From 4th to 7th July 1866, Bernadette travelled to Nevers. This was the first and last time that Bernadette took a train and left the Pyrenees.
After telling the story of the Apparitions Bernadette removes her bonnet and puts on the cape of a postulant.
In this way she makes it clear that she had come there to "hide herself"
Bernadette was home sick. She would say, "This is the greatest sacrifice of my life". She overcame this uprooting with courage as well as humour.
She also undertook this new stage without any looking back: "My mission in Lourdes is ended." "Lourdes is not heaven.
" Together with 42 other postulants, she took the religious habit on 29th July 1866, three weeks after her arrival. She was given the name Sister Marie-Bernarde.
In September 1866, her asthma became worse. In October 1866, her condition was deteriorating.
Doctor Robert Saint-Cyr, the doctor to the community, said that she would not last the night.
Mother Marie-Therese decided that Bernadette should make her profession "in danger of death". She survived the night.
In December 1866, she learned of the death of her mother at the age of 41.
On 2nd February 1867, Bernadette recovered and returned to the novitiate and she made her profession in the hands of Bishop Forcade on 30th October 1867.
She committed herself to living a life of poverty, chastity obedience and charity.
Each professed received a crucifix, a copy of the Constitutions and a letter of obedience and her work in the religious house.
Bernadette was assigned to the mother-house as a nursing assistant.
In 1869, her health problems returned.
In March 1871, she learned of the death of her father.
From 1875 to 1878, her illness progressed. In this condition she made her final vows.
On 11th December 1878, she was finally confined to bed in the white chapel as she referred to her bed with its white curtains and she died on 16th April 1879.
On 30th May 1879, her coffin was placed in the tomb of the Oratory of St. Joseph.