The 70th Miracle at Lourdes

When I did the Studium at the Congregation for Causes of Saints, I had the opportunity to study amazing authenticated miracles, historic and modern.  The modern miracles of healing are fascinating, especially because there is so much medical documentation.

Back in 2018, this was heralded as the 70th authenticated miracle at Lourdes.

I read at the National Catholic Register about a French nun who went to Lourdes.  She had a terrifying degenerative disease.   Sister wrote a book about her life and miraculous cure at Lourdes.

The nun wrote a book which precipitated this new piece:


Mincing no words in her newly-released memoir, My Life is a Miracle, which traces the astonishing events that brought her case to the world’s attention as the 70th miracle effected at Lourdes, she describes her left foot as almost completely twisted in a “backward position.” And her “back, spine, and pelvis were like jelly,” supported by a “rigid cervical-lumbar corset.” Day and night her body ached, even as electric shocks rippled through her legs.

A steady supply of morphine made “the burning of these invisible thorns” just bearable, but impaired her cognitive functioning. And a “spinal neurostimulator had been implanted under the skis to ease the excruciating pain.”

More than once, the harrowing daily struggle had brought her to the brink of despair, but she had long since made her peace with her condition. At Lourdes, she did not pray for her own recovery, but her spirits were fortified as she took part in the daily processions and bathed in the waters of the grotto. There where Mary and her Son preside, and space and time stand still, the values of the world are held at bay and the radiant dignity of each person created in God’s image is made manifest.

So as Sister Bernadette made the agonizing return trip, she channeled what energy she possessed into petitions for the healing of her fellow pilgrims. And as the creaking ambulance train was sidelined to allow high-speed trains to move more quickly to their destination, she was briefly reminded that she had left the grotto behind. “They shoot past without giving us a look,” she thought of the speeding trains rushing by the ambulance cars. “That’s life.”

But life, as she knew it, would soon change radically. Within days of her return from Lourdes, Sister Bernadette experienced a sudden cessation of pain and a complete healing of her body, or — as she calls it — a “re-creation.” Her twisted foot had been straightened, and her back was strong. She cast off her corset and walked freely.

The degenerative disease that had defined her life for four decades had itself been rendered powerless through a miracle.

Weeping tears of joy, she rushed to share the news with the other sisters, who joined her in prayers of gratitude for God’s gratuitous love and mercy.



I would like to go to Lourdes some day.

Wouldn’t a Traditional pilgrimage in France be great?  Marian Shrines, Lourdes, LaSalette.  Traditional monasteries.  Fine vistas and cheeses and wines.  Etc.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Julia_Augusta says:

    I was thinking about this too. I would visit the Mary Magdalene’s shrine in St. Maximin le Sainte Baume and the shrine of the Sacred Heart at Paray-le-Monial in addition to the Marian shrines. At each stop, I would enjoy the local wines and cheeses.

  2. CanukFrank says:

    Lourdes, Fatima, Garabandal, Walsingham, Cz?stochowa are on my pilgrimage wish list especially after reading “…..where Mary and her Son preside, and space and time stand still, the values of the world are held at bay and the radiant dignity of each person created in God’s image is made manifest”.

  3. robtbrown says:

    A visit to Lourdes is spiritually profitable. Also Nevers, where she died on April 16, 1879. On April 16, 1927, Joseph Ratzinger was born.

    Both my mother and her mother were born on April 16.

  4. Dear Father I do hope that you get to Lourdes too!
    I often muse with desire to return again there myself, and wish to visit many of Mary’s shrines. I have been to Garabandal, met Conchita and Mary Loli [the innkeeper’s daughter who laughingly helped us make our beds], but there are so many that I haven’t visited.

    How wonderful is this story of the sister’s cure.

    I visited Lourdes in the early 60s when the crutches and Ex Votos of the healed and the grateful were still displayed in the hundreds – so many that nowhere near all testaments could fit. At my very young age, that view made such an impression in my memory.

    We have a family joke in the recounting of how my sister [RIP] got SICK at Lourdes. The free spirit that she was, this unconventional behavior fit right in with her personality. Who gets sick at Lourdes? My sister would humorously recount that as she weakly stayed in bed, barely awake, the housekeeper would enter the room fussing at her in French [which my sister didn’t speak]. I guess the bed couldn’t be made, the room not properly cleaned, my sister was in.the.WAY.

    So with that silly story, I pray that all who entreat Our Lady of Lourdes be healed, and in gratitude I do thank Mary for her sweet and caring motherliness.

  5. Jacob says:

    Father, thank you for posting this. I have genetic disease X; stuff has snowballed over time from there both as X has progressed and in attempting to treat X.

    I often wonder how to pray for a miracle when a total cure would involve so many different things that on their own are big deals. Posts like this always give me hope.

  6. Kathleen10 says:

    It would be wonderful to visit and see such things. I love Lourdes, and Fatima.
    Jacob, God will reward you richly for your faith. If not here, there, in our true home.

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