How Bernadette of Lourdes defeated Satan at her death bed

It was 143 years ago Sunday that a 14-year-old girl named Bernadette Soubirous from the poor hamlet of Lourdes in the far southern end of France had her famous experience. It happened as she and some friends were trying to cross the River Gave near a small grotto or indentation in the rock. 

"I had just begun to take off my first stocking when suddenly I heard a great noise like the sound of a storm," Bernadette was later to recount. "I looked to the right, to the left, under the trees of the river, but nothing moved; I thought I was mistaken. I went on taking off my shoes and stockings; then I heard a fresh noise like the first. I was frightened and stood straight up. I lost all power of speech and thought when, turning my head toward the grotto, I saw at one of the openings of the rock a rosebush, one only, moving as if it were very windy. Almost at the same time there came out of the interior of the grotto a golden-colored cloud, and soon after a Lady, young and beautiful, exceedingly beautiful, the like of whom I had never seen, came and placed herself at the entrance of the opening above the rosebush. She looked at me immediately, smiled at me and signed to me to advance, as if she had been my mother."

The devil tried to disrupt it. It has been reported that during the vision a disturbance arose behind Bernadette at the river. There were many sounds that seemed to echo and reply to each other. They were questioning, shouting, contradicting, like the voices of a crowd in tumult, as one reporter wrote. Amid the confusion one more distinct than the rest, more demanding, more menacing, cried in a furious way, "Flee! Flee!" to the Virgin, but the Virgin had only to turn her eyes towards the point of commotion for a moment and there was immediate silence.

There was also a struggle years later when Bernadette, who became a nun, was about to die. 

"We should not forget," writes Leon Cristiani, "that Bernadette, of simple peasant stock like the Cure d'Ars, ended her days in the convent of Nevers, and that in her last hours she had to struggle against the devil as the Cure d'Ars had had to do throughout his life.

"As she lay dying, in fact, she displayed for a moment a great fear, and one of the nuns who was tending her heard her say very clearly: `Leave me, satan!' But soon afterwards the little saint recovered her tranquility, and died in an atmosphere of victorious peace."

(To the grave with Bernadette went three secrets the Virgin had granted, secrets that she never revealed and that she said were not even meant to be known by the Pope.)


For more see The Final Hour

We will be carrying Cristiani's book, Evidence of Satan in the Modern World, shortly

A great reference: Encountering Mary,  by Sandra L. Zimdars-Swartz

See also A Woman Clothed With the Sun

E-mail this site to a friend