07 The Magic of Lourdes - Bishop Bosco Penha

posted Feb 6, 2019, 7:19 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 6, 2019, 7:20 AM ]
Our Lady appeared to Bernadette for the first time on February 11, 1858, and since then, the world has never been the same. At the third apparition, she requested Bernadette to come and meet her daily for 15 days, and Bernadette agreed. Some days later, Our Lady asked Bernadette to tell the priests to build a chapel at the spot where she appeared, and to let processions come there. Bernadette was troubled at this assignment, as she had a great fear and dread of the Vicar, Dean Peyramale. Nevertheless, in obedience to "the Lady" (whose name she did not know), she went to meet Vicar Peyramale to give him the message.

Her worst fears were realised, as Dean Peyramale was harsh and hostile. He was very sceptical about the visions that Bernadette was having. On receiving the message about the chapel, he was even angrier, and asked Bernadette to tell the lady to furnish the means for the chapel herself. She was also to tell the lady that he did not accept commissions from unknown ladies, and would she please leave him alone! He then threatened to sweep Bernadette out of his room. Poor Bernadette almost ran out of the room in terror, but hardly had she left the Dean's presence, when she realised she had forgotten the part of the message concerning processions. Despite her immense fear, Bernadette plucked up the courage to go back to Dean Peyramale to deliver the second part of the message. The request for processions infuriated Dean Peyramale even further.

This time, he told Bernadette she should ask for a miracle. He even suggested the miracle. At the foot of the grotto where the lady appeared was a wild rose bush. Bernadette was to request the lady to let the wild rose bush bloom. Since it was still winter, such an occurrence would be unlikely enough to be considered a miracle. At the next apparition, Bernadette dutifully repeated all the Dean's messages to the lady. On that day, after a short while, the Lady withdrew.

Go – drink and wash yourself

On the next day, February 25, there was a huge crowd at the grotto, expecting the miracle of the flowering rose bush in response to the Dean's request. The lady paid no attention to the rose bush, but on that day, in the course of her interaction with Bernadette, she said, "Go to the spring yonder, and drink and wash yourself." Bernadette looked around, but could see no spring, so she thought that the lady meant the River Gave that flowed nearby. She started to move in the direction of the river, but the lady's voice called her back. "Not to the Gave, please." When the lady noticed Bernadette's confusion, she added, "Go eat of the plants you will find yonder." Some distance away, she saw a place where a handful of grass grew. She fulfilled the second part of the command by pulling out a few blades of grass and swallowing them.