Tuesday, 7 April 2009

17th Apparition - 'the miracle of the candle'

The 17th apparition is often described as 'the miracle of the candle' which is best recounted by Dr.  Dozous, the town physician who had known Bernadette for most of her life. He was initially unsure about events surrounding the apparitions but as time went by he observed Bernadette's ecstasies,  as well as the inexplicable healing of many of his own patients. This skeptic, rationalist was increasingly convinced that the little asthmatic Soubirous girl was experiencing something beyond the realms of rationalist understanding and science. Dozous wrote of April 7th 1858:

"Bernadette seemed to be even more absorbed than usual in the Appearance upon which her gaze was riveted. I witnessed, as did also every one else there present, the fact which I am about to narrate. (...) The child was just beginning to make the usual ascent on her knees when suddenly she stopped and, her right hand joining her left, the flame of the big candle passed between the fingers of the latter. Though fanned by a fairly strong breeze, the flame produced no effect upon the skin which it was touching. (...) I then asked the person who was holding the candle to light it again and give it to me. I put it several times in succession under Bernadette's left hand but she drew it away quickly, saying 'You are burning me!'. I record this fact just as I have seen it without attempting to explain it. Many persons who were present at the time can confirm what I have said."

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