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The beatification of Bernadette

Bernadette SoubirousOn 2nd June 1925, in the Consistory Hall, Pope Pius XI declared that Bernadette could be declared Blessed. On the morning of Sunday 14th. June, the feast of the Sacred Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome, was vibrating with joy and glittering with light. Under the vaulted ceilings and the golden domes, a huge crowd was assembled around Mother Marie-Thérèse Bordenave, Superior General of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Nevers, and a large number of her Sisters. After the text of the Beatification had been read, applause broke out everywhere; this was followed by the singing of the 'Te Deum' while the bells of St. Peter's rang out. At the same time a picture of Bernadette was unveiled showing the visionary of Lourdes being carried by the angels towards the Immaculate Virgin Mary standing there with outstretched arms. From that moment, Bernadette, proclaimed "Blessed", would have her own liturgical feast and her own office, wherever Rome allowed it. Her relics could be publicly displayed and venerated. Kneeling in the Sanctuary, Pope Pius XI recollected himself. Someone walked towards him, as he ended his prayer - the youngest brother of Bernadette, Pierre Soubirous, came to offer to the Head of the Church a relic of his Blessed Godmother. On the following 3rd. August, the remains of Bernadette were laid in the Sanctuary of the Chapel of Convent of St. Gildard at Nevers (France).