Bernadette of Lourdes (1961)
Filmed adaptation of the life of St. Bernadette of Lourdes. As a 14 year old peasant girl growing up in the tiny French village of Lourdes in the 19th century, Bernadette (Daniele Ajoret) experiences visions of the Virgin Mary in a nearby grotto during February and March of 1858. Doing as instructed, Bernadette digs by a large rock, revealing a “healing spring” that is still visited today – the Lourdes. Bernadette joined the Sister of Charity at Nevers (1866) and remained in seclusion until her death at 35. After her death, Bernadette’s body remained “incorruptible”, and the shrine at Lourdes went on to become a major site for pilgrimage, attracting millions of Catholics each year. On December 8, 1933 she was canonized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.
This inspiring movie is based on a true story, the life of St. Bernadette of Lourdes, who later became known as Sister Maria. In 1858 at age 14 young Bernadette has visions of the Virgin Mary, and her life is never the same. She was eventually canonized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church in 1933.
This is a story of faith and suffering and it is made clear that this world is not the Christian’s permanent home. Bernadette struggles with her health on occasion, but one night when the doctor says she will die she revives from the brink of death, declaring the Lord revealed it was not yet her time. The concept of the “appointed time of death” in scripture is cemented strongly by this scene.
One of the themes of this story is that God uses those who seem very unlikely for him to use. Bernadette doesn’t stand out with talent but her simple trust in God seems to move mountains and others realize that God is strong in her life. This strong spiritual story will bless many people. We award our Dove “Faith-Friendly” Seal to this movie for ages twelve plus, due to a few utterances of language. Its themes are wonderful. See it soon and be inspired!