Monday, February 11, 2008

Incorruptible Bernadette Soubirous.

Today is the 150th anniversary of the Virgin Mary appearing to Bernadette Soubirous in a grotto of Massabielle outside Lourdes, France.

Most people are familiar to some degree, to the story of the apparitions....several movies based on Bernadette's story have been made over the years.
What isn't so widely known is that after her death, Bernadette's body remained "incorruptible", and is on display in Nevers, France.

The church exhumed the body of Bernadette Soubirous on September 2, 1909, in the presence of two doctors, and a sister of the community where Bernadette had been a nun.. They found that although the crucifix in her hand and the rosary had both oxidized, her body was preserved from decomposition.Nuns washed and re-clothed her body and she was reburied in a new casket.
The church exhumed the corpse a second time on April 3, 1919. The body still appeared preserved.

In 1925, the church exhumed the body for a third and final time.The remains were then placed in the Chapel of Saint Bernadette in Nevers. The site is visited by many pilgrims and the body of Saint Bernadette to this day remains intact nearly 129 years after Bernadette's death.

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