The Mystery Of St. Bernadette’s Body Continues To Confound

One of the greatest unexplained mysteries of all time is the body of Sister Bernadette Soubirous, which doesn’t seem to decompose after 131 years. The body is on display by the Catholic Church as one of the greatest miracles of all time, and defies any scientific explanation. Although the nun died at the very young age of 35 in 1879, the body still looks fresh today. The body had actually been exhumed several times between 1909 and 1925, and what was found was a shockingly well preserved body that seems to defy normal decomposition.
In 1928, a doctor’s report found the heart nearly normal in composition, and remarked in his official report that this didn’t seem to be a “natural phenomenon” of any sort. It was an amazing medical discovery that defied explanation.
Bernadette Soubirous was born a sickly child who caused a world stir with the amazing phenomenon of her visions of Mary, the mother of Jesus at a rocky grotto in Lourdes, France. Strangely, the spring water that flowed at this site appears to have healing powers, although no scientific explanation could find a reason for this. The sick of the world travel to Lourdes, and often leave crutches and wheelchairs behind as they seem to be miraculously healed by the water at the shrine.
In 1943, popular actress Jennifer Jones played Bernadette in THE SONG OF BERNADETTE, back when respect for religious oriented films was much higher in the old Hollywood. This film was acclaimed as a great film by both Catholics and non-Catholics alike as a great faith inspiring film.
In Nevers, France the body of Bernadette is still on display and continues to awe many religious pilgrims each year as an unexplained miracle.

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In Fatima, Portugal a similar event of three children viewing visions of Mary resulted in some awesome future prophesy messages. The first message dealt with a vision of Hell, and souls floating among these flames, while the second message dealt with how to avoid Hell. The third message was kept secret by the Catholic Church until June 2000, and contained some amazing future predictions of the rise of Soviet Union creating a long period of wars and religious persecutions. Reportedly, the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II was also predicted, as well as the current sexual abuse scandal, all of which were supposed to act as a warning to the church to avoid these sins.

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In more modern times as society becomes more secular and miracles far more scarce, some of these older unexplained spiritual events are truly awesome and make for great vacation spots to travel to.

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  • bryanD

    Oh, Paul! (Paul, Paul, Paul!)
    The body of Bernadette HAS been decomposing, albeit slowly—thus NOT defying nature, and in defiance OF the optimal hopes of the Roman Church reliquary money-tour scheme—since immediately after her death in the 19th century.
    (If she were REALLY intact, Bernadette would be erected, gowned, and seated for an annual progress through town with bells on. That IS the way Catholics roll, it cannot be denied. TV coverage would be bonus in these hard times!)
    The face and hands you have pictured, are in fact painted wax coverings of flesh which had turned greenish-black around 100 years ago.

  • Paul Hooson

    Hello, BryanD. Unfortunately, you are right about so many things here. Organized religion often likes to manufacture miracles, myths and legends, and will go to great lengths to do. In so many ways, this is so much like the massive effort work done in the old Soviet Union to preserve the body of Lenin. But, the faithful look to “miracles” like this to inspire them and enrich their lives. In that way, it’s harmless enough. And it makes for a great tourist trap to lighten up a billfold at the gift shop.
    Religion, like politics is often irrational(witness some of the political opinions you know where).

  • bryanD

    “Hello, BryanD. Unfortunately, you are right about so many things here.”–ph
    Yes….Yes I am.
    Unfortunately, though, your post reads like a commercial for the Magical Bernadette Mystery Tour. (My Irish insists this be mentioned forthrightly.)
    “In so many ways, this is so much like the massive effort work done in the old Soviet Union to preserve the body of Lenin.”—ph
    Nein. The Soviets never presented the maintenance of Lenin’s body as anything other than scientific.
    “But, the faithful look to “miracles” like this to inspire them and enrich their lives. In that way, it’s harmless enough.”—ph
    For true Christians, the Bernadette bull-hockey-gambit is but another attempt to obliterate (prima facie) YHWH’s parameters for existence on earth (ashes to ashes, dust to etc)…with apologies to Enoch and the debated-over-Other Exception supposedly, etc etc (Elijah?), and FOR the glorification of priests (who are 99% queerer than a three dollar bill).
    “Religion, like politics is often irrational..”–ph
    Religion? Aye. But truth transcends religion and nestles with God, which religion is a poor imitation of, in that Religion includes such sects as Satanism and Santeria and the Calorie-Intake Cult of Amurca, and is dependent on necessary (POOR!) exemplars for promulgation Anywhere; whereas Truth just tastes right, and lingers for generations without fuss or muss or more salt.