News & Views February 2021

On February 11th, 1858, Bernadette Soubirous, her sister Toinette, and a friend of theirs, Jeanne, went looking for wood on the meadows that led towards “the place where the canal rejoins the River Gave”.  This was an area where driftwood sometimes washed up and they could get firewood.

Toinette and Jeanne crossed the icy water crying out with the cold, Bernadette hesitated to do this because of her chronic asthma. She remained behind near the Grotto….a dirty, hidden, damp and cold place. It was called the “pigs’ shelter” because that was where the pigs feeding in the area usually took shelter from the cold.  Bernadette suddenly heard “a noise like a gust of wind”, but “none of the trees were moving”.  Raising her head, she saw, in a hollow of the rock a small young lady, who looked at her and who smiled.  This was the first apparition….but the lady did not speak or identify herself.

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