Thank you for having filled with bitterness the far too tender heart you gave me.

   For Mother Josephine who said that I was good for nothing, thank you!

   For mother mistress’ sarcastic remarks, for harsh words, her ridicule, and the bread of humiliation, thank you!

   Thank you for making me the one to whom she could say; “You are not like all the others”.

   Thank you for making me the privileged recipient of her rebukes, so that my sister used to say, “How lucky that we are not like Bernadette!”

   Yes, thank you, Lady Mary, that I am Bernadette, who was threatened with prison because I saw you. I am she who the crowds stared at as a rare animal – that Bernadette was so wretched that upon seeing her, it was said: “Is that it?”

   For this pitiful body you have given me, this illness of fire and smoke, for my rotting flesh, my riddled bones, my sweats, my fever, my dull pains and my sharp ones, thank you, my God.

   And for the soul that you have given me, for the desert of interior dryness, for your nights, for your lightning, for your silences and your thunder, for everything, for you absent and for your present, thank you, Jesus.

                                                                                  Saint Bernadette of Lourdes.

Saint Bernadette Soubrious (+1879) was favoured with series of visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Lourdes. Her body remains incorrupt.