PENANCE! PENANCE! PENANCE!

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Tuesday, the 23d of February, the crowd came down as usual to the banks of the Gave. Bernadette appeared in due time, knelt down with a lighted taper in her hand, and began to say her beads. On this day Our Lady had two communications to make to her--one was a secret message concerning herself which she was told never to reveal, the other was a command which was to be obeyed in a way that even Bernadette never expected. "Go" said Our Lady, "to the priests, and tell them that it is my wish that they should build me a chapel here, and that they ought to come here in procession."

Who that gazes at the magnificent basilica that now adorns the rock of Massabielle, and watches the thousands of picas pilgrims streaming along the road to the Grotto in solemn procession, can fail to recognize the power of Mary's word? Her fiat, now as ever, echoes in Heaven and is obeyed on earth.

One of the following mornings witnessed a new feature in the apparitions. As Bernadette knelt in her ecstasy amid the assembled crowd, all at once she was seen to kiss the ground and then drag herself along on her knees towards the niche, touching the earth from time to time with her lips. She dragged herself up the steep ascent in front of the Grotto, entered it, and remained for a short time immovable, looking up in the direction of the niche. Then she turned to the crowd, drew herself up to her full height, and with wonderful authority and energy cried out:

"You, too, are to kiss the ground!"

Then she knelt down again, and herself set the example. What had Our Lady said to her? She had heard these words, "You will pray God for sinners; you will kiss the earth for the conversion of sinners,"

On several subsequent mornings the, same command was given to Bernadette. On these occasions she described Our Lady's countenance as veiled in an expression of infinite sadness, which, however, did not mar her look of perfect happiness and joy. Once the child kept murmuring, "Penance, penance, penance!" but in general she remained silent throughout her ecstasy.

IMPOSSIBLE MIRACULOUS CURES 

Thursday, the 25th of February, was one of the most notable days in the history of the Grotto. All of a sudden, in the midst of her ecstasy, she moved as if summoned somewhere, and rising turned her steps towards the corner of the Grotto. Our Lady had said to her: "Go and drink in the spring and tvash yourself there, and eat some of the little plant growing there."

The child had seen no spring, and thought it was meant that she should go to the Gave. But with her eyes and her outstretched arm Our Lady pointed to the corner of the Grotto. Bernadette accordingly began to move thither, while the crowd made way for her. A mass of sand and rock blocked up the entrance, and sloped upwards until the level within was six feet above the level of the earth without. She mounted the slope and looked for the spring. But spring there was none, not even a drop of water--only the moist ground with some herbs growing in it.

She looked up at Our Lady, and at a sign from her began to scrape with her fingers in the earth. As she scraped, the hole she made began to fill with muddy water. She looked up again at the vision, and then took some of the water in her hollow hand and tried to drink it. Three times her courage failed her, so dirty was the water; but after another look towards the niche she succeeded in overcoming her repugnance, and swallowed it. Then she stooped down again, and again filling her hand with the dirty water, which was now bubbling up in abundance, she dashed it over her face, and then rose up.

A movement of surprise ran through the crowd. "Look at her! how dirty she is making herself, poor child!"

Bernadette meantime picked some leaves of a sort of cress that was growing in the wet ground, and ate them.

"What is she doing? is she mad?" asked the spectators of each other as they watched her. No, not mad, but humbling herself before the world, doing what was repugnant to nature, and so earning blessings innumerable for all the sinners and sick who were to wash in that wondrous fountain. For this was the miraculous water of Lourdes, now famous throughout the Catholic world. God regarded the humility of His handmaiden, and the flowing water began to stream forth where that poor child's fingers had, in obedience to Our Lady's word, scraped away the earth and sand. Already it had overflowed the little basin she had made, and a little stream began gently to run down the slope from the summit of which it had bubbled up.

The next day the crowd came and Bernadette came, but Our Lady did not appear--a clear sign, if any were wanting, that hers was no imposture or effect of imagination.

During all the remainder of the fourteen days the vision appeared each day at the accustomed hour. Each day the crowd increased, and each day the little stream of water became larger than before. Was there a spring of water there before Bernadette's fingers had scraped at the soil? No one had ever suspected one. Even supposing there had been one (which was very unlikely) was it not a miracle that the poor, ignorant peasant girl should light upon it in so strange a way? Was it not also a miracle that a large, ever-increasing body of water should pour forth from so unexpected a place? People began to say, " There will be some extraordinary virtue in that water."

So thought a good stone-cutter of Lourdes, named Louis Barriette, the sight of one of whose eyes had been entirely destroyed by an explosion in a mine. One day he very sensibly said to himself: "If it is Our Lady who comes to the Grotto, I think she will cure me by means of that water that Bernadette discovered." So he sent his little daughter to get a jug of it, said some prayers, and bathed with the water the eye of which the sight was gone. All of a sudden lie utters a loud cry. He can see as well with this eye as with the one that had never been injured!

He goes out of his house and in the town meets the doctor of Lourdes. "Doctor," he cries, "I am cured!" 

"Impossible!" answered Dr. Dojous, "your eye has an organic injury which renders it incurable;" and with these words he takes out his pocket-book and writes down a sentence, which he holds before Barriette's damaged eye, carefully covering the other with his hand.

People began to gather round while the workman with his blind eye reads out loud these words: " Barriette has an incurable amaurosis. He will never recover his sight."

Dr. Dojous was simply stupefied. "Well, that is a real miracle. It upsets all my theories, and I can only confess the presence of a higher power."

Read more: http://cor-mariae.proboards.com/thread/675/favourite-saint#ixzz3ROxBiOSq
 — comAdonoghie Oguah.

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