|The Sacred Heart of Mary shrine with Lady of Lourdes|
The Sacred Tasks
Today Bernadette and her story is famous and she is
regaled for her vision, her faith, her commitment and the
wondrous gifts that she brought back to our world
from her meetings with Mary of Lourdes.
But this was not the case in her lifetime.
She was the only one who saw the visions
of the Radiant Lady.
No-one else believed her.
She was ridiculed and thought to be insane.
Her mother forbade her to go back to the
grotto after being told about the visions.
But Bernadette persisted.
and she obeyed the Radiant Lady and took her
messages back to the village and the local priest.
She was taken in for psychiatric evaluation;
she was arrested by the police
and she was vilified by the villagers.
|The Rose Queen shrine|
In many fairy tales and myths as well, the young
heroine has to overcome certain tasks until
the ultimate challenge has been completed.
The ultimate challenge for Bernadette was when
Magnificent Mary of Lourdes told her to dig
for water in a bone dry patch of land where
there had never been water before.
And Bernadette started to dig with her hands
and nothing appeared. The villagers
shook their heads at her and walked away.
But she persisted and kept on digging away
with her hands in the dirt.
'On Feb. 25 Bernadette began by praying, then she pushed aside the branches of the wild rose bush and went to kiss the ground under the rock again. She came down the slope and fell into ecstasy. She got up as if confused and started for the Gave. She stopped abruptly, looked behind her, as if hearing instructions from the rock, and made a sign of assent. This time she walked towards the grotto, not toward the Gave. She went a little way and looked around, confused. She raised her head as if to question the Lady; then she resolutely bent down and began to scratch at the earth. The little hollow she scratched out immediately filled with water. She waited a moment, then drank of it and washed her face with it. She took a blade of grass growing in the soil and put it into her mouth. When she returned to her place of prayer, her face was smeared with muddy water and a cry went up from the crowd: "Bernadette has lost her mind!"
Most of the crowd began to leave, disillusioned and sure the ecstasies were nothing but hallucinations. She herself remained in prayer almost another hour, serene and radiant as usual. Those who remained with her and who accompanied her afterward testified that she was as ordinary as ever and fully in control of her faculties. They asked her to explain her behavior. She said, "While I was in prayer, the Lady said to me in a friendly but serious voice, 'Go, drink and wash in the fountain.' As I did not know where this fountain was, and as I did not think the matter was important, I went towards the Gave. The Lady called me back and signed to me with her finger to go under the grotto to the left; I obeyed, but I did not see any water. Not knowing where to get it from, I scratched the earth and the water came. I let it get a little clear of the mud; then I drank and washed."
As in fairy tales Bernadette surrendered her
fear, her free will and herself to the visions
and the presence of the supernatural.
As the innocent heroine of the story
she acted in hope and belief in the
The appearance of the Lady in White at Lourdes
and the miracles that she brought to the world, has the ability to
transform your world.
Novena for day seven
Magnificent Mary may I remain open
to the impossible
May I remember not to ignore the very subtle
messages of Spirit;
and may I undertake each task as the sacred task that it is