There is no way to convey the chasmic depth of holiness that surrounds the body of the little visionary from Lourdes. There are parts of the Convent of St. Gildard where there is such stillness that it seems your soul is suspended in it. Time and words and regular communication are rendered unnecessary for God has found a way to express beauty and hope, the beauty and hope of Bernadette, in a way that we cannot understand but, like Lourdes, we can feel.
It is in the power of simplicity that Bernadette lies in her casket; the tiny body of the spiritual giant. Neat and unassuming, hands so meticulously and gently folded on her breast she sleeps on. She sleeps with the the prayer surrounding her even though she has gone beyond the confines of this world. One can still see her own prayers in the peace of her face and feel them in this place. And in the presence of one so humble one cannot help but feel truly humbled. I am privileged to be in this place, where she came to walk away from the world.
At the feet of the Dame de la Eau there is a sense of the kindness which the lady who looked upon the ecstatic little girl from the mountains possessed. One can imagine how Bernadette might have knelt before her remembering her 'poor grotto' and longing for it.
What joy to follow just a little in the footsteps Bernadette and even more of a joy to share it. Whenever I feel hopeless I consider this little girl from Lourdes and I am filled with the knowledge of hope. Bernadette spoke only in uncomplicated truths and because of this she still speaks to the world today.
Today Bernadette lies in the chapel of the Sisters of Charity, Nevers where she died 130 years ago. Her body is a testament to her timeless beauty. It is intact and almost as it was the day she died. I wanted to start my blog by telling you what I felt while staying at the Convent of St. Gildard which I visited this year as a pilgrim. The photo above is one I took as I knelt before her.