Day 6 of Novena:
“The Name of the Rose”
On Feb. 25th, the Lady had told Bernadette to tell the priests that she wanted a chapel built there at Massabielle. The young girl went before the Cure of Lourdes, even though terrified of him, and told him the Lady's wishes. She did not pretend to know who the Lady was at this point. This is obvious from her own words:
"The Lady of the grotto has ordered me to tell the priest that she wishes to have a chapel at Massabielle and that is why I have come."
The Cure pretended to know nothing. "What is this Lady of whom you speak?" he asked.
"She is a very beautiful Lady who appeared to me on the Massabielle rock."
"Well, but who is this Lady? Is she from Lourdes? Do you know her?"
"She is not from Lourdes and I do not know her." (There were more questions of the same sort.)
Then he asked: "And have you never asked this Lady her name?"
"Yes, but when I ask her she bows her head slightly, smiles, and gives me no answer."
"Is she dumb, then?"
"No, because she talks to me every day. If she were dumb, she would not have been able to tell me to come to you."
She went on to tell him the whole story. Towards the end he said:
"You imagine that a woman who has no name and comes from nowhere, who takes up her abode in a rock and has bare feet deserves to be taken seriously?... Tell the Lady who has sent you that the Cure of Lourdes is not in the habit of dealing with people whom he does not know; say that before everything else he demands to know her name, and that moreover she must prove that this name belongs to her. If this Lady has the right to a chapel, she will understand the meaning of my words; if she does not understand, tell her that she need not trouble to send me any more messages."
He watched till she was out the gate and admitted later that he could not refrain from saying to himself, "This child is most certainly a child of divine providence."
When Bernadette returned to the grotto the Lady told her to go again to the Cure and tell him she wished a chapel to be built and wished for people to come there in procession. She was terrified to go back to him and cajoled her aunt into going along. This time the Cure was more harsh. He said if the Lady wanted to prove she was worthy of all she asked, let her cause the wild rose bush to suddenly burst into bloom. He said that when he heard that this had happened he would come to Massabielle himself and believe her word. (This never happened.)
Tomorrow we will learn the Name of the “Beautiful Woman” as she herself gave it to Bernadette.
Hettienne and Mary
Hettienne and Mary