Saint Bernadette of Lourdes
Saint Marie-Bernarde Soubirous
“All I fear in life is Bad Catholics”
In the autumn of 1870, in the convent of Nevers, the Sisters were marvelling at a sky which “looked like a sea of blood”, when Bernadette was heard to murmur: “And they are still unconverted!” She regarded the Prussians as merely “doing their job” as the instrument of punishment of France's sins; and when the Chevalier Gougenot des Mousseaux, concerned with «realism» came on a visit to her to enquire: “Have you had, either in the Grotto at Lourdes, or since, any revelations concerning the future and the destiny of France?” Bernadette answered plainly: “No, sir”.
“The Prussians are at the gates. Doesn't that make you afraid?”
“So you think there is nothing to fear?”
“Nothing else? You fear nothing else?”
Bernadette's mission was entirely spiritual, though Sister Catherine Laboure, who was still alive, could have reminded the Chevalier of a prophecy which, forty years earlier, Our Lady had made to her, in the first of the apparitions connected with the Miraculous Medal: “The Archibishop will die and the streets of Paris will run with blood”. With the rising of the Commune in the May of 1871, this was fulfilled. Among the atrocities perpetrated by the temporarily victorious Commune diring the «Bloody Week» was the massacre of many priests, including the Archibishop of Paris.
Hugh Ross Williamson
The Challenge of Bernadette