Peer Journal shows no evidence that anything unnatural was involved in Lourdes Miracles https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3854941/

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 cave at the dump of Massabielle eighteen times between the 11th of February and July 18th. Today Lourdes is renowned for its claimed miraculous healings.

There is incontestable proof that Bernadette saw nothing at all.

It is not that difficult to prove that Lourdes fails even the tests of the Catholic Church for a genuine heavenly visitation. Yet the Church gave it official approval.

The vision carried a rosary. Bernadette stated that the chain of the rosary was gold during the first vision. But she was too far away from the lady in the grotto to see that detail and would you have such an eye for detail during a seemingly magical experience? She stated she noticed the chain before she crossed the wide river to the grotto (page 35, The Appearances of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Grotto of Lourdes). Some try to make out she noticed that detail in a later vision when she was closer and did not mean to give her account in strict chronological accuracy. She spoke chronologically all the time so there is no need to say she was not doing it here. She was required by the Church to do so. Christians have always tried to solve errors and contradictions in magical tales they want to believe in by making out that the person was not speaking in strict time order. Genesis 1 says God made man after the animals and Genesis 2 says he made the animals before. They solve the contradiction by pretending that Genesis 2 only looks chronological but actually is not. It is a ruse to cover up and dismiss contradictions. Too many people would have been claiming apparitions and then speaking about them non-chronologically to make it sound more truthful.  It is an excuse unless the speaker admits that she or he is not using strict chronology.

It is odd that the lady goes back into the rock instead of just vanishing (ibid. page 35). See also page 47 of Encountering Mary. She did not live in it and she was described as aquero by Bernadette which means that thing. It might be a word used of a ghost. There was no exit Bernadette would have known of. The real Virgin would either ascend or just vanish.
The frightening pallor of Bernadette of Lourdes during her visions does not match her claim that she saw a beautiful loving Virgin Mary.
Was the freethinker' idea that the first vision was a trick by a girl posing as Mary correct? If you were not the Virgin you would have to vanish by hiding inside the cave. Perhaps the girl had a black blanket to hide under if it was hard to hide in the cave which would give the illusion of vanishing. This girl could have triggered Bernadette' subsequent visions.

Bernadette said that she never saw anybody as beautiful as the lady (page 65, The Appearances of the Blessed Virgin etc). Surely, she would not be that pretty? If she has a face then that face has to be matched or excelled by somebody's in beauty. This attests for inauthenticity.  It sounds too much like telling listeners what they want to hear.

Bernadette said she had never seen anything like the material the vision' dress was made of (Bernadette of Lourdes - Laurentin, page 14). Material is material so Bernadette certainly lied.  If the dress was glowing then Bernadette must have seen many forms of clothing that glowed in the sunlight. Bernadette wanted to sound very mysterious.

Bernadette said that the girl in the grotto was no bigger than herself (page 87, Mother of Nations). Yet she stated that the girl' age was 16 or 17. Owing to malnutrition and poverty Bernadette was far too small for her thirteen years so she is contradicting herself about the girl' age for she would have been eleven or twelve had she been Bernadette' size. Bernadette saw nothing.
There are pictures of Bernadette a year or two later and which show that she was in the business of acting even then like she was in a mystic visionary trance. In the first picture, she looks upwards and seems to be holding up her rosary to some apparition. The pose is bizarre and can only be explained by somebody who in the guise of humility seeks fame and attention. She looks like somebody making a remarkable effort at simulating ecstasy.

It is not just the one photo either. The one below also has her looking up as if in a trance.

Bernadette encountered an extreme devotion from the people to her starting from the early visions. People adored her and kissed her and literally kissed the dirt she walked on (Encountering Mary, page 50). Yet she made no effort despite her well-vaunted humility to avoid this. She did not disguise herself or make some arrangement to avoid the people. The young lady craved the adulation and the attention.


All schools of child psychology recognise that children and very young people can create objects and images in their mind and perceive them as if they are outside themselves. An image in the head can be perceived as being a person or object outside the seer. That is the power of their conscious and subconscious imagination. Visions and Prophecies by Fr Karl Rahner is very informative on this subject. C. M. Staehlin's experiment is discussed in this book. He tested six boys aged from fifteen to eighteen. He tried to see if he could make them see a vision of soldiers fighting above a tree in the sky through influencing them and suggestion. Two boys failed to see anything. Two saw the fighting soldiers. The other two both saw the battle and heard the battle noises and the shouts. Staehlin had prevented the boys from communicating and thus forming a story together.

Yet the subjects who saw the vision agreed in all essentials about what they saw.

If some boys could do that imagine what lone Bernadette could do! Why should we give her any more attention?
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Bernadette of Lourdes, Rev CC Martindale, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1970
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Counterfeit Miracles, BB Warfield, The Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh, 1995
Eleven Lourdes Miracles, Dr D J West, Duckworth, London, 1957
Encountering Mary, Sandra L. Zimdars-Swartz, Princeton University Press, Princetown NJ, 1991 or Encountering Mary, Sandra Zimdars-Swartz, Avon, New York, 1991
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West, D.J. 1957. Eleven Lourdes Miracles. London: Duckworth.

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