Sunday, February 1, 2015

Art Novena for Our Lady of Lourdes - Day One


Art Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes

Nine days of illuminating writing and art.
A novena is a prayer repeated for nine consecutive days.
 This is the second Art Novena
to Our Lady of Lourdes that I am hosting on Cloister of the Heart.
 In this context we are focusing and contemplating
through art, words, poetry and prose on the story of the Lady of Lourdes
and its meaning for the emerging changes in ourselves
and the way that we are experiencing and approaching life on Earth.

This year the Art Novena is a joint venture between myself
and Mary Beben of  Biodynamic Spirituality

We invite you to visit for the nine days and to join in
in any way that you would like - through sharing these thoughts
with others or in your own contemplation or maybe you
would like to put something up on your own blog.
  I have added Mr Linky below for those who would like to link up.

We will be spending time in meditation and contemplation
to receive any messages or revelations from Our Lady
which we will share with you.

You may find that your participation in the novena
in your own time and space will bring you insight
and inspiration.

The Apparition of Our Lady of Lourdes

Day One of Novena: The Background Story

0 Innocence, St Bernadette
Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

Here is the story of that event, taken from a book first published in June, 1912,
 called The Apparitions of Lourdes, written by an eyewitness, Dr. J.B. Estrade,
 translated from the French by J.H. Le Breton Girolestone, M.A. Oxon.
 I believe the copy I own was published in 1958 at Lourdes.
 No further information is available about the publisher.
 The following is not a direct quote, except where noted, 
but the information is distilled factually from the book:

On February 11, 1858 Bernadette Soubirous had gone with her sister
 and a friend to pick up dry branches by the River Gave. This is how the poor obtained wood for their fires. They searched as they went, going downstream to a mill where there was a canal. The current was not strong there, but the water was very cold and the weather was very bad. The other girls took off their shoes and crossed the canal, but Bernadette was afraid. She feared an asthma attack, so she lagged behind. The other girls disappeared along the river bed and Bernadette finally decided to risk it and catch up with them. 

As she started to remove her stockings, she heard a noise like the sound of a storm. She looked to the right and left, under the trees, but saw nothing. Then it came again and she became very afraid. These are her own words: "I lost all power of speech and thought. Turning my head toward the grotto I saw at one of the openings of the rock, a bush – one only – moving as if it were very windy. Almost at the same time there came out of the interior of the grotto a golden‑colored cloud, and soon after, a Lady, young and beautiful, exceedingly beautiful, the like of whom I had never seen came and placed herself at the entrance of the opening above the bush." 

Bernadette went on to say how she began to pray the rosary, without knowing she was doing it, while the Lady continued to smile and hold a rosary of her own, which she herself did not pray, except to repeat the "Gloria" at the end. When the rosary was finished, the Lady simply returned to the interior of the rock and disappeared. The Lady was dressed in white with blue, the beads of the rosary were white on a golden chain and on each of her feet was a golden rose. The bush over which she posi­tioned herself was a wild rose bush. 

As we continue with the remaining days of our novena, we will tell more of the story, as it happened. But for now, let’s look at one detail of this appearance. As soon as we realize that she stands over the wild rose bush and comes wearing golden roses on her bare feet, it tells us that she is deeply identified with roses. The rose in the western mind, like the lotus in the eastern world, seems to be the most easily recognizable symbol for the flowering of consciousness or the unique divine spark. It is also the symbol of the heart, through which the feminine wisdom is returning to our world.

From the very first days, miraculous cures have been granted at Lourdes to many who drank or bathed in the spring that Bernadette discovered at the Lady’s prompting. The Catholic Church is extremely slow and meticulous about acknowledging the validity of a cure and so most of the cures claimed there are never officially recognized. Even so, there are dozens of totally recognized cures that have happened at Lourdes that have been documented by the Church and the medical profession. The first healings happened almost immediately in 1858 and continue until the present day. As we shall see, this healing is brought to us on many, many levels.

Hettienne and Mary

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