to do and what to avoid, what to say or not to say.

A woman, followed by a nana with a boy of 3 or 4 years old who could neither talk nor walk offered a candle to Bernadette and begged her to offer it for the healing of her son. Bernadette thought for a moment and said: "I will pray for your son, but you burn the candle yourself at the Grotto or the Church in honor of the Blessed Virgin."

7- The gift of Fortitude. The Holy Spirit gives us his strength and guides us. All difficulties disappear. We operate with his help.

Jeanne-Marie all of a sudden was cut by the crowd from following Bernadette. All of a sudden somebody called out: The Little One is asking for her cousin. At that moment the police commissioners and a gendarme each took me by the hand, brought me to Bernadette and asked if I was the one. She said "yes." Bernadette acted all day under the influence of the Holy Spirit.


The Middle Ages gave to the Pentecost the beautiful name of Easter of Roses. The crimson color of roses...brought to the mind of our fathers the flaming tongues that descended in the Cenacle on each of the disciples.

(Dom Guéranger.)

The pastor had said: "Tell the Lady to make the rose bush blossom!" That was the miracles of March 4: The Rosary of Our Lady bloomed at the Grotto.

(Rev. Fr. Cros.)

In Jerusalem, Pentecost was the harvest feast.

At Lourdes it was the annual market time when all the farmers came to sell the fruits of their harvest.

Now there were staying at Jerusalem devout Jews from every nation under heaven...Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya about Cyrene and visitors from Rome, Jews also and Proselytes, Cretans, and Arabs too."

Acts 2:5-11

Marvelous occasion to spread the good news.

The first pilgrims on this day were estimated at about twenty thousand. When the sun rose, it shed its light on the multitude of men of various costumes denoting their country of origin.


People came from Pau, Tarbes, Bagnère and D'Argeles, from Saint Pé, from Courreges, d'Omerx, they came from Ségus, Adé, Bartes, Ossen.


One could see women, men, young girls, mountaineers, gentlemen, ladies, soldiers, unbelievers, devout people, curious.

(L'Ami 1908.)

All these with one mind continued steadfastly in prayer with the women and Mary, the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

Acts 1:14

Christ had told them to wait for "you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit."

Bernadette was expected at the Grotto at 7:00 as on the preceding day, but she came only at 7:15.

And when the days of Pentecost were drawing to a close, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a violent wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

Acts 2:1-2

It was like the sound of a strong driving wind, as all the voices rose together: "There she is!" "There she is!" As thousands looked in her direction.

(L'Ami 1908.)

There was a real spirit of expectation. Most thought that it was the last visit, not realizing it was only the thirteenth.

Bernadette is escorted by seven: four uncles, two aunts and her father.


But when he, the Spirit of truth has come, he will teach you all the truth. For he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he will hear he will speak, and the things that are to come, he will declare to you.

John 16:13

"From these groups serried and sparse rises a powerful rumor, a calm murmur without any kind of menace."

It is a quarter past seven when the child kneels before the Grotto... the immense soft murmur of these recollected crowds suddenly ceases.


In the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, the Holy Spirit makes us understand the entire life of Christ.

Bernadette kneels at her usual place, lights her candle, and makes the sign of the cross. She prays up to the third ave of the second decade, when a marvelous change takes place. Her face and hands take the color of wax. Everybody whispers, "Now she sees her!" People kneel, uncovering their heads. Bernadette greets the Lady three times with a beautiful smile seen by many. Then she finishes her rosary interrupting the recitation only to smile from time to time and to greet in bowing her head. Three times she tries to bring the cross to her forehead for the sign of the cross but is unable to do so. She finally makes the sign only on the third attempt because the Lady at that time made the sign of the cross.

As she recites the joyful mysteries, such happiness fills her soul that it is communicated to all those around her.

Our Lady of the Rosary made her recite the sorrowful mysteries. During this time, according to Mr. Estrade, her face reflected the sentiments of the ladies at the foot of the cross. Her face became sad "because the Lady became sad and asked me to pray the rosary for sinners." After half an hour, at the end of the second rosary, Bernadette passed over a great rock as if not even seeing it, as Christ coming out of the tomb. Could it be that the first visit of Jesus after the resurrection was to his Mother?

The Lady came down from her niche, first during the mystery of the resurrection.

She went inside the Grotto looking through the opening as she was face to face with the Lady for two minutes, she smiled. For 3 minutes she looked very serious, then she began to smile again. Her lips were moving, but no sound was heard. This could have been an

instruction on the rosary - for herself or about her mission. She bowed three times and returned to her place.

Then she recited the glorious mysteries, during which she smiled and greeted our Lady as before, her face as one talking to heaven.

Jerusalem, the Holy Spirit came down upon the Apostles.

The Lady came down a second time from the niche during the mystery of the descent of the Holy Spirit. In Lourdes, the Lady comes down in the Grotto and speaks to Bernadette face to face.

Mary and Bernadette never spent so much time together, they were never so close, so intimate, you "could have touched her." Never so much variety and such harmony on her face. Like the total message of these mysteries revealed to her, relived by her. A love for the rosary was the special gift of this day. The rose bush did bloom - as a mystical rose, on this Easter of Roses.

It's clear Bernadette received a gift of tongues to speak to Mary. After the apparition, everyone hears how throughout all the time of the vision a dove stood over the head of the child.


The Holy Spirit will instruct you in everything and remind you of all that I told you.

John 14:26

It was the first time that Bernadette recited the complete rosary.


In the fifteen mysteries of the rosary the Holy Spirit makes us understand the entire life of Christ, a total teaching, and Mary showed Bernadette how to act it out.

- reliving the total teaching of all the mysteries under the guidance of the Holy Spirit who teaches all things.

Bernadette finished the third rosary smiling and greeting as before.

Then she went inside the Grotto again for another special colloquy with the Lady as the preceding one. Then she went down, made the sign of the cross, prayed a moment, extinguished her candle, left with two aunts and her father. She seemed in a hurry to leave the Grotto.

And the apostles mounted to the upper room where they were staying.

Acts 1:13

"and when the sound was heard, the multitude gathered."

Acts 2:6

Following the apparition, Bernadette went up to the second story of her home as Peter did on Pentecost. A window has been opened on the street, and, many times, Bernadette looks out of the window to satisfy the curiosity of those who called for her. This wasn't enough...

those closest to the house succeeded in going in...

they went in on one side and came out the other, after having touched the hand of Bernadette or having embraced her. This lasted a couple of hours.

Marshal D'Angla said that the word got around that all should go to the house of Bernadette. Those who were disappointed because they were not able to see at the Grotto, here were well rewarded. Two gendarmes were outside for order.

Hundreds came through the house hugging Bernadette.

And there appeared to them parted tongues as of fire, which settled upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in foreign tongues, even as the Holy Spirit prompted them to speak.

Acts 2:3-4

Many wanted to have their rosaries blessed. She took them by the bundle rolled then around and around with hers. "Keep them because they touched the rosary I used during the apparitions."

Peter said: "Listen to what I have to say. You must realize that these men are not drunk. It's only nine o'clock in the morning.

No, it is what Joel the prophet spoke about.

Bernadette could have said: I am not a liar, I am not stupid. Doctors examined me and said I am normal.

But Peter, standing with the Eleven, lifted up his voice and spoke to them: And it shall come to pass in the last days, says the Lord, that I will pour forth of my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions...

Acts 2:14-17

Bernadette later would insist: I really saw her. I saw her...

Jesus had said: "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes down on you, then you are to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, even to the ends of the earth."

Acts 2:8

The three doctors from Bordeaux came back at night and told Mr. Soubirous: If you want to keep your children, get out of there. This lodging is too humid, does not have enough air. Same word given to the apostles. Leave here - go.

The community of believers were of one heart and one mind. None of them ever claimed anything as his own; rather everything was held in common.

Acts 4:32-33

At night, a woman really wanted to give money to Bernadette, receive her rosary as a gift or buy it. Bernadette refused everything; she insisted to give some oranges. Bernadette agreed on condition that they eat together.

While they were with him, the apostles asked: "Lord are you going to restore the rule of Israel now?" The exact time is not yours to know, the Father has reserved that for himself.

Acts 1:6-7

On this Easter of Roses, the rosebush did not bloom but the Rosary of our Lady blossomed beautifully and forever. Lourdes since that day has been the land of the Rosary - a great prayer for all people with Mary in perfect openness to all the mysteries of Jesus and Mary taught by the Holy Spirit. Love of the rosary is the special gift of this day.

Fourth Glorious Mystery


Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one and come! For see, the winter is past, the rains are gone, the flowers appear...

Song of Songs 2:10-12

Spring is in the air. Life is bubbling everywhere.

After Pentecost, the Blessed Mother joined in all that was happening to the Christian Community. Her intimate life with Jesus made of her a source of inspiration, consolation and enlightenment.

After March 4th, all France seemed interested in the Grotto of Massabielle. Local and national newspapers as well publicized the event. Bernadette was sought regularly by visitors for more information or by curiosity.

Mother of the Church, it was a joy for Mary to see the daily progress of the Church notwithstanding the opposition and persecution.

Bernadette was always ready to speak of Our Lady and experienced great joy in the people who themselves were transforming the Grotto into a chapel. Representations of Jesus, pictures, banners, artificial and natural flowers, wreaths, medals, rosaries, even a basket for offerings, Bernadette was really hoping to see a chapel and people coming in procession.

Mary's thoughts, however, were on her Son. She missed him, so much wanted to be with him, her only Love.

Bernadette experienced sadness in her heart because she no longer saw the Lady. She wanted so much to see her.

In Lourdes the general opinion was that the apparitions were not over. Bernadette more than anyone hoped to see her again.

Jesus had gone to heaven over twenty years ago. That seemed incredibly long.

For twenty days now there had been no apparition.

Having mentioned that Mary was in the midst of the Apostles on Pentecost, the evangelists do not add a single word concerning the Blessed Virgin, neither about the rest of the her life on earth, nor of her death or "sleep", nor of her assumption or crowning in heaven.

After all the turmoil that followed the apparition of March 4th, everything seemed silent and for the atheists the supposedly miraculous events of the Grotto were finished once and for all.

On March 12th, Baron Massy could write: "To-day that is all out of the questions."


The young Bernadette is no longer seen at the Grotto...

On the Assumption, Pius XII wrote: "Testimonies, indications, numerous leads of this common faith of the Church have appeared throughout the centuries since the ancient times...all the arguments, and considerations of fathers and theologians based themselves on Sacred Scripture as their primary foundation."

(Bull: Munificentissimus Deus)

However, the Pastor of Lourdes and his assistants were, without any doubt, as of March 15th, favorable and nearly entirely won over to the cause of the Grotto.


A few days later the police commissioner wrote concerning the Grotto: "The details keep growing at the very moment we thought everything was ending...the visitors keep flowing in."


I can just imagine one day Jesus saying: "Mother get ready, I'm coming to get you soon..."

On March 24th in the evening, in the depth of her heart, Bernadette heard the invitation to come on the next day. Imagine her joy as she told her parents.

Mary was ready, watching, waiting. "My beloved, my beautiful one, come."

Song of Songs 2:10

She probably didn't sleep too soundly. The night was long...

At the first ray of dawn Bernadette got up, dressed quickly and was on her way to the Grotto, her mother holding her by the hand. Spring was in the air and in her heart.

O my dove in the clefts of the rock, in the secret recesses of the cliff; let me see you, let me hear your voice for your voice is sweet and you are lovely.

Song of Songs 2:14

When Bernadette arrived at the Grotto, the niche was illuminated, the Lady was waiting surrounded by singing angels.

In heaven, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, all the angels and saints are waiting for Mary.

On this day in Church was celebrated the feast of the Annunciation, the fact that Mary was to be the Mother of God is the real reason why she was immaculate in her conception and assumed into heaven. The Immaculate Conception calls for the assumption also. As Bernadette arrived at the Grotto she knelt, began her rosary and fell into ecstasy.

Ah you are beautiful, my beloved, ah you are beautiful; your eyes...your hair...your lips...your are all beautiful my beloved and there is no blemish in you.

Song of Songs 4:1-7

As always, Mary was so beautiful. The celestial beauty of her white dress and veil, her blue sash, her face, her eyes, the white rosary with the golden chain held gracefully around her fingers, the two golden roses on her feet. Everything was heavenly.

There is so little in Scripture about Mary, about her mission, she herself said only seven words, but "she pondered everything in her heart."

Luke 2:19

People were asking why has she been so silent. Most people are not aware of all that Mary said and did in Lourdes through all the acting out of the mysteries.

Why didn't she give her name?

No doubt her empty tomb on the day of her Assumption was a powerful Word.

Today is a very special event, because the Lady will disclose her identity.

The privilege of the Assumption is very closely linked to that of the Immaculate Conception. (Hervé.)

The dogma of the Immaculate Conception...gave serious hope of seeing proclaimed as soon as possible the dogma of the Assumption.

Pius XII:Bull

Both had been believed throughout the centuries.

Concerning this apparition in 1861, Bernadette writes in her own hand to Father Gondrand of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate: "The Lady lowered her arms, lifted her eyes to heaven, and told me that she was the Immaculate Conception." (Petitot.)

While praying, the thought of asking her name was so strong and so persistent I forgot all other desires. I was concerned because this request had been unanswered up to now, but something obliged me to ask. Then finally I could not hold myself and I said, "Please, tell me who you are." She bowed her head and smiled. I felt really courageous; I asked again and received the same reply. A third time, recognizing my unworthiness, I joined my hands and asked again. Then she looked serious and seemed to humiliate herself. She unclasped her hands, opened up and lowered her arms, then lifted them up toward heaven, rejoined them with fervor, and, with an indescribable gratitude, said,

"I am the Immaculate Conception."

Bernadette was never satisfied by any description she read or heard because the gestures of Mary really implied the whole mystery of the Immaculate Conception and of the Assumption, a complete victory over sin and death.

Bernadette felt that everyone passed too quickly over this apparition. The gestures and the words of Mary tell the story. The meaning is all there. The total purity of Mary is expressed in her lowering her hand to the earth; immaculate in her conception, free from all sin, after raising them up; therefore, she was raised to heaven.

Before she gave her name, the Lady came down nearly to Bernadette's level in the Grotto to signify that even if her body was assumed into heaven, her heart is close to us. Bernadette explained: she never came down so low. She wants us to know she is with us forever.

Also on the 25th of March at different times as she was speaking to Bernadette she glanced to the side at all the objects of devotion in the "new chapel." Bernadette explained later to Dominiquette Casenave that Mary looked especially at a statue of the Immaculate Conception.*

My lover has come...

Songs of Songs 6:2

Jesus came with the angels to carry Mary in heaven body and soul.

On this day the Lady told Bernadette to leave her candle burning at the Grotto. The candle always represents Christ; was this to indicate the eternal union of Jesus with Our Lady assumed into heaven?

The Assumption is a special privilege whereby the Blessed Virgin leaves the earth to go to heaven.

After the apparition of March 25th, all kinds of means are resorted to in order to put away Bernadette.

* Remember, the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was pronounced just 39 months before.

Fifth Glorious Mystery


I would like to present this in two parts: April 7th and July 16th.

Part 1: April 7th

"We proclaim, declare and define that it is a dogma divinely revealed that Mary, the Immaculate Mother of God, always Virgin, at the end of the course of her earthly life, was uplifted in soul and body to the celestial glory."

(Pius XII - Bull: Munificentissimus Deus)

We cannot believe that her body underwent decay.


On Wednesday, April 7th, Bernadette had been praying for three-quarters of an hour.

She lit her candle, started her rosary and fell into ecstasy.

She received the characteristics of a glorified body:

Impassability: inability to suffer, an incorruptible body can no longer suffer.

A young girl (who later became a nun), to play a trick thrust a long pin with a black head in Bernadette's shoulder. There was no reaction. Later Bernadette said she never felt a thing.

Clarity: divine splendor; a glorified body reflects the splendor of the divinity.

Witnesses noticed the rays of beauty on the forehead and face of Bernadette.

Subtlety: not affected by matter; can even co-penetrate.

"Miracle of the Candle." Dr. Dozous reported Bernadette was kneeling, praying with angelic fervor, reciting her rosary. Then she started towards the Grotto and stopped. Her right hand with the big candle moved under the left hand with the rosary. The fingers were a bit apart, enough for the flames to go in between and lick the fingers. There was a good wind that activated the flame. I did not allow anyone to touch her.

As I observed very carefully, I timed the phenomena. It lasted a quarter of an hour. Then Bernadette moved forward to the Grotto.

When she finished her prayers and the transformation on her face had disappeared, I called her over and examined her hand very carefully. There were no trace of burns whatsoever.

I asked the girl who now had the candle to relight it. I placed the flame under Bernadette's hand a number of times. She would pull back her hand, saying "You're hurting me."

"I saw this myself. Others witnessed it as well." Bernadette had been in ecstasy as is another world.

The body of Mary is clothed with light and immortality. Her soul is flooded with divine love, light and blessedness. Such is the intimate union of Mary with the Divinity.

The intensity of the vision was so deep that the bystanders said they never saw her so absorbed, so intense. Think of a person in the presence of God. The vision was accompanied with deep union and total gift of oneself.

The Divinity envelops Our Lady.

A candle represents the body of Christ, the flame, the divinity, like the flames enveloped the hand of Bernadette.

As mother, Mary is the dispensatrix of all graces. She handles all the graces in the name of God. All come through her.

Hurry my beloved, come.

This is the symbol of the divine graces, symbolized by the flames coming through the fingers of Bernadette.

Picture Jesus presenting his mother to the Father, rising from his throne to place on Mary's head a crown of royalty, of brilliant light, really indicating her unique place in heaven: no one ever was more united to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Clearly Bernadette stands out as a unique person. From her we all have something to learn.

Crowning is a sign of the beatitude and of the unique position of Mary in heaven above the angels and saints because she was brought in the order of the incarnation. Nothing is greater.

Then God's temple in heaven opened and in the temple could be seen the Ark of the Covenant.

Revelations 11:19

A great sign appeared in the sky: A woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

Revelations 12:1

Today, twelve hundred persons were at the Grotto. This is very surprising a regular Wednesday with no previous announcement. All was done in perfect order and dignity.

The twelve tribes of Israel and a multitude that no one can count.

Revelations 7:4-9

The crowning also means fullness, completeness.

Part 2: July 16th

It is very difficult to describe the crowning of the Blessed Virgin in heaven. The immense wall that separates heaven and earth reminds us of the barricades of Lourdes. John describes the crowning beautifully in Revelation 12:1.

The civil authorities decide to close the Grotto on June 8th. "A barricade of boards will be set up at the entrance of the Grotto to prevent all access, and a post will be planted with this inscription: 'It is prohibited to enter on this property.'" (L'Ami 1908.)

On Friday, July 16th, on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount the afternoon while Bernadette is praying in the parish church, she hears in the depths of her soul the well-known voice of Mary calling her to the Grotto...She rises immediately and runs to her aunt. It has been over three months since the last apparition. "Auntie, please be kind enough to accompany me to the rocks of Massabielle." (L'Ami.)

"...the august Mother of God, united from all eternity to Jesus Christ, in a mysterious manner, by a same and unique decree of predestination, immaculate in her conception, Virgin most pure in her divine maternity, generous associate of the divine Redeemer who gained a complete triumph over sin and all its consequences, has, at last, obtained as the supreme crowning of all her privileges to be kept intact from the corruption of the sepulcher, so that as her Son had already done before, after this victory over death, she was uplifted in her body and in her soul, to the supreme glory of heaven, where as Queen she would be all resplendent at the right of her Son, immortal King of the centuries."

(Pius XII:Bull

Munificentissimus Deus)

The entrance to the Grotto is closed, so Bernadette and the group that accompanied her stay on the right side of the River Gave. Having arrived in front of the Grotto, they all kneel. (L'Ami.)

All of a sudden her eyes are resplendent, her face brightens, beams, is illuminated by a supernatural light and she exclaims: "Yes, yes, there She is! She greets us, She smiles at us over the barricades." Then Bernadette is in ecstacy. However, it seems that the Blessed Virgin does not utter a single word. It is time to part and the Lady wants to make it as easy as possible for the child...

One word of adieu and the tears would stream down her face. Mary on the contrary wants to leave her a joyful souvenir. She smiles at her all the time and the eyes of the smiling Bernadette never tire looking at Her. Mary smiles again and disappears.

Queen of Angels

Queen of All Saints

Queen of the Holy Rosary

Queen of the Family

Queen of Peace

It is the last apparition at the Grotto. Bernadette will not see her again until at the very moment of her death, Mary will come to bring her to heaven so she too can be crowned with glory.

"And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon was under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars."

Revelations 12:1


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