Bernadette of Lourdes stole her vision story from an earlier apparition




Source: Bernadette of Lourdes, Her Life, Death and Visions, Therese Taylor, Continuum, London, 2008
Lourdes is in France. It nestles among the Pyrenees. In 1858, a destitute asthmatic child of thirteen, Bernadette Soubirous, claimed she saw the Virgin Mary in a grotto or cave at the dump of Massabielle eighteen times between the 11th of February and July 18th. Today Lourdes is renowned for its miraculous healings.

The Church does not even consider thinking about the claims of a visionary who is copying somebody else. Did Bernadette copy anybody?  If she did that downgrades her credibility a lot.

In one sense it does not matter.  Her apparition did not give much information at all and was not like the talkative prophetess, Mary, who supposedly appeared at La Salette.  That is a red flag.  La Salette was definitely a more daring scenario.  There is a credibility difference between easy apparition claims and more startling ones. 

So did she copy?
Yes. In 1500 a young poor shepherdess saw Mary and the vision asked for a chapel to be built and a holy spring was blessed by the Virgin. Thus the shrine of Our Lady of Garaison began. Like Bernadette, she even ate black bread. See pages 26 and 27.
Bernadette had been a shepherdess at Bartres. Every major detail of the Garaison apparition was replicated at Lourdes.
Not far from Lourdes, in the same diocese, three girls reported seeing Mary who appeared by a spring of water and wanted the ruined chapel nearby restored.
Bernadette visited apparition sites before her own apparitions (page 49).
From another book, The Cult of the Virgin Mary, Psychological Origins, Michael P Carroll, Princeton, New Jersey, 1986, we learn on page 135 that in 1857 Bernadette probably knew of a priest who compared her to the visionaries of Mary at La Salette. In the same book, page 160 we read that the apparition at Lourdes wore a costume Bernadette would have been familiar with. The vision and members of the Children of Mary, a devotional group for promoting the lies and delusions of the Miraculous Medal apparition, wore the same outfit. That Mary would connect herself with such nonsense is grounds for suspicion. Don't forget that a liar is best to lie about what he or she knows best.

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