'If only you knew the beautiful things I had seen there' Saint Bernadette
Wednesday, 28 January 2009
On this day in 1858 Bernadette returned to Lourdes from Bartres where she had been living with her Aunt and watching the sheep. Her asthma had been particularly bad in the winter of 1857 so her mother had sent her up to Bartres where she would be better fed and looked after. At this time the six Soubirous' were living in one room (formerly used to detain prisoners) having lost their Mill (the Boly Mill) due to the increasing pressures of the Industrial Revolution which made it impossible for small mills to survive. However, the priest who had been instructing Bernadette to take her First Holy Communion had been given permission to enter a monastery and was leaving Bartres. For homesick Bernadette this was the last straw - it had been the one thing keeping her there-she went home to Lourdes where she would be able to continue instruction and be with her family. Before she left the priest who had been instructing her marvelled:
"Bernadette, you know nothing but you understand everything!"
In fourteen days the Virgin Mary would appear to her in the grotto where she was collecting firewood.