Fourteenth Apparition Of Our Lady Of Lourdes
Wednesday 3 March 1858
That morning there were around three thousand people present when Bernadette arrived at the Grotto at seven in the morning, accompanied by her mother. The child knelt and began her prayers as usual. But her face – although sweet – did not take on the radiance of other mornings. The Lady had not appeared. One onlooker, Monsieur Clarens of Lourdes, wrote to the Prefect of Police at Tarbes two days later – “The vision failed the little girl and this seemed to cause her deep distress. It is important to note this point, for it might not perhaps seem to favour the hypothesis of an hallucination”. The point of that statement was perfectly clear to many people present that day. Amongst them was the relative who allowed the Soubirous family to live rent-free in the Cachot, Andre Sajous. Seeing the child’s bitter sadness (she believed the Lady had not appeared because she had failed in her first visit to the priest the preceding day), he offered to go back to the Grotto with her. Her face lit up and she agreed. An hour and a half later (at nine in the morning) they were in front of the rock. It was quieter there at that time, with only a few believers present. The remainder had departed once Bernadette had left earlier. The Apparition took place in the same manner as before, with the Lady and her protégé joined in prayer. After the Apparition, Bernadette went once more to see Abbe Peyramale. The Lady had asked once more about a Chapel. But this time the priest was a little less gruff in his approach, asking what was the purpose of the visit. The young girl replied that she had told the Lady about the priest’s request of the previous day – “She smiled when I told Her that you were asking Her to work a miracle. I told Her to make the rose bush, which She was standing near, bloom; She smiled once more. But She wants the Chapel”. Asking if Bernadette had money with which to build a chapel, the girl replied that she did not. “No more have I! Ask the Lady to give you some!” responded the priest. Later that day, more relatives of Bernadette arrived; the next day was the last day of the fifteen days and perhaps some great miracle would occur. Her cousin, Jeanne Marie Vedere, said to the child – “I hear you did not see your Lady this morning”, to which Bernadette replied – “But I did see Her during the day!”. Jeanne Marie asked her cousin why it had taken two visits to the Grotto before the Lady arrived; Bernadette said she had asked the Lady the same question and had received the following reply from Her lips – “You did not see me this morning because there were some people there who wanted to see what you looked like in My presence – they were not worthy of this honour; they spent the night at the Grotto and they dishonoured it”.