** SPOILER ALERT*** Don’t read if you don’t want to know what happens in the movie!
The story of Our Lady’s apparitions at Lourdes is amazing. Another amazing part is the story of the girl to whom Our Lady appeared, and this movie gives some insight into her life.
The (now canonised) Bernadette Soubirous is depicted as a gentle, simple soul with poor physical health from an impoverished family. Prone to asthma, she lived with her family in a barely-habitable space in the village which was an abandoned jail.. it wasn’t even fit for criminals. Reminds me a bit of the stable in Bethlehem come to think of it. It was damp and musty and freezing cold in winter.
Had she never seen Our Lady, Bernadette would still have been a saint because of her amazing virtue, but perhaps the world would never have known about her. God loves choosing souls like her to speak through and this movie does capture her simple trust in Him.
I am sure quite a bit of Hollywood licence was taken especially with the seeming interest between Bernadette and a village boy, but I have not read enough about her life to know whether that was fabricated or not. Also the allusion to the fact she would have liked to marry and settle down but was discouraged to because of her fame and ongoing interest in the apparitions.
If anyone reading this knows any more about this please share in the combox below.
This was a great one to watch with my kids, although my highly-sensitive 8 year old daughter had to leave during the bit where she dies towards the end of the movie..
This movie is quite long (over 2 hours) but we watched it over a couple of days and it slotted in well with our end-of-the-year homeschooling days.
Hope you enjoy it too.