"The icons of the Saints are filled with the Holy Spirit." Saint John Damascene

The Virgin's Smile

The Virgin's Smile

From the Life of St. Bernadette

Beginning on February 11, 1858, the Virgin Mary appeared eighteen times over a period of six months to a peasant girl named Bernadette Soudirous. Following is an account of the visit of Count de Bruissard to Saint Bernadette made just before the last apparition:

"I was a Cauterets at the time when there was so much talk of the Lourdes Apparitions. I no more believed in them than in the existence of God: I was a lost sheep, and what is worse, an atheist. Having seen in the local paper that Bernadette had had an Apparition on July 16th, and that the Virgin smiled upon her, I resolved out of curiosity to go to Lourdes and catch the little one red-handed in her lies.

I went to the Soubirous' home and found Bernadette on the doorstep busy darning stockings. After long questioning about the Apparitions I said to her: 'Lastly, how did she smile, this beautiful Lady?' The little shepherdess stared at me with wonder; then after a moment's silence: 'Oh, sir, you would have to come from Heaven itself to reproduce that smile.'

Saint Bernadette'Could you not repeat it for me? I am an unbeliever and I don't believe in your Apparitions.'

The child's face clouded over. 'Then, sir, you think I am a liar.'

I felt disarmed. No, Bernadette was no liar, and I was on the point of going down on my knees to beg her pardon. Then she went on: 'As you are a sinner, I shall repeat the Blessed Virgin's smile for you.' The child got up very slowly, joined her hands and gave a heavenly smile such as I have never seen on any mortal lips. Her face lit up with a dazzling brilliance of light. She smiled again with her eyes raised heavenwards. I remained motionless before her, convinced that I had seen the Virgin's smile on the face of the visionary.

Since then I have treasured this heavenly memory in the depths of my soul. I have lost my wife and my two daughters. Yet it seems to me that I am not alone in this world. I live with the Virgin's smile."

Close