During eight years--that is, as long as she remained at Lourdes after her visions--Bernadette was questioned in a thousand ways, by thousands of different visitors, as many as twenty times a day. All sorts of objections were brought forward. She was made to give an infinity of details; all kinds of traps were laid for her; but never once did any one succeed in making her contradict herself, or even hesitate, as do those who do not tell the truth when they have to speak often on the same subject, and especially when they are being tried.

Bernadette came through her trials gloriously. When the hour of death came, she did not have to retract a single word. It was on December 12, 1878, twenty years after the visions at Massabieille, that, represented by the delegates of the Bishops of Tarbes and Nevers, the Church wished to interrogate the visionary for the last time at the hour when the thought of soon appearing before God should inspire so deeply religious a mind with a horror of lying. Bernadette was unable to leave the infirmary of the Convent of Saint Gildard; she was stretched on the bed of suffering from which she was never again to rise. The Superior-General and her assistants were all around her when the episcopal representatives began their important interrogation.

By a remarkable exception, the sick person now seemed quite happy to speak about the wonders which had ravished her. In her harmonious Pyrenean language she retold the words of the Immaculate Virgin, and she described what she had seen, as she had done so many times before. In the presence of death, under the shadow of the Sovereign Judge before whom she was soon to appear, the evidence of the nun echoed the evidence of the child, adding to it the sanction of the grave and of eternity.

Bernadette died saying: "I saw her--yes, I saw her." -- page 31

O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us, who have recourse to thee.

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