Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Dr. Catherine Hamlin

At 90, This Doctor Is Still Calling

Dr. Catherine Hamlin set up a hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, years ago to repair fistula injuries in women. Dr. Hamlin, seated center, was given a party for her 90th birthday last month and was honored by colleagues and former patients. Credit Joni Kabana
We in journalism tend to cover airplane crashes, corrupt officials and loathsome criminals with gusto, but let’s take a break and applaud a hero.
Catherine Hamlin, an Australian gynecologist who has spent most of her life in Ethiopia, is a 21st-century Mother Teresa. She has revolutionized care of a childbirth injury called obstetric fistula, which occurs when the baby gets stuck in the birth canal and there is no doctor to perform a cesarean section. As many as two million women(and often young teenage girls) worldwide suffer from fistulas. The babies die, and the woman is left incontinent with urine and sometimes feces trickling through her vagina.
She is stigmatized. She smells. She is ashamed.
Dr. Hamlin and her late husband, Reg, set up a fistula hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and their work proves that it is possible to repair the injuries cheaply. This hospital trained generations of doctors to repair fistulas and provided a model that has been replicated in other countries.
At a 90th birthday party for Dr. Hamlin in January, former patients cheered as she blew out 90 candles on a cake. Her son, Richard, referring to the patients she has helped, declared: “Catherine has one son and 35,000 daughters.”
Dr. Hamlin gave the crowd a pep talk about the need for a big push to improve the world’s maternal care. “We have to eradicate Ethiopia of this awful thing that’s happening to women: suffering, untold suffering, in the countryside,” she said. “I leave this with you to do in the future, to carry on.”
Ethiopia this month nominated Dr. Hamlin for the Nobel Peace Prize, and she deserves it. I hope she gets it along with other extraordinary leaders in women’s health such asDr. Denis Mukwege of CongoDr. Hawa Abdi of Somalia, and Edna Adan of Somaliland.
One of the most striking features of Dr. Hamlin’s work is the way she empowers recovering fistula patients to help in the treatment of others.
Mahabouba Muhammad was sold at age 13 to be the second wife of a 60-year-old man. She became pregnant, delivered by herself in the bush and suffered a severe fistula. Villagers, believing Mahabouba to be cursed, left her for the hyenas. But she fought off the hyenas and — because nerve damage from labor had left her unable to walk — crawled for miles to get help. At Dr. Hamlin’s hospital, she underwent surgery and now is a nurse’s aide at the hospital.
Another former fistula patient is Mamitu Gashe, who helped doctors during her recovery and was soon recognized as a first-rate talent. Mamitu was illiterate but learned to perform complex fistula repairs and, because the hospital does so many, has become one of the world’s experts in fistula surgery.
When distinguished professors of obstetrics from around the world come to this hospital for training in fistula repair, their teacher has often been Mamitu.
Dr. Hamlin has had difficult moments, including upheavals in her hospital organization, but through it all has relentlessly focused on helping rural women. She also trains professional midwives and posts them in underserved areas — because 85 percent of births in Ethiopia take place without a doctor or nurse present.
Lack of medical care makes reproductive health in poor countries a human rights catastrophe. One fistula sufferer told me how her husband abandoned her and her parents built a separate hut for her at the edge of the village so that no one would be bothered by her smell. She barely ate or drank because everything she consumed would soon be trickling down her legs. She fell into deep depression.
“I just curled up for two years,” she said. Finally, her parents heard about Dr. Hamlin’s hospital and she was repaired.
The cost of a fistula surgery? About $500 to $1,000.
Dr. Hamlin’s hospital is supported in the United States by Hamlin Fistula USA, whilethe Fistula Foundation supports fistula repairs worldwide.
In much of the world, the most dangerous thing a woman can do is become pregnant, and 800 die daily in childbirth. Many more suffer injuries. Liberals and conservatives joust over abortion policies, but the basic task of making childbirth safer never gets adequate attention or resources. Bravo to Representative Rosa DeLauro, a Democrat from Connecticut, for preparing legislation that would support global efforts to prevent and repair fistulas.
It was Dr. Hamlin who first put the issue on the global agenda, and she’s not stopping. “We’re trying to prevent these injuries and wake up the world,” Dr. Hamlin told me this week.
So for just a moment let’s take a break from covering villains and join in celebrating a doctor who has saved the lives of vast numbers of women — and now counts some of them as colleagues.

Gossip Is Poisonous

Pope Francis: Gossip Is Poisonous (2717)

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis’ Sunday Angelus message emphasized the importance of avoiding all forms of slander in living a Christian life.
“It’s so rotten, gossip. At the beginning, it seems to be something enjoyable and fun, like a piece of candy.  But at the end, it fills the heart with bitterness and also poisons us,” Pope Francis said Feb. 16.
“I tell you the truth,” he preached to the crowds filling St. Peter’s Square. “I am convinced that if each one of us would purposely avoid gossip, at the end, we would become a saint! It’s a beautiful path!”
“Do we want to become saints? Yes or no?” he queried, as the crowds replied, “Yes!”
“Yes? Do we want to live attached to gossip as a habit?” Pope Francis continued, “Yes or no? No? Okay, so we are in agreement! No gossip!”
The Gospel reading at Sunday’s Mass contained the story of Jesus explaining to the disciples that he had come “not to abolish, but to fulfill, the Law” of the old covenant.
Jesus offers the example of the Fifth Commandmen, “Do not kill,” and goes on to add, “but I say to you: Whoever is angry with his brother will be guilty before the court.”
“With this, Jesus reminds us that even words can kill,” explained the Pope. “When it is said that someone has the ‘tongue of a serpent,’ what does it mean? That his words kill.”
“Therefore, not only must one not make an attempt on the life of others, but one must not even pour on him the poison of anger and hit him with slander, nor speak ill of him. And here we arrive at gossip. Gossip can also kill, because it kills the reputation of the person,” stressed the Holy Father.
Jesus proposes another way to his followers, “the perfection of love: a love in which the only measure is not to measure, but to go beyond all calculating.”
This Christian path of loving one’s neighbor is “so fundamental that Jesus comes to say that our relationship with God can not be honest if we do not want to make peace with our neighbor.”
“We are called to reconcile with our brothers prior to showing our devotion to the Lord in prayer,” said Pope Francis, noting Jesus’ words to his disciples, “If you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first, be reconciled to your brother.”
The Pope then summarized, “From all of this, one understands that Jesus does not give importance simply to disciplinary observance and exterior conduct. He goes to the root of the Law, focusing above all on the intention and then on the human heart, from where our good or bad actions originate.
“Good and honest behavior,” he said, does not come merely from “juridical norms,” but, rather, requires “profound motivation, expressions of a hidden wisdom, the wisdom of God, which can be received by the grace of the Holy Spirit.”
It is the Holy Spirit who “renders us capable of living Divine love” and following “the greatest commandment: Love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself.”
Pope Francis then led the crowds in the Angelus prayer and greeted the various pilgrim groups present before wishing everyone a “good Sunday and a good lunch.”

The 'Right' to Happiness

The 'Right' to Happiness


We do not have a right to be happy.  The assumption that we do lies behind the utopian turmoil of our times.

An amusing citation from Margaret Thatcher reads: "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."  The socialists, however, were not the only ones who would run out of other people's money.  Democracies are quite capable of duplicating this feat.
The question is this:  What entitles us to acquire other people's money in the first place?  Do other people have any money that is not ours if we "need" it?  Taxation, with or without representation, is about this issue.  Who decides what we need?  Who gets what is taken from us?  On what grounds do they deserve it?
C. S. Lewis said that no one has a right to happiness.  Our Declaration only says that we have a right to pursue it.  Whether we attain it is not something that falls under the perplexing language of "rights."  If someone else guarantees my right to be happy, what am I?  Surely not a human being, whose happiness, as Aristotle said, includes his own activity, not someone else's.
In a world of rights, no one can give anything to anybody else.  Everything is owed to me if I do not already have it.  If I am not happy, I am a victim of someone else's negligence.  A "rights society" is litigious.  If I am unhappy, it has nothing to do with me; my unhappiness is caused by someone else who has violated my rights.
Unhappy people witness the violation of their rights by someone else; their unhappiness does not involve them.  Their mode is not, "What can I do for others?" but, "What must they do for me to make me happy?"
In his Ethics, Aristotle remarked that, if happiness were a gift of the gods, surely they would give it to us.  No Christian can read such a line without pause.  Is not the whole essence of our faith that we have no "right" either to existence itself or to a happy existence?  Some things must first be given to us, no doubt — including our very selves, which we do not cause.
Indeed, the whole essence of revelation is that we do not have a right to the eternal life that God has promised to us.  We cannot achieve it by ourselves, because it is not a product of our own making or thinking.  God does not violate our "rights" by not giving us either existence or happiness; creation is not an act of justice.
The doctrine of grace opposes the notion that we have a right to happiness.  It is not even something that we deserve or can work for.  At first sight, this primacy of gift and grace seems to lessen our dignity, which surely ought to include some input on our part.
Christianity says that indeed this "givenness" is the case.  We are given what we have no right to receive.  This givenness should make us like the Giver, should incite us to something more than our own "rights."  Happiness evidently lies beyond rights.  We can only speak of a "right" to happiness with many distinctions.
What was the point of Margaret Thatcher's quip about running out of someone else's money?  Some do demand someone else's money.  From whence does this demand arise?  From those who claim that they have a right to happiness.  If they do not have what others have, it is a sign, not of one's own failure to embrace the habits and ways to produce what is needed, but of someone unjustly having what I think I need.  Thus, I do not have to earn what I need.  The mere fact that I do not have it is enough to suggest that someone else is preventing me from enjoying my "right" to be happy.
Much of the world is filled with what I call "gapism."  The so-called gap between the rich and poor, the haves and the have-nots, is a sign, not of the natural order in which some know more and work more, but of a dire conspiracy to deprive me of what is my right.  So the purpose of "rights" is to correct the world's "wrongs."  A divine mission flashes in the eyes of those who would presume to make us happy by giving us our "rights."  People lacking the "right" justify the takers.
So we do not have a right to be happy.  The assumption that we do lies behind the utopian turmoil of our times.  The attempt to guarantee our right to be happy invariably leads to economic bankruptcy and societal coercion.  By misunderstanding happiness and its gift-response condition, we impose on the political order a mission it cannot fulfill.  We undermine that limited temporal happiness we might achieve if we are virtuous, prudent, and sensible in this finite world.

Father James V. Schall, S.J. "The 'Right' to Happiness." Crisis (February 3, 2009).
Reprinted with permission of Crisis Magazine.
Crisis Magazine is an educational apostolate that uses media and technology to bring the genius of Catholicism to business, politics, culture, and family life. Our approach is oriented toward the practical solutions our faith offers — in other words, actionableCatholicism.
Copyright © 2009 Crisis Magazine

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Satan Has Many Disguises

Satan Has Many Disguises

share  Satan Has Many Disguises---By: Msgr. Charles Pope.
It would be easy if Satan came as he is often portrayed, with horns and a pitchfork. We would naturally flee this ugliness.
Alas, he often comes cloaked in beauty, in sheep’s clothing. He claims to offer us freedom and autonomy from an unreasonable God and Church, liberation from rules and being “told what to do.” He cloaks himself in the false righteousness of being “tolerant” and “not judging others.” He exalts us by telling us we have finally come of age and can disregard the “hang-ups” and “repression” our ancestors had of sex and pleasure. He flatters us by extolling our scientific knowledge and inflates us by equating it with wisdom and moral superiority over our “primitive” fore-bearers. He reassures us by insisting we are merely the victims here, victims of biological urges, bad parenting, economic injustice, that we are not depraved, just deprived. He humors us by making us laugh at sin, making light of it in comedian’s routines, sitcoms, music and otherwise turning sin into a form of entertainment. He anesthetizes the pain of guilt and sin by sending us teachers who tickle our ears and assure us that what we know deep down to be wrong is actually fine, even virtuous. He affirms us by insisting that whenever shortcomings in us have been called to our attention it is simply unfair since other people are surely worse, that self esteem is something owed to us and others who lessen it are unkind. He sings us the lullaby of presumption assuring us that consequences and judgment will not be our lot and with this lullaby we drift off into a moral sleep of indifference and false confidence.
But in the end, there is a wolf under the sheepskin. Satan is ugly. He enslaves, condemns, ridicules and ensnares. His “reassurances” bring pain and grief as the awful effects of sin unwind: hatred, fear, resentments, revenge, suffering, disease, addiction, bondage, strife, divorce, estrangement, war, insurrection, disloyalty, scorn, bitterness, depression, anxiety, depletion, poverty, loss and deep, deep sorrow. 

Beware, Satan has many disguises and he seldom presents as he really is. The movie The Passion of the Christ brilliantly presented Satan in the Garden. At first there was almost a strange beauty. But a closer look revealed increasingly hideous details: cold, fixed eyes, sharp and discolored nails, sickly pale skin, suddenly androgynous qualities, and a disgusting maggot crawling in and out of the nose. An audible moan came from the audience in the theatre where I first saw it. Would that, beyond the movie, we could sense this revulsion and clarity as to the evil of Satan and his truest reality.

Here is a very powerful video on the disguises of sin:

Fr. Rutler - February 23, 2014

February 23, 2014

by Fr. George W. Rutler
Dante's thought was so greatly shaped by Aristotle that he called him “The Philosopher” rather as it is customary to call Saint Paul “The Apostle.” He placed Aristotle in a sort of suburb of Heaven, for Aristotle's logical thought was a noble anticipation of Christ the Word, or Logos, as the litmus test for all logical thought. Aristotle applied his “Principle of Non-Contradiction” in several ways, but the third way, most pertinent to daily conversation, means that two statements that are opposite cannot both be true. Like all great truths, this seems so obvious that it should hardly need to be pointed out. But people contradict the principle of non-contradiction all the time. It is easy to slip into this mistake out of fuzzy courtesy—which in the extreme is a form of sentimentality—as when someone says, “That may be true for you, but it is not true for me,” or, “All religions are the same.” Pope Benedict XVI saw this as so great a danger to logical living that he spoke of it as a “dictatorship of relativism.” To propose that opposite assertions can be true is harshly to cancel out truth. In our grammar, two negatives make a positive, but to say that a negative and a positive make a positive would be to say that nothing is really positive. Then to say that Christ is and is not the Living Word is to say that the Word is just a word. This “dictatorship” inevitably tries to crush any assertion that there is such a thing as logic at all.

   This is not a matter just for the philosophy class. It has harsh consequences for justice. The “show trials” of Stalin and Hitler were held in a Humpty Dumpty world where a word means anything the judge wants it to mean. This reduces sense to sentimentality, and there is a fine line between sentimentality and cruelty, because it twists logic and explains why demagogues speak of caring for society even as they destroy every vestige of it, condoning unnatural acts as natural, and even offering to help children by killing them, as “lawmakers” in Brussels have recently done. Milton said, “The mind is its own place and in itself can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.”

   Christ did not contradict himself when he said that he fulfilled the Law, even while he was breaking some of the little laws. He was showing the logic of the law as expressive of the eternal Logos that orders all things. The Apostle, even wiser than The Prophet, spoke of a wisdom which “is not of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish. But we speak God’s wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:6-8).    

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

"I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY, CATHOLIC CHURCH"--------The Chair of St. Peter

Feb. 22, 2014…….. Chair of St. Peter

1 Peter 5:1-4, Psalm 23:1-6, Matthew 16:13-19
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"On this rock I will build My church, and the jaws of death shall not prevail against it." -Matthew 16:18

At the Masses of Easter Vigil and Easter, all the Catholics of the world will be asked to renew their baptismal promises. The last of the baptismal promises is: "Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy, catholic Church?", etc. When we renew our baptismal promises, we acknowledge that we were baptized in one Spirit into one body, the Church (1 Cor12:13). In baptism, we have committed ourselves to remain faithful to one another as members of the body of Christ. Thus, we are obligated to celebrate Mass each Easter with the other members of Christ's body, and to go to Confession annually to be reconciled with the Church. We must also pray for, support, serve, and obey the Church. Moreover, it is not an option for a Catholic to join another Christian denomination or religion. This would be denying our baptismal promises.
Do you love the Church as Jesus loves the Church? If you are to make the last baptismal promise, you must be willing to lay down your life for her (Eph 5:25). In baptism, we have made the commitment to love the Church unconditionally, even when it is most unlovable. This is humanly impossible, but the Holy Spirit, Who birthed the Church, will give us the grace to love the Church. In the power of the Spirit, love the Church and live the new life through baptism.

Prayer: Father, may I grieve over those who have left the Church. Give me confidence that You will lead them back.
Promise: "God's flock is in your midst; give it a shepherd's care. Watch over it willingly as God would have you do, not under constraint; and not for shameful profit either, but generously." -1 Pt 5:2
Praise: St. Peter imitated Jesus in his ministry and in crucifixion, leaving a strong example for later popes (see 1 Pt 2:21ff).

Friday, February 21, 2014

An impenitent penitent and his political supporters

An impenitent penitent and his political supporters

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - send a comment) | February 20, 2014 3:31 PM
During a sacramental confession, a priest says something to which the penitent objects. The penitent lodges a complaint. The priest, bound by the seal of confession, cannot defend himself; he cannot say anything at all. If the angry penitent can find someone willing to listen to his complain, it becomes a one-sided argument. We don't even know whether the priest actually said what the penitent accuses him of saying.
Still, in a recent incident described in a Washington Post story, the penitent himself has said enough to give readers an understanding of what probably happened. Ronald Plishka, the penitent, is a self-identified homosexual, apparently (from what he told the Post) active and planning to remain active. If he said as much in confession, then the priest, Father Brian Coelho, could not absolve him, since a valid confession requires a purpose of amendment.
What we have here, then, is an increasingly familiar phenomenon: a Catholic who wants the sacraments, but wants them administered entirely on his own terms—someone who wants the consolations of a faith that he no longer professes. It’s a sad story, and doubly said because Plishka, as described in the Post story, seems to have been surprised to learn that he could not have absolution for the asking, that he might be required to adhere to the teachings of the Church he claims to embrace.
But there is an ominous aspect of the Post story, too. The Washington Hospital Center, where Plishka was a patient at the time of the incident, has announced that chaplains like Father Coelho are expected to “adhere to our values,” which include unquestioning support for homosexual patients. “Our Department of Spiritual Care has reinforced our expectations with this particular priest and his superiors,” the hospital said.
What happens the next time a patient at the Washington Hospital Center complains that a priest urged him to cease his homosexual activities? Will he be removed from his post as chaplain? And if that happens at the Washington Hospital Center, how many months—or weeks, or days—will pass before military chaplains face similar problems?
There will not be a frontal assault on the religious liberty of Catholics in the US. The pressure will be more subtle; the restrictions will come at the margin. But the pressure is mounting, to bring the Church under political control.


James 2:14-24, 26, Psalm 112:1-6, Mark 8:34-9:1
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"If anyone in this faithless and corrupt age is ashamed of Me and My doctrine, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes with the holy angels in His Father's glory." -Mark 8:38

The Lord is well aware that He sends us forth to witness in an unfavorable and even hostile situation, to a "faithless and corrupt age." Nonetheless, He challenges us to boldly proclaim Him and His teaching. If we let ourselves be intimidated by negative circumstances, Jesus will be ashamed of us "when He comes with the holy angels in His Father's glory" (Mk8:38).
This takes away one of our best excuses for not being Jesus' witnesses. We rationalize not speaking up for Jesus because the people in a particular situation are not open or ready for the Gospel. However, the Gospel itself opens people to the Gospel. People don't need to be ready for it, but we need to be ready for them by obeying Jesus.
Jesus sent His disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all creation (Mk 16:15). They did not "pick their spots." They were not reacting to circumstances, but the circumstances were reacting to them. We don't have to inform the Lord about how hard and resistant are the hearts of those to whom He sends us. He knows the situation.
Our job is to obey Him. His job is to open people's hearts, save them, and lead them into everlasting life. Therefore, in Jesus' name go with the Gospel to all people, even to the "faithless and corrupt."

Prayer: Father, may my heart overflow with love for You, and may I speak from the abundance of my heart (Lk 6:45).

Promise: "You must perceive that a person is justified by his works and not by faith alone." -Jas 2:24

Praise: St. Peter Damian was an orphan who later became an international peacemaker.  "Blessed too the peacemakers; they shall be called sons of God" (Mt 5:9).

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Homosexuality--THE YUCK FACTOR

The Yuck Factor

The Blessed Eucharist
In our increasingly superficial culture, many moral decisions are made based on surface appearances, emotional reactions to those appearances, and an alarming lack of intellectual or volitional activity to check those emotional reactions. This has serious ramifications for all of us, including integral Catholics who want to evangelize the larger society of which we are a part.
Whereas many of the issues we might consider as specimens of this would be on the “left” side of the cultural divide — abortion, contraception, divorce, etc. — I will focus on only one issue, and keep myself to censuring those on the “right” side of that divide. (And the word “right” has a double meaning here.)
The issue is homosexuality. I am taking issue with those who are fundamentally correct in opposing the vice, but inadequately rooted in their principles and therefore unreliable in their actions.
The sin of Sodom is one of the “the sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance,” as listed in numerous official catechisms, including the Douay Catholic Catechism of 1649, the Catechism of St. Pius X, and the more recent Catechism of the Catholic Church (#1867). It is grave matter, which means that to commit it is a mortal sin, i.e., something so heinous that one instance of it alone is sufficient to merit its practitioner an eternity of damnation in hell, unless he repents.
It is also physically disgusting. The various acts associated with homosexuality carry inherent health threats that shorten people’s life spans almost twice as much as smoking does. Further, homosexuality is associated with a variety of subcultures that go from raunchy, to raunchier, to raunchiest.
The childish interjection one might be tempted to utter when hearing all this is Yuck!
It is, of course, natural for children as well as adults to reel back in revulsion like this. But, whereas we hope children never have to hear about these things or comment on them (we must respect the veil of their innocence), adults must learn to get beyond saying “Yuck!” They must transcend the “Yuck Factor.” Why? Because merely being repulsed by something that is morally offensive is not sufficient.
Homosexual acts are physically repulsive, as we said. But the same may be said for many other things: e.g., killing chickens, slaughtering cattle, fertilizing fields with dung, and much else that is associated with agriculture, horticulture, and animal husbandry. Yet chicken soup, a good steak, and farm-fresh fruits and vegetables are all wonderfully delicious and fortifying. The same person that might wince at seeing Bambi dressed or Thumper skinned might really enjoy some delicious Venison Carne GuisadaBigos, or Hasenpfeffer.
In these cases the physically grotesque aspect of the thing must be gotten over so that we see the intended good that lies beyond the “yuck.” Such things can serve as rites of passage for boys whose fathers take them hunting. And this is good for them; it teaches them to use their reason as human beings, and to get beyond the merely visceral reaction — even to viscera.
In the case of sodomy or other homosexual acts, there is an enormous difference. Yes, we must still use our reason as human beings. But when we do so — when we use our reason enlightened not only by the natural law but also by Faith and grace — we conclude that sodomy is wrong not merely because it is disgusting, but because it is an offense against the Eternal Law of God, both the natural law written on our hearts, and the supernaturally revealed Law of the Gospel found in Scripture and Tradition, and infallibly taught to us by God’s holy Church.
What might start off well as a mere revulsion for something morally outrageous must mature into Christian convictions based upon sound principles of Faith and reason.
The Catholic young man who tries to outdo his peer in bombastic bluster about queers is not more devoted to the Church’s teaching thereby. His imitation of the neanderthal crudities and vulgar language of the radio shock-jock does not make for a strong moral stance. Neither does unreasonable anger over the moral perversion of another. Such reactions are more knee-jerk emotional responses than the fruits of deep-seated Christian convictions.
The danger in this, besides its not being particularly helpful for the conversion of the homosexual, is that merely emotional reactions can give way over time as the young man grows older (if not more mature) and becomes horrified at his formerly hateful ways. In this case he might, in reacting against his earlier reactions, become more-or-less indifferent to the matter of homosexuality or other grave moral issues. (Yes, this happens.) A potential apostle and evangelist has just been successfully neutralized.
Said another way, if his opposition to homosexuality does not mature beyond the emotional level (the level of the passions) into willed convictions following an informed Catholic conscience, our would-be culture warrior might easily saunter into the enemy camp. The homosexual agitprop network and its allies in the information management business are past masters at emotional manipulation; it is their domain.
The answer, of course, is to guide young men into thinking and believing rightly about this and other moral matters. All this must be integrated into a robust sacramental and devotional life, for — to use the common parlance — their hearts must be formed as well as their heads. No, I would never suggest we give up the struggle against homosexual activists (far be it from me), nor am I opposed to teaching the young to detest all that is unnatural and otherwise evil. But what is more pressing for parents is raising children that are morally upright because they have been properly formed in the truth, beauty, and goodness of both the natural and supernatural orders — and that, by a loving family that lives and breathes the Faith in and out of the home.
Teaching boys to grunt out anti-homo mantras is not the answer. Young men should, rather, learn to be Catholic Gentlemen — Cross-bearers, not knuckle-draggers.
Moreover, they should be formed to be saints. This means that they should have bothfortitude and meekness, both zeal for their neighbor’s salvation and zeal for the triumph of the Church over false religion, both love of God that reaches out to Him and holy fear that puts us in reverent awe before His Majesty. From its deep foundation of humility to its lofty spires of charity, the edifice of virtue must be strongly built if the Christian soul is to withstand the onslaughts of the world — all the more so if our intention is to sally forth into that world to evangelize it.
“Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil by good” (Romans 12:21).



"Wicked designs come from the deep recesses of the heart." —Mark 7:21
Solomon asked the Lord for a wise and understanding heart (1 Kgs 3:9). The Lord answered His prayer and made Him the wisest person in history (1 Kgs 3:12). Yet, through his sins, Solomon turned his heart away from the Lord (1 Kgs 11:3). His heart was not entirely devoted to the Lord (1 Kgs 11:4). He died a fool with his kingdom on the verge of civil war. Solomon died of a spiritual heart attack.
We Christians are greater than Solomon (see Mt 11:11). Through baptism, we have received not only a wise heart, but a new heart promised by the Lord (see Ez 36:26). However, we can likewise sin and turn our hearts away from the Lord. We can lose our first love (see Rv 2:4) and no longer decide to love the Lord with all our hearts (see Mt 22:37). If we persist in this lukewarmness (Rv 3:16), we, like Solomon, will also die and damn ourselves through a spiritual heart attack. Consequently, we must repent of any sinful compromises with the ways of the world and keep our new heart beating with pure love of the Lord. We received a new heart at our baptism and will receive a renewed heart through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Repentance prevents spiritual heart attacks.
Prayer: Father, "create in me a clean heart" (Ps 51:12, our transl.).
Promise: "The report I heard in my country about your deeds and your wisdom is true." —1 Kgs 10:6
Praise: "Heart of Christ, we sing Your praises!"

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Our Lady of Lourdes

Picture taken @2010-the light from the Tabernacle goes directly to
Our Lady in the Grotto.
Our Lady of Lourdes is a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary invoked by Roman Catholics in honor of the Marian apparitions said to have occurred on numerous occasions in 1858 in the vicinity ofLourdesFrance. The first of these is the apparition of 11 February 1858, when Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year-old peasant girl, admitted to her mother that a "lady" spoke to her in the cave of Massabielle (a mile from the town) while she was gathering firewood with her sister and a friend.[1] Similar appearances of the "lady" were reported on seventeen further occasions that year.
Bernadette Soubirous was later canonized as a Saint, and Roman Catholics and some Protestants believe her apparitions have been validated by the overwhelming popularity and testament of healings claimed to have taken place at the Lourdes waterspring.
In 1862, Pope Pius IX authorized Bishop Bertrand-Sévère Laurence to permit the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lourdes. This Marian title, Our Lady of Lourdes, has been widely copied and reproduced, often displayed in shrines or homes, most notably in gardenlandscapes.


On 11 February 1858, Bernadette Soubirous went with her sisters Toinette and Jeanne Abadie to collect some firewood and bones in order to buy some bread. After taking off her shoes and stockings to wade through the water near the Grotto of Massabielle, she said she heard the sound of two gusts of wind (coups de vent) but the trees and bushes nearby did not move. A wild rose in a natural niche in the grotto, however, did move. From the niche, or rather the dark alcove behind it, "came a dazzling light, and a white figure." She was dressed all in white, apart from the blue belt fastened around her waist and the golden yellow roses, one on each foot, the colour of her rosary.[2] Bernadette tried to keep this a secret, but Toinette told her mother. After parental cross-examination, she and her sister received corporal punishment for their story.[3][4]
Three days later, Bernadette returned to the Grotto. She had brought holy water as a test that the apparition was not of evil provenance, and demanded that if she were from God, she must stay, but if she were evil, she must go away; however, she said the vision only inclined her head gratefully when the water was cast and she made her demands.[4]
Bernadette's companions are said to have become afraid when they saw her in ecstasy. She remained ecstatic even as they returned to the village. On 18 February, she spoke of being told by the Lady to return to the Grotto over a period of two weeks. She quoted the apparition: I promise to make you happy, not in this world, but in the next.[3]
After that the news spread and her parents took interest. Bernadette was ordered by her parents to never go there again. It was a shock when people heard her story as it was so unlikely. She went anyway, and on 24 February, Bernadette related that the apparition asked for prayer and penitence for the conversion of sinners. The next day, she said the apparition asked her to dig in the ground and drink from the spring she found there. This made her disheveled and some of her supporters were dismayed, but this act revealed the stream that soon became a focal point for pilgrimages.[5]
Although it was muddy at first, the stream became increasingly clean. As word spread, this water was given to medical patients of all kinds, and many reports of miraculous cures followed. Seven of these cures were confirmed as lacking any medical explanations by Professor Verges in 1860. The first person with a “certified miracle” was a woman whose right hand had been deformed as a consequence of an accident. Several miracles turned out to be short-term improvement or even hoaxes, and Church and government officials became increasingly concerned.[6] The government fenced off the Grotto and issued stiff penalties for anybody trying to get near the off-limits area. In the process, Lourdes became a national issue in France, resulting in the intervention of emperor Napoleon III with an order to reopen the grotto on 4 October 1858. The Church had decided to stay away from the controversy altogether.
Bernadette, knowing the local area well, managed to visit the barricaded grotto under cover of darkness. There, on 25 March, she said she was told: "I am the Immaculate Conception" ("que soy era immaculada concepciou"). On Easter Sunday, 7 April, her examining doctor stated that Bernadette, in ecstasy, was observed to have held her hands over a lit candle without sustaining harm.[6] On 16 July, Bernadette went for the last time to the Grotto. I have never seen her so beautiful before, she reported.[6]
The Church, faced with nationwide questions, decided to institute an investigative commission on 17 November 1858. On 18 January 1860, the local bishop finally declared that: The Virgin Mary did appear indeed to Bernadette Soubirous.[6] These events established the Marian veneration in Lourdes, which together with Fátima, is one of the most frequented Marian shrines in the world, and to which between 4 and 6 million pilgrims travel annually.
In 1863, Joseph-Hugues Fabisch was charged to create a statue of the Virgin according to Bernadette's description. The work was placed in the grotto and solemnly dedicated on 4 April 1864 in presence of 20,000 pilgrims.
The veracity of the apparitions of Lourdes is not an article of faith for Catholics. Nevertheless, all recent Popes visited the Marian shine. Benedict XVPius XI, and John XXIII went there as bishops, Pius XII as papal delegate. Working with Le Pelerinage de Lourdes he also issued, an encyclical on the hundredth anniversary of the apparitions in 1958. John Paul II visited Lourdes three times.

Position of the Catholic Church

Approval of Lourdes
On 18 January 1862, Bishop Laurence, the Bishop of Tarbes, gave the solemn declaration:"We are inspired by the Commission comprising wise, holy, learned and experienced priests who questioned the child, studied the facts, examined everything and weighed all the evidence. We have also called on science, and we remain convinced that the Apparitions are supernatural and divine, and that by consequence, what Bernadette saw was the Most Blessed Virgin. Our convictions are based on the testimony of Bernadette, but above all on the things that have happened, things which can be nothing other than divine intervention".[7]
Nature of approval
Because the apparitions are private, and not public revelationsCatholics are not required to believe them. They do not add any additional material to the truths of the Catholic Church as expressed in public revelation. In Roman Catholic belief, God chooses whom he wants cured, and whom he does not, and by what means. Bernadette said, "One must have faith and pray; the water will have no virtue without faith."
Holy Mass of "Our Lady of Lourdes"
The Catholic Church celebrates a mass in honor of "Our Lady of Lourdes" (optional memorial) in many countries on February 11 of each year — the anniversary of the first apparition. There had long been a tradition of interpreting the Song of Songs as an allegory of God's love for the Church, so up until the liturgical reforms following Vatican II, a passage from this Old Testament book was used during the mass for its reference to the "beloved"appearing in a cleft of a rock[8] and its parallel with what Catholics have described as the "Mother of the Church"[9] being seen in the cleft of a rock in Lourdes.[citation needed]
Act of consecration
The following prayer is said by Catholics as an act of consecration to Our Lady of Lourdes.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, Virgin Immaculate, you appeared 18 times to Bernadette at the grotto in Lourdes to remind Christians of what the truths in the Gospel require of them. You call them to prayer, penance, the Eucharist and the life of the church. To answer your call more fully, I dedicate myself, through you, to your Son Jesus. Make me willing to accept what he said. By the fervour of my faith, by the conduct of my life in all its aspects, by my devotion to the sick, let me work with you in the comforting of those who suffer and in the reconciliation of people that the church may be one and there be peace in the world. All this I ask, confident that you, Our Lady, will fully answer my prayer. Blessed be the Holy and Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
St. Bernadette, pray for us.[10]

Popes and Lourdes

In the past 150 years, popes have taken great interest in Marian apparitions such as Fatima and Lourdes. Pope Pius IX approved the veneration in Lourdes and welcomed and supported the building of the Cathedral in 1870 to which he donated several gifts. He approved the veneration and promoted Marian piety in Lourdes with the granting of specialindulgences and the formation of local Lourdes associations.[11] Pope Leo XIII crowned Our Lady of La Salette and issued an apostolic letter Parte Humanae Generi in commemoration of the consecration of the new Cathedral in Lourdes in 1879.[12] Pope Benedict XV, when archbishop of Bologna, organized a diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes, asking for the veneration of the Immaculate Virgin there. In 1907, Pope Pius X introduced the feast of the apparition of the Immaculate Virgin of Lourdes. In the same year he issued his encyclicalPascendi Dominici Gregis, in which he specifically repeated the permission to venerate the virgin in Lourdes.[13]
During the pontificate of Pope Pius XI reported apparitions occurred in Our Lady of Beauraing and Our Lady of Banneux. In 1937, Pius XI nominated Eugenio Pacelli as his 'Papal Delegate' to personally visit and venerate in Lourdes. Pius XI actively furthered the venerations in Lourdes by beatifying Bernadette Soubirous on 6 June 1925. He canonized her on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on 8 December 1933 and determined her Feast Day to be 18 February.[14] Bernadette, who suffered from asthma and bone cancer, had lived on the borderline of social acceptance in the church during her lifetime.[15] 18 February is the day the Virgin Mary reportedly told Bernadette 'that she did not promise to make me happy in this world, but in the next.'[16]
Pope Pius XII, commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the Immaculate conception dogma, announced a Marian year, the first one on Church history. In his encyclical Fulgens Corona, he described the events in Lourdes as follows:
It seems that the Blessed Virgin Mary herself wished to confirm by some special sign the definition, which the Vicar of her Divine Son on earth had pronounced amidst the applause of the whole Church. For indeed four years had not yet elapsed when, in a French town at the foot of the Pyrenees, the Virgin Mother, youthful and benign in appearance, clothed in a shining white garment, covered with a white mantle and girded with a hanging blue cord, showed herself to a simple and innocent girl at the grotto of Massabielle. And to this same girl, earnestly inquiring the name of her with whose vision she was favored, with eyes raised to heaven and sweetly smiling, she replied: "I am the Immaculate Conception." [17]
Le Pelerinage de Lourdes, the only encyclical written on Lourdes, was issued on the centenary of the apparitions at Lourdes. The encyclical represents one of the strongest pronouncements of the papal magisterium onMarian apparitions in the history of the Catholic Church. The Pope presents Mary as the model of alternative lifestyle. The school of Mary teaches selflessness and charity.
In the school of Mary one can learn to live, not only to give Christ to the world, but also to await with faith the hour of Jesus, and to remain with Mary at the foot of the cross. Wherever providence has placed a person, there is always more to be done for God's cause. Priests should with supernatural confidence, show the narrow road which leads to life. Consecrated and Religious fight under Mary's banner against inordinate lust for freedom, riches, and pleasures. In response to the Immaculate, they will fight with the weapons of prayer and penance and by triumphs of charity. Go to her, you who are crushed by material misery, defenseless against the hardships of life and the indifference of men. Go to her, you who are assailed by sorrows and moral trials. Go to her, beloved invalids and infirm, you who are sincerely welcomed and honoured at Lourdes as the suffering members of our Lord. Go to her and receive peace of heart, strength for your daily duties, joy for the sacrifice you offer.[18][19]
One of the churches built at the site, the Basilica of St. Pius X, can accommodate 25,000 people. At the request of Pius XII, it was consecrated on 25 March 1958, by the Patriarch of Venice, cardinal Angelo Roncalli, the future Pope John XXIII. Giovanni Battista Montini, the future Pope Paul VI, had visited Lourdes as archbishop of Milan. He became the first pope to visit a 20th-century Marian apparition site, when he went to Fatima at the fiftieth anniversary of the first apparition on 17 May 1967.[20] Pope John Paul II undertook three pilgrimages to Lourdes, the last one shortly before his death. Pope Benedict XVI visited Lourdes commemorating the 150th anniversary of the apparitions in September 2008. Five years later, on 11 February 2013, the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes, he announced his decision, unprecedented in modern times, to resign from the papacy, effective 28 February 2013. Born on St. Bernadette Soubirous' feast day 16 April in 1927, three days after his 78th birthday the then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected to the See of Peter on 19 April 2005 in a papal conclave and celebrated his Papal Inauguration Mass on 24 April 2005.

Lourdes water

Main article: Lourdes water
The location of the spring was described to Bernadette Soubirous by an apparition of Our Lady of Lourdes on 25 February 1858. Since that time many thousands of pilgrims to Lourdes have followed the instruction of Our Lady of Lourdes to "drink at the spring and wash in it".
Although never formally encouraged by the Church, Lourdes water has become a focus of devotion to the Virgin Mary at Lourdes. Since the apparitions, many people have claimed to have been cured by drinking or bathing in it,[21] and the Lourdes authorities provide it free of charge to any who ask for it.[22]
An analysis of the water was commissioned by Mayor Anselme Lacadé of Lourdes in 1858. It was conducted by a professor in Toulouse, who determined that the water was potable and that it contained the following: oxygen, nitrogencarbonic acidcarbonates of lime and magnesia, a trace of carbonate of iron, an alkaline carbonate or silicate, chlorides ofpotassium and sodium, traces of sulphates of potassium and soda, traces of ammonia, and traces of iodine.[23] Essentially, the water is quite pure and inert. Lacadé had hoped that Lourdes water might have special mineral properties which would allow him to develop Lourdes into a spa town, to compete with neighbouring Cauterets and Bagnères-de-Bigorre.[21]

Secular views

Miracles are important events in the Christian Bible and are thus part of divine revelation for the faithful Christians. Yet the advent of rationalism and the social sciences renewed the search for natural explanations of miracles in general and the events in Lourdes in particular. Historicalpsychologicalnatural analogies and other empirical explanations have been forwarded, all of which are welcomed by the Catholic Church, provided they are generally open-ended and unbiased.[24] Analogies are most common in Marian apparitions, they indicate that the person involved used popular images and common language. They do not by themselves support arguments for or against the apparition itself.
Thus, Bernadette described the apparition as uo petito damizelo ("a tiny maiden") of about twelve years old. Bernadette insisted that the apparition was no taller than herself. At 1.40 m tall, Bernadette was diminutive even by the standards of other poorly nourished children.[25]
Bernadette described that the apparition was dressed in a flowing white robe, with a blue sash around her waist. This was the uniform of a religious group called the Children of Mary, which, on account of her poverty, Bernadette was not permitted to join (although she was admitted after the apparitions).[26] Her Aunt Bernarde was a long-time member.
The statue that currently stands in the niche within the grotto of Massabielle (illustrated above) was created by the Lyonnais sculptor Joseph-Hugues Fabisch in 1864. Although it has become an iconographic symbol of Our Lady of Lourdes, it depicts a figure which is not only older and taller than Bernadette's description, but also more in keeping with orthodox and traditional representations of the Virgin Mary. On seeing the statue, Bernadette was profoundly disappointed with this representation of her vision.[27]

Historical context

Many Marian apparitions, although they may occur in different ages and cultures, share similarities. Bernadette's visions took place against a cultural backdrop of apparitions and other supernatural events that bear some resemblance to Bernadette's experiences. It is likely that Bernadette would have known of, and may even have been influenced by, such events, which were woven into the fabric of her society.
For example, in nearby Lestelle-Bétharram, only a few kilometres from Lourdes, some shepherds guarding their flocks in the mountains observed a vision of a ray of light which guided them to the discovery of a statue of the Virgin Mary. Two attempts were made to remove the statue to a more prominent position; each time it disappeared and returned to its original location, at which a small chapel was built for it.[29]
More importantly, in the early sixteenth century, a twelve-year-old shepherdess called Anglèze de Sagazan received a vision of the Virgin Mary near the spring at Garaison (part of the commune of Monléon-Magnoac), somewhat further away. Anglèze's story is strikingly similar to that of Bernadette: she was a pious but illiterate and poorly educated girl, extremely impoverished, who spoke only in the local language, Gascon Occitan, but successfully convinced authorities that her vision was genuine and persuaded them to obey the instructions of her apparitions. Like Bernadette, she was the only one who could see the apparition (others could apparently hear it); however, the apparition at Garaison's supernatural powers tended toward the miraculous provision of food, rather than healing the sick.
Mid-nineteenth century commentators noted the parallels between the events at Massabielle and Garaison, and interestingly, interpreted the similarities as proof of the divine nature of Bernadette's claims.[30] At the time of Bernadette, Garaison was a noted center of pilgrimage and Marian devotion.
There are also several similarities between the apparition at La Salette, near Grenoble, and Lourdes. La Salette is many hundreds of kilometres from Lourdes, and the events at La Salette predate those in Lourdes by 11 years. However, the lady of La Salette was large and maternal, not petite and girlish, and had a darker, more threatening series of messages. It is not certain if Bernadette was aware of the events at La Salette.[31]

Similarity to other visions

When comparing the various visions of Jesus and Mary, Saint Bernadette's vision in Lourdesis somewhat similar to the case of Saint Juan Diego's vision in 1531 in Mexico. Both saints reported visions in which a miraculous lady on a hill asked them to request that the local priests build a chapel at that site of the vision. Both visions had a reference to roses and led to very large churches being built at the sites. Like Our Lady of Lourdes in France, Our Lady of Guadalupe is a major Catholic symbol in Mexico. And like the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in France, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of the largest and most visited Catholic churches in the Americas.

The Sanctuary

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes or the Domain(as it is most commonly known) is an area of ground surrounding the shrine (Grotto) to Our Lady of Lourdes in the town of LourdesFrance. This ground is owned and administrated by the Church, and has several functions, including devotional activities, offices, and accommodation for sick pilgrims and their helpers. The Domain includes the Grotto itself, the nearby taps which dispense the Lourdes water, and the offices of theLourdes Medical Bureau, as well as several churches and basilicas. It comprises an area of 51hectares, and includes 22 separate places of worship [1]. There are six official languages of the Sanctuary: French, English, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and German.

The Lourdes Medical Bureau

Main article: Lourdes Medical Bureau
To ensure claims of cures were examined properly and to protect the town from fraudulent claims of miracles, the Lourdes Medical Bureau (Bureau Medical) was established at the request of Pope Saint Pius X. It is completely under medical and not ecclesiastical supervision. Approximately 7000 people have sought to have their case confirmed as amiracle, of which 68 have been declared a scientifically inexplicable miracle by both the Bureau and the Catholic Church.[32]
The officially recognized miracle cures in Lourdes are among the least controversial in the Catholic world, because Lourdes from the very beginning was subject to intense medical investigation from skeptical doctors around the world. All medical doctors with the appropriate specialization in the area of the cure have unlimited access to the files and documents of the Lourdes Medical Bureau (Bureau Medical),[33] which also contains all approved and disapproved miracles. Most officially recognized cures in Lourdes were openly discussed and reported on in the media at the time. Nevertheless, there were a few instances where medically ascertained incomprehension turned out not to be miracles, because the illness reappeared in later years. In the vast number of cases however, the judgment of the medical and ecclesiastical authorities was upheld as beyond medical explanation in later on critical investigations.[34]


The pilgrimage site is visited by millions of Catholics each year, and Lourdes has become one of the greatest pilgrimage sites of the world. Various unusual occurrences are reported to take place, not only subsequent to bathing in or drinking the water of the Lourdes Spring, but also during the daily Eucharistic procession. Miraculous healings have been claimed, and a number of these have been documented by the Lourdes Medical Commission. Large numbers of sick pilgrims travel to Lourdes each year in the hope of physical healing or spiritual renewal.

In popular culture

  • In 1939, Henry K. Dunn directed Miracle at Lourdes for MGM's Miniature series. It is a short film about a terminally ill woman who hopes to be healed at the shrine.
  • In 1943, the events became the basis of the film The Song of BernadetteJennifer Jones played the title role while Linda Darnell portrayed the Virgin Mary. The film won several Academy Awards, including an Academy Award for Best Actress for Jones. At the first Golden Globes ceremony in 1944, Jones received the award for Best Actress and the film won Best Picture.
  • In 1959, singer Andy Williams recorded a song entitled "The Village of St. Bernadette".
  • Also in 1959, Loretta Young filmed "The Road", an episode of her popular television show, in Lourdes.
  • Aaron Neville and Linda Rondstadt performed a duet version of the Leonard Cohensong Song of Bernadette in concert in New Orleans.
  • In 2009 Jessica Hausner wrote and directed the French feature film Lourdes starring Sylvie Testud. The fictional drama tells the story of wheelchair-bound Christine, who in order to escape her isolation, makes a life changing journey to Lourdes, the iconic site of pilgrimage in the Pyrenees.

See also


  1. ^ Catholic Online: Apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes First Apparition
  2. ^ Taylor, Thérèse (2003). Bernadette of Lourdes. Burns and Oates. ISBN 0-86012-337-5
  3. a b L Laurentin, Lourdes, Marienlexikon, Eos Verlag, Regenburg, 1988, 161
  4. a b Harris, Ruth. Lourdes, Allen Lane, London, 1999, p 4
  5. ^ Harris 7
  6. a b c d Lauretin 162
  7. ^ Lourdes France: The encounters with the Blessed Virgin Mary
  8. ^ "Song of Songs", 2:14, retrieved 29 May 2007
  9. ^ "Mary, Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church", Catechism of the Catholic Church 963, retrieved 29 May
  10. ^ Act of Consecration
  11. ^ Josef Schmidlin, Papstgeschichte, München 1934, 317
  12. ^ Bäumer Leo XIII, Marienlexikon, 97
  13. ^ Bäumer, Pius X Marienlexikon, 246
  14. ^ Hahn Baier, Bernadette Soubirous, Marienlexikon, 217
  15. ^ Hahn Baier 217
  16. ^ Catholic Pilgrims: Apparitions at Lourdes
  17. ^ Fulgens Corona, 3
  18. ^ Le Pelerinage de Lourdes 57
  19. ^ Le Pelerinage de Lourdes, 40 ff
  20. ^ Bäumer Paul VI, 128
  21. a b Ruth Harris, Lourdes: Body and Spirit in the Secular Age, Penguin Books, 1999, p. 312.
  22. ^ Richard Clarke, 2008 Lourdes, Its Inhabitants, Its Pilgrims, And Its Miracles ISBN 1-4086-8541-8 page 38
  23. ^ Lourdes 4
  24. ^ Stöger, Erscheinungen in Marienlexikon, 395 ff
  25. ^ Ruth Harris, Lourdes: Body and Spirit in the Secular Age, Penguin Books, 1999, p. 72.
  26. ^ Ruth Harris, Lourdes: Body and Spirit in the Secular Age, Penguin Books, 1999, p. 43.
  27. ^ Visentin, M.C. (2000). "María Bernarda Soubirous (Bernardita)". In Leonardi, C.; Riccardi, A.; Zarri, G. Diccionario de los Santos (in Spanish). Spain: San Pablo. pp. 1586–1596. ISBN 84-285-2259-6.
  28. ^ 14th century fresco from the Visoki Dečani monastery
  29. ^ Ruth Harris, Lourdes: Body and Spirit in the Secular Age, Penguin Books, 1999, p. 39.
  30. ^ Ruth Harris, Lourdes: Body and Spirit in the Secular Age, Penguin Books, 1999, p. 41.
  31. ^ Ruth Harris, Lourdes: Body and Spirit in the Secular Age, Penguin Books, 1999, p. 60.
  32. ^ Where Scientists are looking for GodThe Telegraph, 16 January 2002. Retrieved 7 August 2012
  33. ^ Müller, 767
  34. ^ Müller 768

External links