Sunday, 21 December 2008

From Lourdes to Nevers

A Trip to Nevers

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.


Journey of Truth (Sarah) said...

What a lovely picture of Bernadette. You are blessed to have been able to spend time there.

Ponte Sisto said...

Back in the early 'nineties, I had the pleasure of working for a pilgrimage company with the opportunity to visit Nevers many times. For me, Nevers is where the mystery and beauty of our Lady of Lourdes' message may be found - in Bernadette. Like her Holy Mother before, she pondered many things and treasured them in her heart. We should follow her lead.

I hope that 2009 will bring many blessings (especially the avoidance of Celebrity Big Brother!).

SQUELLY said...

Thank you both for your lovely comments - Happy New Year!

Ha Ha! I will be avoiding Big Brother if possible. I feel so lucky to have got to Nevers and really enjoyed my time there. Dear Bernadette- such an example to us all.

Aussie Therese said...

oh I would so love to go to Nevers and Lourdes. Thanks for sharing the video and picture.

SQUELLY said...

They are both very different places and very powerful. I hope you will get the chance to go. Of course you can always go to them both in prayer and that is what matters. I am so happy to be able to share pictures with everyone - thank you so much for taking the time to take a look at them!

Purpleflowerpatch said...

My 14yodd took St Bernadette's name when she was received into the Church in 2006...she has a dream to visit Lourdes, as well as to visit St Bernadette's casket. I cannot even begin to imagine how you felt...I have goosebumps just looking at the photo you took. You were so very blessed.

SQUELLY said...

What a wondeful choice of confirmation name! she is such abeautiful saint. I will pray very hard that she gets to go- when asked to pray for people Bernadette said "I will forget nobody" and I am sure this is especially true of someone who took her name. I feel very blessed indeed to have gone and all your wonderful comments make me feel even more so. Thank you so much for sharing this experience with me. I have a slightly longer and clearer video which I will also try to upload so check back soon!

Sarah (JOT) said...

Awesome. My mum's always had a liking for St. Bernadette - even before we were Catholic, I remember her always talking about Bernadette and Lourdes . . . God was calling us to His True Church since my early childhood - isn't that great? It is because of my mother's love for Saints like Bernadette that created a desire to be a part of this Church.

Lisa said...

=sigh= How I would love to go, too! She is a miracle in every way. St. Bernadette, pray for us!

SQUELLY said...

Sarah- that is so amazing! Little Bernadette is an incredible advocate because she never pushes anyone- she is just truth - I am so glad that she played a little part in you becoming a Catholic. What an amazing thing- it is so great!

Lisa- she is fantastic and a real miracle- I am blessed by my proximity and the pocket sized nature of Europe :-) but I hope these videos are the next best thing

Bella Vita said...

Squelly, Thank you so very much for sharing the videos with remarkable and miraculous is her preservation.

Roz (aka Bella)

SQUELLY said...

It is a pleasure! Thank you for sharing them with me - I was lucky to go there and I am so glad to be able to share the beauty I saw. God Bless



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