The Song of Bernadette (1943) Script



If you go early, maybe you'll find work. Hmm.

Bonjour, Monsieur Maisongrosse.

No work for you today.

How can I hire anybody when there isn't enough to keep me busy?

People don't go to bakers anymore.

No, they go to pastry cooks, because it's stylish.

Why don't you try the hospital?

The man doing odd jobs moved to Tarbes yesterday.

Take that stuff clear out to the dump at Massabielle and burn every bit of it.

It's full of infection and disease.

Why did Christ found the Church?

Christ founded the Church to teach, govern, sanctify and save all men.

How long did he live on Earth?

Christ lived on Earth about 33 years and led a most holy life in poverty.

That is correct, except you've omitted the last and most important word:

"In poverty and suffering."

Never forget that, my child.

For only through suffering can we hope to gain the kingdom of God.

What is the Holy Trinity?

I said, what is the Holy Trinity? Didn't you hear me?

Yes, Sister, I heard you, but I know nothing about it.

Have you ever heard of it?

Maybe I've heard of it.

You puzzle me, my child. Are you pert, indifferent or only stupid?

I'm stupid, Sister. I have a poor head for study.

You're also pert.

You're a grown girl, Bernadette, the oldest in the class.

Ignorance of the Holy Trinity is inexcusable.

Go to the foot of the class.

What is it, Marie?

I just wanted to say that my sister Bernadette was sick...

...the day the class learned about the Holy Trinity.

She misses school a lot.

She's always ailing. What ails her?

They call it "atma" or some such name.

You're trying to say "asthma"?

Yes, Sister. That's what Dr. Dozous calls it.

She can't breathe. Sometimes she sounds just like this:

Laughter wastes valuable time. Return to your studies.

Toinette, perhaps you can tell Bernadette what the Holy Trinity is.

The Holy Trinity is one God in three divine persons.

God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost.

Sister Marie Therese, bonjour.

Bonjour, Father Peyramale.

Bonjour, children.

Bonjour, Your Reverence.

I was passing, I thought I'd stop in... see how many you were preparing for First Communion.

Six. We were just having a review of our catechism.

You all know your catechism?

Yes, Your Reverence.

To learn your catechism requires great diligence.

I believe such diligence should be rewarded.

I have some holy pictures. Would you like one?

Yes, Your Reverence.

Very well.

Here you are. Thank you, Your Reverence.

As you grow older... Thank you. will realize that in learning your catechism... have given yourselves not only a foundation of religious teachings...

...but also a doctrine...

Thank you. guide you...

...throughout your lives.

I'm sorry, Father...

...this girl is not deserving. It is unfair to the others.

They have studied their catechism. She has not.

Well, that's too bad. I'm sorry.

This should be an incentive to you, then. Study hard.

You found work?

Twenty sous.

From the baker?

Where, then?

Don't ask me.

You didn't beg? Worse.

The stinking filth from the hospital had to be carted away and burned.

That's the kind of job they give to Soubirous.

This is where they let him live.

Soubirous the miller, who made the finest flour in Escoubes...

...lives in a jail that is too cold and damp for prisoners.

Not good enough for thieves and murderers...

...but for Soubirous and his family, sure, let them live here.

Let them freeze in the winter and roast in the summer.

Let them get sick and die. Who cares?

Come in, Jeanne.

Maman, Jeanne came along.

She's going to help me with my studies.

All right, there's always enough for one more.

Sit down. Oh, please don't.

I'm not a bit hungry. I'll just watch the others.

Father, Son, Holy Ghost, he who eats the fastest gets the most.


Where did you learn that? You'll go to hell for saying that.

All I said, the one that eats the fastest gets the most, and it's true.

Now you've said it again.

I've seen pigs with better manners and cleaner faces.

Get up from the table and wash yourselves, both of you.

Oh, a mass meeting, eh? How can anybody sleep with such racket?

We're sorry, Papa. It's cold in here. Fix the fire.

There's no wood.

So I'm to get the wood too. I work hard all day long.

All I ask is a little peace and warmth. What do I get? Cold and chills.

Must I do everything around here?

I'll go hunt for wood, Papa.

May I go with Marie? No, you'll do no such thing.

You know how easily you catch cold. But if I dress warm?

Please? Maman! Maman!

All right, all right. Only, wrap up good.

Maman! Can I go too?

No! Oh, but please, Maman!

You'll stay and spend the day asking God for forgiveness--


Louise! What's wrong?

The baby! The convulsions again. What do I do?

Help me! Be calm, Croisine.

Go back. I'll be over. Please come with me now.

Can I go with you and look? No!

You stay here with your brother. You can ask for a little forgiveness too.

I want you girls back before dark.

Come on, Bernadette.

Hurry up!

The last one over the bridge is a goose!

Hola, Bernadette.

Good day, Madame Nicolau.

Are your parents well? Yes, very well, thank you.

And how is your son, Monsieur Antoine?

Splendid, thank you...

...and Mademoiselle Bernadette?

I'm well, thank you, monsieur.

Well, I'd better hurry on. My sister will wonder about me.

May I use your bridge?

As often as you like, and no toll charge. Thank you, monsieur.

You better let me help you. That bridge is not so dependable.

Thank you, monsieur. You're very kind.



She's growing into a fine young woman, isn't she?




I thought it was the devil himself.

You should've seen your face. Nothing but eyes and mouth.

You'd be scared too. There's the wood.

Come on, follow me.

We'll wade across.

That's private property. What if it is?

If we take wood, we'll be stealing.

Wood is wood. Don't be such a fraidy cat.

I'm not a fraidy cat. Yes, you are too.

Come on, Marie. Let's go.

It's cold!

It's freezing!

Hurry up.

Bernadette, don't you come in that water.

Remember what Maman told you.

I won't catch cold. Won't you?

You'll get a cough and your asthma will keep me awake all night long.

Maybe I can jump across the rocks or something.

Yes, and tumble in.

If you fall in and get your bottom wet...

...don't ask me to wring you out.

But if I dry my feet real well, I won't catch cold.

We don't need you anyway. Come on, Marie, let's go.

Stay there till we get back.

But three can carry more than two can.

But what if she's not there?

I can't carry this heavy bundle all the way back into town.

Bernadette! Yoo-hoo!

You see, I told you she'd sneak off.

No, no, she wouldn't do that. She's here somewhere.

There she is. Bernadette!

Bernadette, come on. We've got to go home.

Bernadette, come on, now.

What are you doing? Bernadette!

Maybe she's dead. Holy Mother, maybe her asthma's killed her.

Nonsense. If she were dead, she'd be lying flat.

A dead person doesn't kneel.

Why doesn't she speak?

She's trying to be funny.

I'll show her.


What's the matter?

What's the matter? That's what we're asking you!

I thought your asthma had killed you.

Don't just stand there.

Come on, you know we've got to get home before dark.

I'm coming.

We're not gonna wade through that cold water again.

You go down that side of the river, and we'll meet you at the bridge.

What cheats you two are. This water is as warm as dishwater.

Bernadette! You've got bats in your belfry.

That water's freezing.

Well, it isn't now. Look, my toes are not even white.

What were you doing over there kneeling in the rocks?

Didn't you see anyone?


Was somebody with you in that cave?

Somebody was, and you were praying for forgiveness.


Come on, tell us who it was.

Well, if I tell you, you must swear not to give me away.

If Maman should hear of it, she might take a stick to me.

I swear.

I give you my word, but I won't swear. Swearing is a mortal sin.

You don't want me to sin like that just before my First Communion, do you?

Come on, tell us.

Well, I saw a lady.

And she was all in white. A lady?

And she wore a blue girdle and had a golden rose on each foot.

I've never seen anything in my life so beautiful.

Oh, piff!

What would a beautiful lady be doing in a filthy place like that?

I don't know, but she was there. Truly she was.

Come on, let's get away from here. You take that bundle.

No, I'll take this one. It's bigger, and you must be tired.

The girls are not home yet?


Madame Millet's coachman was here.

Said there wouldn't be any more washing for you to do.

Where, then, is the food going to come from?

Don't ask me. I've been laying here worrying about that all afternoon.

Bernadette, where have you been? I've been worried to death.

But we got wood, Maman. Three bundles. Enough for days.

There are other things to be done besides that.

Sweeping, cleaning, water to be fetched.

I'll fetch the water. I'm at the end of my rope.



Don't run! See you at school tomorrow.

Maman, please take this.

She has no business running like that.

She ran all the way home.

We couldn't even catch up to her.

She'll be coughing all night.

Bernadette's all excited...

...because she says she saw a lady at Massabielle...

...all dressed in white, with golden roses on her feet.

What on earth are you talking about? That's what she told us.

Golden roses on her feet!

She said this lady was standing on a rock and smiled at her.

She had a rosary of pearls and a golden crucifix--


You told on me, and you said you wouldn't.

Maman asked me.

What's this foolishness Marie tells me? It's true, Maman.

In the cave at Massabielle, I saw a most beautiful lady.

A lady? What lady?

I don't know.

Suddenly, she was there, and then, suddenly, she disappeared.

Nonsense. Oh, no, Maman, she was there.

Her face was so beautiful.

Just to look at her made me feel..

Soubirous! You hear what she says?

I heard, and I know why she says it too.

She's showing off.

Makes up a story to feel important.

It always starts the same way, with fairy tales.

Golden roses on her feet. Indeed!

No, Papa, I really and truly saw the lady.

Truly, I did.

Come in!

It's for you, dear friend, for saving my baby today.

Compared to a child's life, it's not much, but we want you to have it.

Oh, no. No, I can't possibly--

It's the only way we have of repaying you. Please.

Yes, Louise.

If our friends are good enough to offer...

...then the least we can do is accept.

But you need the food as much as we do.

No, my aunt came today with much more than this.

We are merely sharing our good fortune with you.

May God bless you both.

Why, this is food enough for days.

Sausages! Just like in the butcher's window.

What a great omelet the eggs will make.

Ah, Louis! Mesdames, monsieur.

Louis, it's good to see you.

What brings you here, besides a cold rump?

You heard about Doutreloux? The stableman for Cazenave?

A horse kicked him, broke his leg. The horse broke his leg?

No. Doutreloux broke his leg, three places.

Mercy, that is bad. Mercy, that is good.

Shame on you, Louis!

I mean, it is bad for Doutreloux, but it's good for your husband.

Cazenave offers you the job. That's why I'm here.

It pays two francs a day and your lunch.

Soubirous! Two francs a day!

The lunches are hot.

Can I ride on the coach with you?

Me first. I'm older.

Why, you seem surprised.

It was agreed between Cazenave and myself that I should fill the first vacancy.

But stableman...

Well, I suppose even a miller can't be too choosy these days.

You may tell Cazenave that I accept.

He knows it. He wants you to be there at 5:00 in the morning.

Tears, Maman?

Only because I'm so happy.

I'm happy too.

We must celebrate.

You'll all stay to dinner. No.

Nonsense. Dine with us.

But tonight? I hadn't planned. So we change our plan.

We have food, I have a position...

We accepted your eggs. You must accept our omelet.

I will not hear another word.

Children, help your mother.

A succulent omelet, with sausages, Maman.

Maman! Maman! Maman!

What is it?


Speak. Speak!

She's dead or something. What?

She's all white and sick-looking.

Where is she?

They're taking her to Madame Nicolau.

Oh, please, please, wait outside. Outside, all of you.

Please leave her at peace.

It's all right, Maman. She's opening her eyes.

Do you feel better now? Yes, thank you, madame.

I'll fix you some warm milk.

Thank you very much, but I don't need anything.

What was the matter? What happened?

The lady was there a long time, and she spoke to me.

She spoke to you?

What did she say?

She said, "Will you render me the grace...

...of coming here each day for 15 days?"

And then she added, "I cannot promise to make you happy in this world.

Only in the next."

So after church we asked Bernadette to come with us...

Well, did you see her? No, none of us saw her.

Bernadette said...



Are you all right?

Yes, Maman. There's nothing to worry about.

Nothing to worry about?

Scare me half to death, and you say there's nothing to worry about.

I left your father's dinner to burn.

I ran through the streets like a madwoman, and what do I find?

You, sitting there like a-- Like a princess on a throne.

You good-for--!

Don't strike the child. She's an angel of God.


She's the laughingstock of Lourdes.

Come, Maman. Maybe we can get home before Papa does.

No. I won't budge from this place...

...until you promise me never again to go to Massabielle.

Never! But, Maman, I can't promise that.

The lady has asked me to return every day for 15 days.

Promise your mother, Bernadette. Such excitement's bad for you.

You're sure to be sick from it.

Very well.

I promise you, Maman, never to go to Massabielle again...

...unless you yourself give me permission.

And that, I can promise you, you'll never get.

I'm gonna send you to your Aunt Bernarde's...

...where you'll forget this foolishness.

Home with you. And you too.

Thank you for your kindness, Madame Nicolau.

And thank you too, monsieur.

What do you think of it all, Maman?

Things like that bode no good.

As long as I live, I'll never see anything more beautiful...

...than the face of that girl... she lay there at Massabielle.

One ought not even touch a being like that.

Maman? Maman?

Huh? What is it? Bernadette's crying.

What's the matter, my lamb?

Come to Mother. We'll sit by the fire.

Oh, Maman.

The lady was so beautiful.

Just to think of her makes me feel-- There, there, there.

Girls of your age often see things that don't exist.

But it passes.

You must just put it out of your mind.

You're a big girl now.

Soon you'll be a woman.

You'll marry a man and you'll have children...

...just as I did.

Life goes fast... child.

It's hard to believe how fast.

If she stays here, I fear for her health.

She speaks to no one. She doesn't sleep.

She doesn't eat enough to keep a bird alive.

Bernarde, could she live with you?

You don't know what it is... have everybody point you out as the father of "that idiot."

You are also the girl's father.

And you seem to overlook the fact that you are her mother.

Two people in the world who should be understanding.

You want to ship her off like a sack of flour.

I'm thinking only of-- Only of yourself.

Bernadette is a simple, honest child.

She hasn't the cunning to invent anything like this.

She sees this lady. Nobody else does.

Who are you to say that she is wrong and you are right?

This lady may well be a heavenly creature.

Heavenly creatures don't appear in a filthy place like a city dump.

Christ was born in a stable.

This is a wild story Bernadette tells.

But since the lady has asked her to go to the grotto for 15 days, she must go.

Oh, I won't allow her to go again. You will go with her.

You can't hide your head in the sand... if she were up to some harmless mischief...

...that doesn't concern you.

This is no joke. Consider what this means to Bernadette.

But what'll people say? Nothing...

...if you take your place by her side.

All the women of the family must stand by her.

I'll come.

And when I walk with her, let anyone dare to laugh.

"The matter has been put before the council and approved.

Therefore, fully convinced that your request is justified...

...I am forwarding your plan, as well as my recommendation--


--To the minister of the interior.

Signed, Baron Massey, prefect."

So you see, gentlemen...

...the ceaseless protestations of your mayor have borne fruit.

The highest authorities are contemplating bringing the railroad to Lourdes.

Splendid! Magnificent.

Commissioner. What?

That Soubirous girl. She just went to Massabielle again. What should I do?

I thought her mother forbade it.

But today her mother went with her.

To think that such a thing could happen in the middle of the 19th century.

Why, the girl's insane.

Or suffering from hallucinations.

Your Honour, may I suggest you act without delay?

But, monsieur, for the mayor even to acknowledge...

...the existence of such a situation...

...would only give it importance... importance which the newspapers would not ignore.

It's a matter for the imperial prosecutor.

No. Unfortunately, the state has no charges to prefer.

It's up to the police commissioner.

But no one has broken any law. It's the duty of the district officer.

Massabielle's in your district, isn't it? Yes.

Then take care of it.


I ran ahead to tell you I'm not alone today.

I hope you won't mind.

Maman, Aunt Bernarde and my sister are with me...

...and some other people followed us.

I'm sorry, but Maman wouldn't let me come by myself.

I desire that people should come here.

Where is she?

Is she here? Oh, yes.

She's standing there in the niche.

She's greeting you now. See?

Clear out down there, all of you. Return to your homes immediately.

Did you hear me? I said, clear out.

This is hopeless.

It's more than one policeman can handle.

It's a scandal! It cries to heaven.

Imagine these penny-a-liners having the audacity to print such a thing.

All France will be laughing at us...

...and Lourdes was going to have a railroad connection.

I'd even gone so far as to have the plans drawn up for the depot.

Do you think they'll be granted to us now?


Who's going to run a railroad into a hole...

...where spooks perform their medieval antics in dirty caverns?

We're dealing with a whole lot more...

...than the mere babbling of a little swindler or an imbecile.

The entire future of this town is at stake.

Something must be done to stop this nonsense, immediately.

How? How?

That's up to you and the prosecutor.

As much as I'd like to put an end to this stupidity, I'm helpless.

She goes peacefully to the outskirts of the city.

There she kneels, says her rosary and goes home again.

Is there anything unlawful in that?

Yes, on the ground that it's insulting to religious sensibilities.


You can hardly call seeing the Blessed Virgin in a veritable cesspool...

...complimentary to the Holy Family.

She hasn't claimed to see the Blessed Virgin.

The crowd claims that. She says she sees a beautiful lady...

...and the visioning of a beautiful lady...

...can hardly be construed as a criminal violation.

It better not be, or else the entire male population...

...would be spending time behind bars.

This is hardly the moment for levity.

Yes, what is it?

Pardon me, sir, but Dr. Dozous is here to see you.

Ask the doctor to wait. Just a moment.

Dr. Dozous might be very helpful to us.

Let's not overlook the vast possibilities offered by a diagnosis of insanity.


Ask the doctor to come in. Yes, sir.

Will you please come in, doctor? Thank you.


Bonjour, Messieurs, bonjour.

Hello, doctor.

I'm sorry to interrupt, gentlemen...

...but I've made several visits to Massabielle...

...for the purpose of observation.

Today I examined the girl. You might be interested in my report.

Yes, of course. Won't you sit down?

Splendid. What did you find?

Well, I arrived at the grotto simultaneously with the crowd.

Immediately, the Soubirous girl knelt before a niche in the cliff...

...and made a series of courteous, graceful, reverential gestures.

Did you see anything in this niche?

No. Did anybody else?


Well, then, didn't the crowd laugh at her?


There was something about her that precluded laughter.

Her exaltation was so genuine...

...that the observer almost had the impression...

...that he saw what the child saw.

Then, as we continued to gaze at her, her face turned as pale as marble...

...and her skin grew so taut...

...that the structure of the skull appeared clearly marked at the temples.

Considering the possibility that this was due to cerebral anemia...

...I took her pulse. It was practically average.

Also, there was no affection of the nervous system, as in catalepsy...

...or hysteria.

Even her eye reflexes were normal.

Did she speak to this thing in the niche?

Standing close beside her...

...I heard twice in succession...

...a long, drawn-out:



Wrung from her very depths.

Evidently, she'd been asked to convey a message...

...because shortly after, she turned to the crowd and said:

"Pray for all sinners."

Anyone who talks to something that isn't there is feeble-minded.

Another medical possibility which I took into consideration.

Wanting to test her mental abilities, I put this question to her:

"Do you know what a sinner is?"

Without hesitation, she answered, "Certainly, monsieur.

A sinner is one who loves evil."

That's quite a good answer.

What pleased me was that she said "loves" and not "does."

Well, after this...

...any diagnosis of feeble-mindedness was out of the question.

Then she's a swindler.

There's no justification for such an assumption.

I must presume that you have joined the ranks of the believers in this vision.

I am a doctor.

I contribute to the Medical Courier.

I'm a member of several scientific societies.

I trust that is answer enough.

If I have correctly understood your report, doctor, it is this:

Science excludes fraud.

It excludes mental disease and a miraculous occurrence.

I venture, then, to ask science, what is left?

Yes, what is left?

If the Church stops it, the people cannot blame us.

Precisely. We can sit back and sympathise with both sides.

A very wise attitude for any government.

Is the dean at home?

Yes. Come in. Good morning, gentlemen.

Good morning, Father. Come in.

Take off your coats.

I presume the Soubirous girl is what brings you here.


The Church attributes no religious significance whatsoever... the so-called visions of Massabielle.

Sit down. I'm very glad to hear that, Father.

Then you will talk with this girl and-- No, it does not concern me.

That is a matter for you city officials.

We had hoped you would cooperate with us.

That I am doing. Sit down.

I have instructed the cantonal clergy not to set foot in the grotto...

...and to ignore the whole matter.

But Your Reverence has enormous power over the people here.

It would be appropriate to raise your voice.

I have no intention of adding further importance to this turmoil.

Then you force the state to invoke the law...

...which prohibits the Church from opening any new place of worship...

...without the consent of the minister of worship.

The Church has not opened any new place of worship.

The Church neither sponsors nor recognises...

...these heathen gymnastics taking place at Massabielle.

Then how can you stand by...

...and see your parishioners carry on these pagan ceremonies?

I understand that they use a kitchen table as an altar...

...and there they pray.

Yes, on a spot littered with filth, they pray to God.

Prayer, gentlemen, is good no matter where it is offered.

Yes, yes.

Well, shall we be going?

Thank you, Father.

I wish you a pleasant good morning. Good morning, Father.

Good morning, Father.

That sly old fox.

By agreeing with us, he's dumped the problem...

...right back in our laps.

Unfortunately, the followers of the girl are citizens of this community...

...and the thought of offending them is not pleasant...

...with the election coming.

Then why offend them?

Why not refer the matter to higher authorities?

A very good suggestion, monsieur. I'll write to the prefect immediately.

"I consider it purely a local problem, to be solved by local authorities...

...and I do not wish to be involved in any way whatsoever.

Settle it without delay.

The method I leave entirely in the capable hands...

...of you and your associates.

Signed, Baron Massey, prefect."

There he sits, like a general, safely out of the range of fire...

...and orders a handful of men, without any weapons... wipe out an impregnable fortress.

Our "capable hands."

They're only capable when there's a ticklish job to be done.

To think that one stupid girl could cause all this trouble.

Only because there are millions of others just as stupid as she is.

What can you expect from a peasantry fed on religious dogmas...

...and nurtured on superstitious nonsense?

I firmly believe that this girl and what she stands for... is a menace to civilisation.

She is dangerous, I admit, but--

She's a religious fanatic...

...and every time religious fanaticism steps forward, man moves backward...

...and that is why I will fight this vigorously...

...and I'll resort to any measures to defeat it.

I don't know much about higher politics...

...but I do know a lot about burglars and thieves...

...and scamps of all kinds.

I know how to scare them and apply pressure.

I promise you that if you give me five minutes with this girl...

...she'll never go near the grotto again.

Try it, by all means. Try anything.

I was thinking of somewhat the same procedure...

...however, not quite so crude.

There's something about the title "imperial prosecutor"...

...that makes people quake.

Without raising my voice, I'm confident--

You can't handle people like this with silk gloves and fancy words.

We shall see. Send for two of your policemen.

Just the one.

Bernadette! You stay here and wait for Maman.

Don't worry her. Tell her I've gone to the city hall with these gentlemen.

What are you arresting her for? Don't interfere with the law.

The law! Death for the law! Death for you too!

Madame Davan! Madame Davan!

They're arresting Bernadette.

Madame Probert! Madame Probert!

Look what those pigs are doing!

Do you know who I am?

Oh, yes, monsieur. You are the imperial prosecutor.

And that title means...

...that I have been appointed by His Majesty, the emperor.

He has vested in me the power to punish anyone...

...who perpetrates a fraud against this community.

Now do you understand my position?

Oh, yes, you're much the same as Monsieur Jacomet.

A good deal more. I am his superior officer.

He hunts down the criminals and swindlers. I send them to prison.

Oh. Now, bearing in mind my title...

...and realising the extent of my authority...

...I ask you never again to go to Massabielle.

Oh, but I must, monsieur. The lady has asked me.

Now, there you go again with this lady.

Bernadette, you'll admit you are very ignorant...

...the worst pupil in the school.

That is true, monsieur, I am very stupid.

Then take heed when intelligent people assure you...

...that this lady is only a childish bit of imagination... absurd dream.

The first time I saw the lady, I thought it was a dream too.

There, now. Now, that wasn't so stupid.

Once you can mistake a dream for something real, but not six times.

Isn't it strange that until your first visit to Massabielle...

...your family was destitute?

Now your mother is employed by a wealthy family...

...and your father has a steady job...

...and your followers have showered your household...

...with clothing and foodstuffs.

Now, if the court were to decide...

...that your lady represents a profitable business scheme... would go very hard with you.

I have not accepted one thing, monsieur...

...because I knew the lady would not like it.

Look, my child, I am trying to help you.

He's using the wrong technique. He'll get nowhere.

I am not asking you to retract anything.

I merely want you to promise me that you will accept my counsel.

If I can, monsieur, I will.

Good. Now...

...put your hand in mine...

...and promise me that you will not go to the grotto again.

That I cannot promise, monsieur.

Let me remind you that I am the imperial prosecutor.

I know, monsieur. You told me that before.

Now, listen carefully, Bernadette.

In the next room is Jacomet.

He is cruel and mean.

Furthermore, he believes that everyone should be treated like a criminal.

If you refuse me, I will be forced to turn you over to him.

I can promise you it will be horrible.

He will have you cringing and crying in no time...

...but I can spare you all this if you will only be reasonable.

Well, what is your answer?

It is the same, monsieur.

I must keep my promise to the lady.

Very well!

I am finished with you.

If you're intent upon your own destruction...


Yes, monsieur.

What's your name?

But you know my name, monsieur.

What's your name?

Soubirous, Bernadette.

Before I go further...

...I want you to know I will write down everything you say.

Such a paper is known as a deposition... be sent to the imperial prefect at Tarbes.

Besides, we also have Monsieur Estrade for a witness.

Be very careful what you say.


...about this lady you claim to see.

Do you know who she is?

No, monsieur, I don't.

What does she wear?

A white veil with a blue girdle...

...and there's a rose on each foot.

She stands quite still, like a statue in church?

No, she's ever so natural.

She moves about and talks to me.

She greets the people, and even laughs.


Do your parents believe this story of yours?

No, monsieur, I don't think they do.

And yet you expect me to believe when your own parents don't?

If your lady were real, wouldn't other people see her too?

I don't see why they can't. She's there.

Now, pay attention.

I'm going to read your answers back to you... you can confirm their correctness.

"Bernadette Soubirous declares the lady wears a blue veil and white girdle."

No, a white veil and a blue girdle.

You're contradicting yourself, you said a white girdle.

You must have made a mistake in writing it down.

"Bernadette Soubirous declares...

...the lady resembles the statue of the Blessed Virgin in the parish church."

No, that's not true.

The lady has nothing to do with the Blessed Virgin in the church.

That's enough.

Nothing but a complete confession could save you now.

Tell me the names of those in league with you...

...and don't lie, because I know every one of them.

I don't understand what you're saying, monsieur.

Well, I'll tell you.

Certain persons have put you up to circulating this disgusting story.

They've trained you, stupid as you are... reel off by rote exactly what they taught you.

Now, tell me. Who are these people?

But you said a moment ago, monsieur, you knew them.

The police are outside, awaiting my orders to take you to jail.

But if you promise before this witness never to go to Massabielle again--

No! I must keep my promise to the lady.

You want me to call the police?

If the police take me, I can't help it.

And that's not all.

I'll have your parents thrown into jail too.

The rest of your family will starve.

Come in!

What the devil do you want?

My child, that's all I want. My child.

Listen, Soubirous, this business at the grotto has got to stop.

I won't stand it any longer. So help me God...

...that's all I want too. It's destroying my family.

The girl's a minor. You're responsible for her.

Forbid her to go out except to school. Lock her up at home...

...because if you don't, I'll lock up the whole bunch of you.

Now, get out.

God help you if I have to summon you again.

Well, monsieur, what do you think of it?

I think you were extremely fortunate in having the father break in...

...just when he did.

The authorities preventing her going to Massabielle...

...has made her seem more important to her schoolmates.

That is most unfortunate.

The children whisper about nothing else.

I'd hoped, with your permission, to talk to them--

No. The bishop of Tarbes has forbidden us to recognise the situation...

...and he's right in doing so.

Do you remember that girl in Avignon, Rose Tamisier?

She claimed to have seen the Most Blessed Virgin also.

The vicar general of that diocese was patient and understanding.

Consequently, the people mistook his attitude for approbation.

Then, later, when the child was exposed as a fraud...

...the Church was looked upon as her partner in crime.

Immediately, atheism flared up, and the anticlerical forces triumphed.

That is not going to happen here.

What I had in mind, Father, could hardly be construed as approbation.

I plan to make an example of her in front of the class.

Ridicule? Yes, Father.

You have my permission to try it. Good day, Sister.

Good day, Father. Thank you.

She can't go on like this.

Night after night.

My poor little one, what have they done to you?

Speak to me.

If I can't go and see her anymore, I shall die.

You shall see her.

I don't care what Sister Vauzous says.

You will go again to Massabielle, and no one will prevent you...

...and if they lock me up, well, let them.

But you shall see her.

I hope Baron Massey subscribes to this paper.

Sounds a little different from the last editorial, doesn't it?

Listen to this.

"The officials at Lourdes are to be highly commended...

...for stamping out these disgusting spectacles."

But I have a feeling they will return to criticism again tomorrow.

What makes you think that?

Because I am a man of greater vision than you, monsieur.

Especially when I sit in this particular chair.

I told them, if they did this again, I'd put all of them in jail.

Careful, commissioner.

If you do that, I'll have to release them in 10 minutes...

...and then we would look foolish.

There must be some law to stop them.

Commissioner-- I know, they're going to Massabielle.

You don't have to tell me. I've got eyes. They're not going to Massabielle.

They've already been.

They were there at 5 this morning. They're on their way to the dean.

The dean? Yes.

The girl said the lady gave her a message for him.

Well, it seems the gods have finally sided with us.

Gentlemen, maybe now the Church will be forced to take a stand...

...whether it wants to or not.

Excuse me, Your Reverence.

What do you want? Who are you?

Bernadette Soubirous. Oh.

So you're the urchin every idiot in France is talking about.

Do your courtiers and servants always follow you?

If any of that crowd dare to enter my garden...

...I'll have them arrested.

Well, speak. What do you want of me?

The lady told me-- What lady?

The lady in Massabielle. Don't know her.

She's a beautiful lady who comes to me--

Is she from Lourdes?

Have you asked her name?

Yes, but she gives no answer.

Perhaps she is deaf and dumb.

Oh, no, she speaks to me.

What does she say?

Just now the lady said, "Please go to the priests...

...and tell them a chapel is to be built here."

Priests? What does that mean?

It appears your lady is a confirmed heathen.

The very cannibals have priests.

We Catholics have religious, each with a specific title.

But the lady did say "priests."

Well, you've come to the wrong place, anyhow.

Have you any money to build a chapel?

No, I have no money at all.

Then you go tell your lady...

...if she wants a chapel, she'll need money.

Yes, I'll--

...the dean of Lourdes considers it unfitting for a lady... climb barefoot on rocks...

...and to send gibbering adolescents with messages.

And, what's more, once and for all, he demands she leave him in peace.

Do you understand? Yes, Your Reverence.

I'll tell her everything-- Just one moment.

Do you see this broom?

Yes, Your Reverence. Then listen carefully.

If you dare to annoy me ever again...

...I'll take this broom, and, with my own hands, I'll...

Come in.

I forgot something, Your Reverence.

The lady also said, "Let processions come hither."

Processions, eh?

And do you think tomorrow would be soon enough for your lady?

Yes, I'm sure she would be delighted.

Now that I've given you the messages, I'll...

One moment.

I'll decide when you're to go.

Close the door.

I want you to convey a message to your lady for me.

You find her quite extraordinary, don't you?

Oh, yes, Your Reverence.


We shall find how extraordinary she is.

I have heard that there's a wild rosebush growing in the grotto. Is that true?

Oh, yes. Right under the niche where the lady always stands.

Splendid. I want you to tell the lady this:

The dean of Lourdes would like her to perform a little miracle.

He would like her to make the wild rosebush bloom now...

...this last week in February.

Do you understand? Yes, Your Reverence.

Then repeat what I said.

"The dean of Lourdes would like the lady to perform a little miracle... make the wild rosebush bloom now, this last week in February."

Is that correct?


I'll tell the lady. Good day, Your Reverence.

Squad, halt!

Well, gentlemen...

...I'm off to see the miracle.

Bring me back a dozen roses, will you, please?

I rather think I'll bring you back a hundred dozen disillusioned people.

The dean set no definite time.

Why do you assume that today's the day?

We don't. Her followers did that. "It shall be on Thursday," they said.

Why Thursday?

Because someone figured out that she first saw the lady on a Thursday...

...the lady returned to her on a Thursday... naturally, the buds shall burst on a Thursday.

Buds or no buds, you'll never destroy that girl's faith.

Can you say the same of the crowd?

Wouldn't we be surprised if the bush did bloom today.

Don't underestimate the dean of Lourdes.

Who is the best authority on roses in this district?

Peyramale. The weather too, for that matter.

You mean you think the dean--?

I merely think it is singularly strange that Peyramale, of all people...

...picks a rosebush, of all things, to demonstrate a miracle.

Why didn't he ask the lady to make the rock into a white horse...

...or change the river water into wine?

Anything yet? No.

Then nothing will happen. Shh!

Quiet! Keep still.

It's no use, I tell you. The bush will not bloom.

Shh. Will you keep quiet?

All right, but you will see. Life is not like that.

I don't see something. Do you?

Go to the spring. Drink of the water and wash there.

No, not the river.

Not the river?

The spring, yonder. Eat of the plants.

Eat of the plants.

What's she doing now? Shh.

Drink of the spring and wash there.

To the spring? Drink of the water and wash myself?

What is she looking for?

She uses her nose like a pig.

Yes, and she roots up the ground.

Come, darling.

No, no, I must wash myself in the spring.

There's no spring here, Bernadette.

There is. There is. The lady said so.


Citizens! Shh!

At last, you've seen with your own eyes what we officials have known all along...

...that this story of the Blessed Virgin was born in a sick and warped mind.

You've been duped by an idiot.

I beg of you, go back to your homes...

...and never return here again.

Fall in!

Don't be sad, Antoine.

I told you not to hope too much.

I knew it would not bloom.

You must learn to expect nothing from God...

...and when you get nothing, you won't be disappointed.

Keep still.

Go away and let me alone.

From the time we are knee-high...

...they tell us the Blessed Virgin is loving and good.

Was she good to that girl just now?

Was she good to me? Me, Bouriette, the finest stone-carver in Lourdes.

I'll never forget that day.

I was carving a statue for the church.

A chip of marble flew off my chisel and hit me in the eye...

...and, as quick as that, I was no longer a stonecutter...

...and that's how the Blessed Virgin Repaid me... throwing a stone in my eye.

Ever since, it's been like looking through a bowl of milk.

Bouriette. Bouriette!

What is it, Antoine? Come here!


Bernadette said there was a spring, and they called her insane.

Look at it, Bouriette! Look at it!

Tell the others. Hurry.

Bouhouhorts! La Grange!

Come back! Look!

Dr. Dozous!

Where is the doctor?

Dr. Dozous. Dr. Dozous, my eye. I can see!

I put mud on them from the grotto and now I can see. It's a miracle!

Don't be in such a hurry with miracles, Bouriette.

Tomorrow at 2, Madame Blanc.

Come here.

Sit down. Yes, doctor.

Fix your eye on the ceiling and look straight ahead.


All I did was put mud on them from the grotto.

Be quiet.

Then I said a prayer and now I can see.


It's a miracle, doctor. It's a miracle!

Be still.

There's no improvement in this eye, Bouriette.

Four scars on the cornea.

Same as it was six months ago. But I can see!

It's like sheet lightning.

Excuse me.

Doctor, everything is bright.

What you've done is pressed against the eyeball so hard...'ve irritated the optic nerve.

For a time, things will seem bright, but that will pass.

Take a look at that chart. Yes.

Can you read it with your left eye? No, doctor, I can't.

How about the right? No, no, I can't.

How about both eyes? No good, doctor.

There you are.

But, doctor, I never knew how to read.

But I can see! I can see you, doctor.

I can see everything. It's a miracle.

Come back tomorrow when you're calmer, Bouriette.

All right, but it's a miracle.

It's a miracle! It's a miracle!

I understand it all now.

Ever since that piece of marble flew in my eye...

...she's been trying to find a way to make it up to me.

And at last, she did.

Mortar! You can see better now, Bouriette?

I see everything.

There's no hope. No. No.

Charles, get Louise Soubirous. She has always saved him before.

She's not at home. I can't find her.

It's too late.

It's better so.

You don't want your child... drag himself through life a hopeless cripple, do you?

I want my child to live!

No. No!


Croisine! Croisine, come back!

Somebody's coming. Who is it?

I don't see anything. Croisine! Croisine!

Croisine, please.

Croisine, be sensible. Let me be.

Are you mad?

Take him, O Lord, or give him back to me.

Well, doctor?

There can be no question of innervation...

...and I can find no reason to doubt the presence of muscular substance.

What does that mean, doctor?

That means that yesterday, the baby's legs were completely paralysed...

...and today, they're as sound as yours.

I'm sure you can understand now my anxiety for confirmation of my findings.

You're positive there's not a possibility...

...of error in your previous diagnosis?

August 25th...

...high temperature, violent convulsions, complete paralysis of the legs.

Couldn't we assume a mere atrophy, due to rickets?

I couldn't.

Then the water at Massabielle...

...must contain an unknown and powerful therapeutic substance.

At any rate, I must report on this case to the medical journals.

Mmm. I'd hesitate to do that.

It might make you an object of ridicule.

It won't be an easy thing to write.

I'm not accustomed to believing things I can't see.

What about you, Father? You've been very silent.

What do you make of all this?

Well, unlike a doctor...

...a religious must believe a great many things he cannot see.

Sometimes, I confess, it's extremely difficult.

Last night, when I came here, it was very dark.

It's much lighter now. Good morning, gentlemen.

And no longer are his legs like dishrags.

Now they're firm and strong.

And without Bernadette, it couldn't have been.

Let me say a prayer by her bedside.

Heavenly Father, no! Save your prayers for Mass.

Go home to your wife, Charles.

Tonight you will all have dinner with us. We will have an omelet 10 feet wide.

Good morning, Maman. Good morning, Papa.

Good morning, Bernadette.

Good morning, Bernadette.

And then she held him in that ice-cold water...

...and all of a sudden, the baby began to cry.

Not a weak, sickly cry, but a healthy one.

And both doctors agree a great change took place.

They confess they can't understand it.

It's left them wondering.

What do you think of it, Father?

I, too, am wondering.

And you know the baby was never strong enough to cry before.

Then, on the way home, the child slept in his mother's arms.

When he woke up, he was smiling and hungry.

The baby began to stir. He was moving his legs.

Since he was born, his legs were as if they had no muscles.

The doctors couldn't do anything.

This is awful. Yes, commissioner.

By sunrise, that whole hillside will look like a sugar loaf crawling with ants.

It won't be so bad after tomorrow.

She said the lady only asked her to come for 15 times. Tomorrow makes 15.

This is no longer a curiosity. It's a disease.

The crowd will come if she's here or not.

Where are you going? No place, monsieur.

What's in that basket? Commissioner, my wife is very sick.

Is your wife in the basket?

No, monsieur-- Let's see.

Monsieur, I thought I could sell some hot chestnuts and wine.

There we are. Now it's started.

Pretty soon, they'll be selling sausages.

You want sausage? I've got sausage too.

Go on. Move.

Well, who is this lady? She must have a name.

Didn't you ask her her name?

I've told you to, time and time again.

Now it's too late.

I did ask her, today.


What she said I didn't understand.

Well, speak. What was it? You haven't forgotten?

No, I repeated it many times so I wouldn't forget.

She said, "I am the Immaculate Conception."

Immaculate Conception?

Immaculate Conception.

Immaculate Conception.

Do you know what it means, "I am the Immaculate Conception"?

Don't be afraid, my child. I sent for you to help you, not to scold you.


No, Your Reverence, I do not know what it means.

Do you know the meaning of the word "immaculate"?

Yes, I know that. An immaculate thing is clean.

Good, and "conception"?

Well, we'll leave that for the moment.

Do you know what we mean when we speak of the original sin?


The original sin was committed by Adam and Eve...

...when they did not remain faithful to God but broke his command.

Father Pomian taught you that, didn't he?

Now, think hard.

Didn't he also speak of the Immaculate Conception?

No, Father, I never mentioned that dogma.

It doesn't belong to the pedagogic material of the elementary class.

Perhaps Sister Vauzous discussed it.

I'm sure she didn't.

Well, you must have heard the expression somewhere.

Now, try to remember.

Maybe I've heard about it...

...but I don't remember.

Very well. I'll try to explain it.

The Most Blessed Virgin Mary was preserved free...

...from all stain of original sin...

...even from the first instant of her presence in her mother's womb.

God did this for her...

...because she was to be the mother of Jesus Christ...

...a most singular privilege of grace.

Do you understand that, Bernadette?

No, Your Reverence.

Why should you?

Great scholars have racked their brains about it for centuries.

But perhaps you can grasp this one thing.

If the Most Blessed Virgin were to speak...

...she could not say of herself, "I am the Immaculate Conception."

All she could say would be:

"I am the fruit of the Immaculate Conception."

Birth and conception are events, but a person is not an event.

You can't say, "I am conception. I am birth."

Consequently, your lady is guilty of an inexcusable blunder.

You must admit that.

The next time I see her, I will tell her, Your Reverence.

Excuse me, Father. I promised to look in on Madame Cenac.

Certainly. Goodbye, Bernadette.

Goodbye, Father Pomian.

What am I to do with you, Bernadette?

Your eyes seem honest, your words sincere...

...yet I cannot believe you.

Today, less than ever.

As your confessor, I beseech you, renounce this falsehood...

...confess that your mother or your father or your aunt...

...or someone suggested that phrase

...might become important in men's eyes.

But I can't confess that. It isn't true.

No one suggested anything to me.

Have you ever thought about your life, what your future would be like?

Like the future of all the girls hereabout.

After First Communion, girls may indulge in proper pleasures.

They go to dances at the festivals, meet young men...

...and after a time, please God, they marry and have children.

Wouldn't you like to be such a girl?

Oh, yes. I'd like to go to dances, have a husband someday.

Then wake up!


Otherwise, life is at an end for you.

You are playing with fire, Bernadette.

Commissioner? Yes?

That spring at the grotto...

...the people are drinking quite a bit of that water, aren't they?

By the bucketful.

What they don't drink, they carry away in pots and pans and bottles.

That's good.

Well, they're still at it.

You thought it was bad before, you ought to take a look at it now.

The sick, lame, canes, crutches, some of them even look like lepers.

Listen to this, commissioner. December 22, 1789.

"All waters contained in springs, wells, streams, rivers...

....or any other source whatsoever...

...shall not be consumed by anyone whosoever...

...until the aforementioned waters have been thoroughly analysed... a registered chemist."

That's perfect.

You know, I had a feeling that somewhere in all these books...

...I'd find one old law that'd suit our purpose.

Now, shall I send my men out to close the grotto now?

Not so fast. First, we'll take this to the mayor.

And he will issue a proclamation.

Come in.

Come in, gentlemen.

Thank you. I have good news, monsieur.

The holocaust will spread no more. I have a way to stop it.

Our troubles are over.

And, ironically enough, it's the waters of Massabielle that will quench this fire.

It's an old law, 1789. Look there. Read it.

"In the interest of public health..."

Of course, with such an important analysis...

...we'll need the opinions of many chemists...

...and that might take months and months and months.

I wonder...

I wonder if we're not being a little too hasty in this.

Perhaps we are shortsighted... dismissing the possibility of divine power... regard to Massabielle.

For, after all, I'm sure that you gentlemen as well as I... not want to oppose the will of God.

Your sudden religious fervour is most touching, Your Honour.

Could it be prompted by the fact that the devout masses...

...have brought with them a wave of prosperity to Lourdes?


But, now that you mention it, we shouldn't overlook that either.

Our hotels are filled, our cafés are crowded.

Our shopkeepers have never known such business.

The railroad will surely take advantage of this influx of visitors...

...and extend its line here.

Yes, yes, and in that case, we shall need more hotels.

But, aside from all that...

...I'm thinking mainly of the thousands of pilgrims...

...who come here daily with hope in their hearts.

If they derive any benefit from the water at Massabielle...

...who are we to deprive them of it?

Then, too, think of the vast number who cannot come to Lourdes.

For them, we could...

...bottle the miraculous water...

...and it could be sold at a nominal fee all over the world.

Your Honour...

...will you dictate the proclamation to close the grotto...

...or would you rather that I contact Baron Massey...

...and ask for permission to do it myself?

Very well, I'll do it.

But I think you gentlemen are making a big mistake.

Now, why not think it over for a time?

Courreges, take a proclamation.

Come in, commissioner.

Any trouble? Oh, no.

We finally wiped out this epidemic.

No. To wipe out an epidemic, you must eliminate the cause.

I'll have the grotto patrolled night and day. Nothing can happen now.

Perhaps nothing can happen at the grotto.

Since the lady is a figment of Bernadette's imagination...

...she can see her anyplace.

Beside the river, in the hovel where she lives...

...or, if she wishes, on the very steps of the city hall.

The next fence we build must be around her imagination.

Have you ever heard of Dr. Deboe?


I've just written him, asking him to come to Lourdes for a few days.

Just a moment.

Come along. The imperial prosecutor wants to see you.

You can't take her. She's done nothing. Come on.

I'll go, Maman. Don't worry. It won't be long.

Why must you keep plaguing her? She's tired and ill.

Leave her alone!


I never felt that Dr. Dozous' examination of the girl was extensive enough.

Well, after all, Dr. Dozous is a general practitioner.

Advances in psychiatry have been so rapid...

...that only a specialist could hope to keep up with them.

Do you think the girl is insane, monsieur?

My dear doctor, I am a great respecter of medical science...

...therefore, I think that as a layman I am not qualified to have an opinion.

However, I do think that the bare facts...

...should be permitted to speak for themselves.

Day after day, she stood before a hole in a rock...

...and conversed with the Blessed Virgin.

Such delusions are a usual symptom of paranoia.

I have many paranoiacs in my clinic who claim visions...

...oftentimes followed by a tendency towards violence.

Has she been allowed to come and go as she pleases?

I had planned to put her under restraint...

...but Dr. Dozous' favorable diagnosis made that impossible.

I trust that your examination, doctor, will not be a cursory one.

I can assure you, it will be most extensive.

It may be necessary to place the child in an institution under observation.

Unfortunately, with paranoiacs...

...observation sometimes takes a long time.

After all, a psychiatrist is not an orthopedic surgeon...

...who can set a broken bone on the spot.

Yes. Yes, I understand.

Come in.

Eyes closed.

Now the other foot.

Why are you so unsteady?

Because I am very tired, monsieur.

All right, you may sit down now.

How many hours in the day? Twenty-four.

How many days in the week? Seven.

How much is seven times five?


How much is 17 times 18?

I do not know, monsieur.


Would you know the answer, monsieur, if you hadn't figured it out before?


Not so fast, young lady.

Don't bother. She'll go directly home. We can take her from there.

Here we are, doctor.

Father Peyramale.

Have I the honour of addressing the dean of Lourdes?

You have that honour. How can I serve you?

Hadn't we better go elsewhere and discuss this matter?

It is you, gentlemen, who have chosen this place of action, not I.

What do you want?

I'm from the medical department...

...of the provincial administration.

There are evidences of definite anomalies in this girl Bernadette.

I wish to place her under observation.

I am a professor of psychiatry and neurology at the clinic of Tarbes.

If she does not willingly submit to this examination...

...we will be placed in the unfortunate position...

...of being forced to invoke the law of 1838.

This is the most shameless piece of hypocrisy I have ever encountered.

I warn you, I shall expose this hypocrisy.

And I shall raise such a voice throughout all France...

...the reverberations will send petty politicians toppling from their seats.

Come here, Bernadette.

I know this child. So does the imperial prosecutor.

She is neither a maniac nor a menace to her fellow men.

If you still intend to take her, gentlemen, well and good.

But, rest assured, I shall not stir from this girl's side.

Now, call the police.

And when the police do come, what then?

When they come, I shall say to them, load well your guns...

...for your path lies over my dead body.


I'm sorry-- Come, Bernadette.

Mother Superior has asked me to watch over you.

I'm sorry to have caused you this trouble.

I welcome the opportunity of talking to you before I leave Lourdes.

You're leaving? Tomorrow.

I've been recalled to the motherhouse of our order at Nevers.

The dean of Lourdes is on his way to speak to the bishop of Tarbes... your behalf.

I want you to know that although you've used your wiles successfully...

...on a great many people...

...there is one person remains who does not believe you.

That person is myself.

I've never wanted you to believe me, Sister.

If that's one of those disarming answers of yours...

...that is supposed to strike one silent... need not waste it on me.

You should be thankful, Bernadette, you did not live in former times.

Creatures who boasted of equivocal visions...

...and produce springs as if by magic...

...were burned at the stake.

I have prayed for you, night after night, and I shall continue... that your soul may not be destroyed... the frightful danger to which you are exposing it.

And now, good night, Bernadette. Good night, Sister.

However, above all that, I come in the cause of justice.

The authorities are scheming and plotting this girl's destruction.

It is not the practise of the Church to interfere with the authorities...

...and, particularly in the case of Bernadette Soubirous...

...we will rigidly adhere to our policy of remaining aloof.

In my opinion, a change in our policy is now necessary.

That opinion is not shared by an amazing number of equally worthy ecclesiastics.

I realise that.

I also realise that none but myself has talked to this child.

I've begun to wonder if she isn't a true vessel of grace and a worker of miracles.

No, stop.

My dear dean...

...only the Congregation of Rites can determine if a given phenomenon... is a genuine miracle or a deception.


That's all I ask, that an Episcopal Commission be set up to investigate.

Two or three questionable cures are not sufficient to cause an investigation.

One questionable cure...

...was sufficient to cause a multitude to travel hundreds of miles.

Very well.

I will convoke such a commission. Thank you.

Providing certain obstacles can be surmounted.

You fully realise, of course, just what this will mean?

The commission can render only one of three decisions.

First, "You're an impostor, little Soubirous.

Hence, away with you to a prison for juvenile delinquents."

Second, "You're a madwoman, little Soubirous.

Away with you to an asylum."

Third-- "You are the rarest of mortal beings...

...little Soubirous."

Just when do you think the commission will begin its work?

The scientists, the chemists, the geologists...

...can't conduct research with the grotto boarded up.

A letter will force them to open it. No.

The emperor must command that the grotto be opened.

Then the commission may assemble. Not the other way around.

When will you ask the emperor? Never.

I've not the slightest intention of mentioning it.

He will not know that I even contemplate convoking a commission.

My attitude puzzles you, doesn't it? Frankly, yes.

I am giving your lady a chance to prove herself to me.

If she is the Blessed Virgin...

...then nothing is impossible for her, and she will overcome the emperor.

However... if she is overcome, then she's a fraud.

The grotto will remain boarded up.

And she and any thought of the commission will vanish into thin air.

I wonder, my dear dean, who will win.

The emperor or the lady.

Stay where you are!

You're under arrest.

Okay, go down. I'll watch them from here.

Name, age, occupation.

Jacques Gozos, 46, carpenter.

Charge? Stealing water from Massabielle.

One franc and costs. But I haven't got it, monsieur.

Two days in jail, then. Take him away.

Next case. Bruat, woman.

Bruat, woman.

Name, age, and occupation.

Bruat, Leontine, 34, governess.


Bruat? Madame, are you by any chance related to Admiral Bruat?

He is my husband.

I am Vital Dutour, imperial prosecutor. How do you do?

Won't you come into my office and sit down, please?

I was arrested and led through the streets like the rest.

I do not wish to be treated differently now that I am here.

Madame, this is most distressing. You are the bearer of a great name.

When ladies of your station exhibit their contempt for the law by breaking it...

...what is the poor civil servant to do?

Punish them as you would the others.

Very well. I require you to pay a fine of one franc and costs.

Delighted, monsieur.

And here are a hundred more...

...for my fellow criminals who are without funds.

And, now, please, may I have the bottle?

The bottle is confiscated.

But I don't believe it will remain so, ...for I filled it at the desire of very high personage.

May I ask who this personage is, madame?

Her Majesty, the Empress Eugénie.

I have the honour to be the governess of His Highness, the prince imperial.

Take it, madame.

I begin to see the folly of being the only one to do one's duty... a feeble-minded world.

His temperature is quite normal now.

Thank God! I was right. The water is miraculous.

I'm sure it is, madame.

Loulou, my darling, you'll be well now, my sweet.


Loulou is better! The water from Lourdes made him well.

Let us say, sire, the waters did the prince no harm.

He had only a slight cold.

His forehead was on fire with fever!

Never more than two degrees.

It was diphtheria or scarlet fever. I know it. I feel it.

Please, my dearest, don't excite yourself. Come and sit down.

Loulou has had a number of attacks like this, and he's always gotten well.

I tell you, Louis, it was the water that saved him.

That's a very frivolous observation.

You do an injustice to the doctor's prescriptions.

You're an atheist, Louis!

That's the most stupid thing a sovereign could be.

You're worse than an atheist.

You haven't the humility to thank God for the grace he's accorded us.

"By order of His Majesty, the emperor...

...the ordinance of May 10th is hereby revoked and nullified.

As of this date, the grotto shall be opened.

Signed, Louis Napoleon."

I must say, my dear dean...

...your lady wastes no time in accepting a challenge.

The lady has had sweet revenge.

I'm being transferred to Alais.

Perhaps I should say demoted to Alais.

Yes, I rather expected you would be.

I, too, received a letter this morning.

Yeah? What hole are you headed for?

In my case, the lady wanted even sweeter revenge.

I am to stay here for a while, at least...

...and watch the thing I fought against blossom like a fruit tree.

It's the influenza again. I can feel it.

Evidently, the lady intends to leave me exactly as she found me.

Some hot wine, Duran. - Oui, monsieur.

And then I ran to the other side...

...and ate of the grass and the herbs as the lady had asked me to.

I can't understand the lady demanding anything so repulsive of you.

It doesn't fit into the description that you gave of her...

...that she bade you act like an animal.

Do you act like an animal when you eat salad?

Go on.

Then I looked for the spring.

Since I couldn't see it...

...I supposed the lady meant that it was below the ground.

So I began to scratch and dig with my fingers.

To be considered a miracle...

...the healing must be as sudden as a bolt of lightning.

It must be from one moment to the next.

Further proof is necessary...

--to look for the spring. Since I could not see it...

...I supposed the lady meant that it was below the ground.

So I began to scratch and dig...

--look for the spring. Since I could not see it...

...I supposed the lady meant that it was below the ground.

There is still the possibility of deception.

Further proof is necessary.

The evidence is insufficient.

Come in, Bernadette.

I'm sorry to be late...

...but my brother had a frostbitten nose.

Come by the fire. I had to rub snow on it.

March is coming in like a lion, isn't it?

Sit down, Bernadette. Thank you, Father.

Sorry I was unable to attend your sister's wedding Thursday.

Father Pomian tells me it was lovely.

Yes, we had lots of cakes, one with figures on it.

It was ever so nice.

I suppose she'll give up her position with Madame Millet.

Yes, they're going to live on a farm...

...but Madame Millet's going to take me as housemaid.

So I heard today. That's why I wanted to talk to you.

Oh, it's not hard work, and the pay is good.

You know, it's strange, Your Reverence.

The lady once told me I could never be happy in this world...

...but I am.

Happier than I've ever been.

I've got a position, and...

And Monsieur Antoine is a splendid young man.


...have you any idea of what the bishop's commission has been doing?

The gentlemen have examined and tested all the people who have been cured.

That's true. What of yourself?

Don't you think that you and your case are part of their task also?

I've answered all the gentlemen's questions.

I hope they won't ask me anymore.

The commission is now engaged... writing a very important report about you.

It admits the possibility that you were chosen by the powers above...

...and that your hand alone...

...brought forth the spring responsible for miraculous cures.

Don't you understand what that means?


It means that the greatest and the wisest men in the Church...

...will be watching you for decades...

...and then perhaps long after the rest of us are dead and thought of no more... will-- But that's dreadful.

I don't want it. It can't be.

It's no small matter.

No, no.


Tell me, aren't the Sisters in the hospital and in the school...

...good and kind?


Yes, they are. They're very sweet.

Could you imagine yourself as one of them someday?

Dear God, no. That's far above me.

I just want to go and work for Madame Millet as housemaid.


My dear child.

To you, the Most Blessed Virgin condescended.

This places a responsibility on you.

You can't suddenly play truant... away from your destiny as though it were school...

...and become an old widow's servant.

A long time ago, I told you you were playing with fire, Bernadette.

Your lady was heavenly fire.

Heaven chose you...

...and now there's nothing left for you but to choose heaven.

Isn't that true?


You'll like the life with the Sisters at Nevers.

Their order is beautiful and lofty and very much involved in practical life.

Everything you have said is true, Your Reverence...

...and I will do exactly as you say.

But... You're worried about your family?

You needn't.

You may stay with them until summer.

It'll take that long before the report is fully complete...

...and I've arranged for your father to be established in the mill.

There, he can practise the trade for which he was meant...

...and your family can live without fear of poverty.

No, no, no, no.


Just one moment.

I've something more to say.

Although, as a member of the commission, I shouldn't say it.

Now, mind you, I have full faith in you...

...but there's always been one detail which I never could help but doubt.

It's the words "Immaculate Conception."

If you could ever admit that this phrase was not spoken by the lady...

...things might be very different.

If you could retract this single incident...

...then there might be, somewhere in this world, a little corner...

...where you could hide and lead a normal life.

Would you like a little time to think it over?

I don't need time, Your Reverence, because I have never lied to you.

Did I speak of lying?


...I don't want a little corner to hide in.

Good day, Your Reverence.


May the patron saint of travellers watch over you.

Thank you. That's what we gave her!

Two will make my journey doubly safe.

Go along, Junior. Go along.

Go on, Junior.

I don't want to say it. It sounds silly.

You owe your life to Bernadette. You say it exactly as I taught you.

We're going to miss you. I'm going to miss you too.

Bernadette, if I live to be 100, I shall never forget this hour...

...for it was you who snatched me from the jaws of death and-- Here.

A St. Christopher! How thoughtful.

Well, well, well, Bernadette.

I shall be only a moment.

I'm sorry to be late. I was making a speech at the depot.

So my old and dear friend is leaving Lourdes.

Bernadette, never will I forget those first days of trial and tribulation...

...when practically we alone stood side by side...

...facing a doubting world.

Always, I'll remember-- Pardon me, Your Honour.

The Sisters in the carriage grow impatient.

And I've not yet said goodbye to my family.

Will you excuse me? Certainly, certainly.

Here's something to enjoy on your journey.

Thank you, monsieur. And this.

May the ever-watching patron saint of travel...

...hover over your carriage and guide you safely to your destination.

Thank you, monsieur.


...wanted to say goodbye in here.

Keep well wrapped up, and remember that...

Maman, I don't need a shawl.

Nonsense. It'll be windy, and your asthma--


This is no time to talk about shawls.

So much to say and so little time to say it.

When the time comes, one can say nothing.

One can only feel.

Goodbye, Papa.

Goodbye, my child.

Goodbye, Maman.

Goodbye, Bernadette.

Say goodbye to Madame Nicolau and...

And her son.

Please, dear Sisters, I know you've waited so long.

But may I have another moment?

We must reach Toulouse before dark.

Oh, nothing can happen to us.

Look, I have enough protection for even the horses.

Very well, but hurry.

I said goodbye once this morning, I know...

...but I have a little something for you.

Don't worry, it's not a St. Christopher.

You have only four. I blessed five this morning.

Someone must be late.


...sometimes to express certain things in a letter is difficult.

So wherever you may go...

...if ever you should need me...

...just send me this.

I shall understand and come immediately.

Your Reverence...

...if only you knew how much this means to me.


Goodbye, Bernadette, and God bless you.

For you, mademoiselle.

Monsieur, they are so beautiful.

I didn't come to say goodbye with the others because...

...there was something I wanted to tell you.

What was it, Monsieur Antoine?

Well, I...

I wanted to say...

Well, my mother is getting old.

She and I are used to each other. We get along very well.

So I've decided never to take a wife...

...because a mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law...

...well, that doesn't work out so well.

I'm going to stay unmarried too.

Well, that's what I wanted to say to you.

And now I wish you luck on your journey, Bernadette.

Goodbye, Antoine.

You are the postulant from Lourdes?

Yes, Mother Superior.

What is your name?

Soubirous. Bernadette Soubirous.

How old are you?

Just past 20.

What can you do?


Nothing that amounts to much.

In the world, what would you like to have been?

I always thought I could have been a good servant girl.

Is that you, Sister Marie Therese?

Yes, Mother Superior.

This is the mistress of the novices. Look to her for guidance.

This is Bernadette Soubirous, a new postulant.

We know each other.

The postulant will start in the kitchen tomorrow.

You will be asked to wash dishes, scrub floors, sweep corridors.

In brief, do all the lowly tasks that need to be done.

But, please observe, I do not command you.

I am merely proposing this.

If you do not feel equal to it, or if it is repellent to you...

...physically or spiritually, I wish you would say so now.

Oh, no, Mother Superior, I'm very happy to work in the kitchen.

Good. Sister Marie Therese will show you to your cell.

With your permission...

...there is one other matter to be considered.

The postulant bears a name which has made a great noise in the world.

But among us, great names have no meaning...

...although they may have been acquired through far greater effort.

We disassociate ourselves from all we have meant to the world...

...and all it has meant to us.

Moreover, the name "Bernadette" is a childish and trivial diminutive.

Quite right.

Before actually entering upon your novitiate... will want to choose another name.

Under the circumstances, it would be best to do so now.

Have you given the matter any thought?

No, I haven't.

What was your godmother's name?


Then surely you'll be happy to bear the name of Marie Bernarde, my child.

This way, Marie Bernarde.

This cell is not to your liking, Marie Bernarde?

Yes, Sister, it is quite to my liking.

You will learn to be comfortable in it.

A convent is no prison. No force is exercised here.

If you do not feel capable of our obedience... will find the door is always open.

Good night, Marie Bernarde.

Good night, Sister.

Marie Bernarde.

Yes, Sister?

What are you thinking about?

About my family.

Worldly remembrances have no place in this house.

We're here for the purpose of concentration.

Not for reverie and woolgathering.

Yes, Sister.

You find this work repellent? Oh, no, Sister, I--

Then let's show our willingness to serve God and not hesitate in our tasks.

Yes, Sister.

Sister Marie Bernarde is limping.

Yes, I've noticed it.

I'm afraid it is a worldly desire to become the centre of attention.

I shall speak to her.

Sister Marie Bernarde.

Come here, please. Yes, Sister.

I wish to speak with you.

Certainly, Sister. Would you have me finish prayers first?

What I have to say is just as important for your soul.

We will speak in your cell. Yes, Sister.

Excuse me, Mother Superior.

Sit down, Marie Bernarde.

I've been wanting to talk to you for a long time.

Why do you limp?

Oh, it's nothing, Sister.

Limping gains sympathy from the other Sisters. Is that it?

But I never--

You forget, I've known you for many years.

In the outside world, you were celebrated.

From all over France, people came just to gaze upon you.

Here, you are a nonentity.

You find that difficult, don't you? Oh, no.

The temptation to cling to your eminence is undoubtedly too strong for you.

Truly, Sister...

...never have I said or done anything to attract attention.

I wish only to be one of the Sisters here, nothing more.

Ten years ago I was forced to doubt you. I have not changed.

I have never told you an untruth.

I have tried to believe you.

Only God knows how hard I've tried...

...but I cannot.

What is it you don't believe?

What everyone else is willing to believe.

The lady?

I did see her. I did.

Many agree with you, even the Holy Father in Rome...

...but I do not. I cannot.

What do you know of suffering?


In all our sacred history...

...the chosen ones have always been those who have suffered.

Why, then, should God choose you?

Why not me?

I cannot answer that.

I know what it is to suffer.

Look at my eyes. They burn like the very fires of hell.


Because they need sleep. They need rest, which I will not give them.

My throat is parched from constant prayer.

My hands are gnarled from serving God in humiliation.

My body is pain-racked from stone floors.

Yes, I have suffered, because I know it is the only true road to heaven.

And if I, who have tortured myself, cannot glimpse the Blessed Virgin... can you, who have never felt pain, dare to say you've seen her?

I don't know why I was chosen.

You are a hundred times more worthy.

If only I could find evidence.

If only you could give me some proof...

...maybe then I could believe.

Maybe then these monsters of doubt and hate...

...would stop consuming my very soul.

For the love of God, Sister, give me some proof!

I wish I could help you.

But I have never suffered.

I've never

Perhaps I can help you.

It may be there is proof for you.

Well, doctor?

Well, in addition to the large tumor on the knee...

...she has tuberculosis of the bone.

She has never complained of pain?


Has she?

She never mentioned it.

I can't understand it.

She's had this affliction for a long time.

The constant pain and suffering which is so characteristic of this disease... too horrible to describe.

Oh, God.

I have tried to storm the gates of heaven by sacrificing myself.

I know now that we must be chosen...

...that we must be graced as you have graced this child.

God forgive me.

I've persecuted her, and I did not believe her...

...because I was filled with hate and envy.

God help me to serve this chosen soul for the rest of my days.

God help me!

God help me!

You seem a trifle stronger today, Sister.

Yes, thank you, Mother Superior, I am.

Sister Marie Therese and I have been discussing the possibility...

...of your taking a trip.


We could make the journey to our convent at Lourdes in easy stages.


Should not you, of all people, take advantage of the benefit...

...that's come to the whole world through you?

That cannot be done.

And why not?

The spring is not for me.

Why should not the spring work in your case of all cases, Sister?

The spring is not for me.

Did the lady tell you that, my child?

She said, "I cannot promise you happiness in this world.

Only in the next."

The spring is not for me.

Thank you, doctor.

In that case, Father, we must notify the bishop immediately.

He wants to hear from Marie Bernarde's lips a final confirmation.

Sister Marie Bernarde, we shall read to you...

...the final protocol of the Commission of Investigation...

...assembled in 1858.

It contains a record of all the testimony which you offered at the time.

We ask nothing of you, except that you confirm that testimony.

Do you feel equal to that?


"On February 11th, in the year of our Lord, 1858...

...I, Bernadette Soubirous, was sent in the company...

...of my sister Marie and my friend Jeanne Abadie... fetch firewood in the forest."

Do you confirm this?

I did see her.

"At a location known as Massabielle...

...I rested while my sister and friend crossed the River Gave."

Do you confirm this?

I did see her.

"For a time, nothing happened...

...and then, suddenly, I noticed... I did see her!

...the grotto was shaking. I thought this strange--"

I did see her.

I did see her.


...did see her.

You're not sorry you came back to visit us?

No. Five years, I've been stationed in Languedoc...

...a stinking hole if ever there was one.

Now that I see this, I realise what a paradise I've been living in.

You see, my friend, how deeply hell reaches into human life.

Poor ignorant sheep. Why do they come?

Because they have faith. Because they're desperate.

Because occasionally someone is cured.

And because some hypochondriac, due to emotional excitement...

...forgets a malady that never existed.

Oh, yes, we have hundreds of those.

But we have many, many other cases that aren't so easy to explain.

Yesterday, there was a woman with lupus, tuberculosis of the face.

Suddenly, she discovered a nose and a mouth...

...where only minutes before...

...there was nothing but one large, decaying cavity.

Please, doctor...

...I'm not a gullible sheepherder from the Pyrenees.

We have pictures in the office. Would you care to see?

Gentlemen, what's the use?

This same argument has been going on for a great many years...

...and, I'm afraid, will go on for a great many more.

To those who believe in God, no explanation is necessary.

To those who do not, no explanation will suffice.

Your Reverence. Adolar.

A message. Your housekeeper thought it was important...

...and asked me to bring it. Thank you.

This is the first. You remember him, the Bouhouhorts child?

Is that all, Your Reverence? Yes, thank you, Adolar.

Have the doctor give you something for that cold.


It's just a little laryngitis I picked up from the drafty train last night.

It will be gone by tomorrow.

Excuse me, gentlemen.

Good day. Good day, dean.

And I give you full permission, dear doctor... write down in your big book...

...that my amazing recovery was due solely to the Lady of Lourdes.

If I kept such a book...

...I would write you down merely as a skeptic...

...who I promise will leave Lourdes at least...


Not I, doctor. Not I.

This place only succeeds in revolting me.

Once it was a dull but pleasing little village.

Now look at it. A tremendous sponge...

...sopping up the infection of the world. Good morning, Monsieur Jones.

Morning, Dr. Dozous. Gentlemen.

Good day, monsieur. You look better today.

Yes, doctor, I think I feel much better today, thank you.

Monsieur Jones' voice has a lot in common...

...with Monsieur Dutour's.

Don't you think?

Yes, now that you mention it.

Monsieur Jones has cancer of the larynx.

Holy Mary. Pray for us.

Mother of God. Pray for us.

Holy Virgin of virgins. Pray for us.

Mother of Christ. Pray for us.

Mother of divine grace. Pray for us.

Mother most pure.

I am a stranger here.

I am not like these thousands of souls...

...flickering brightly and hopefully in the darkness.

My pride has always stood between them and me.

The pride of being a superior human being.

But now I know that we are all a wretched, animal species...

...distinguished from the insects only by nerve centres and false reasoning.

A hungry cancer is feeding at my throat.

Tomorrow, I'll crawl back to Languedoc...

...hide in some hole of death and be heard of no more.

I'll be alone, alone and desolate.

And why not? It's logical.

I'll be alone because I have loved no one... one and nothing, not even myself.



Queen of Apostles. Pray for us.

Queen of Martyrs. Pray for us.

Queen of All Saints.

Pray for me, Bernadette.

Your Reverence. My child.

I didn't lie to you.

God knows you didn't.

They questioned me...

...again and again.

I saw her.

Tell them I saw her.

They won't believe me.

Yes, my little one. You saw her.

And you will see her again.

I'm not so sure.

Maybe I haven't suffered enough.

You've suffered enough, my child, for the heaven of heavens.


I know about sick people.

We all exaggerate a little.

Our pains aren't so terrible.

I believe.



Are the pains worse?

What day is this?




Tomorrow will be Thursday.

The lady...




The lady won't come here, Your Reverence.

I'll never see her again.

You will, my child.


No, I was stupid and lazy.

I didn't even know what the Holy Trinity was.

Where are you, madame?

Where are you?

She's gone.

Behold, my beloved, speaketh to me.

Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one.

I won't see her.

For winter is now past...

I'll never see her again.

Divine flowers yield their sweet smell...



I'll never see...

Let thy voice sound in my ears, for thy voice is sweet.

I love you.

I love you.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

Holy Mary, mother of God...

...pray for me.

Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.


You are now in heaven and on earth.

Your life begins, O Bernadette.