Saturday, September 26, 2015


     A child at St. Justin, in the department of Gers, Jean-Marie Tambourné, had been for some months entirely disabled in his right leg.  He suffered such excruciating pains in it, that his limbs had been violently twisted out of shape;  and his foot, completely turned outwards by his attacks of suffering, had formed a right angle with the other foot.  His general health had been speedily impaired and disorganized owing to his state of continual suffering, which deprived him of sleep as well as of appetite.  His parents, who were in tolerably easy circumstances, had exhausted, in hopes of effecting his cure, all treatment recommended by the medical men of the place.  Nothing could overcome the poor child’s inveterate infirmity.  Recourse had been had to the waters of Blousson, and to medicinal baths, but almost everything had failed.  Very slight temporary alleviation of his sufferings constantly led to disastrous relapses.
     His parents had lost all confidence in any means recommended by science.  Disgusted with the vain efforts of medical men, they turned their hopes towards the Mother of Mercy who, as it was said, had appeared at the Rocks of Massabielle.  On the twenty-third of September, 1858, Jean-Marie was taken by his mother to Lourdes in a public conveyance.  The distance was long, being about fifty kilomètres.  On reaching the town, the mother, carrying her unfortunate son in her arms repaired to the Grotto.  She bathed him in the miraculous water, praying at the same time fervently to Her, who has willed to be called in the Rosary, “Health of the weak.”  The child had fallen into a kind of ecstatic state.  His eyes were wide open and his mouth half closed.  He seemed to be contemplating some strange spectacle.
     “What is the matter with you?” enquired his mother.
     “I see God and the Blessed Virgin,” he replied.  The poor woman on hearing these words experienced a profound commotion in her heart of hearts.  A strange perspiration stood in beads on her face.
     The child had come to himself again.
     “Mother,” he exclaimed, “my ailment is gone!  I do not feel any more pain.  I can walk.  I feel as well as I was long ago!”
     Jean-Marie spoke the truth.  Jean-Marie was cured.  He returned to Lourdes on foot.  He dined and slept there. Simultaneously with the disappearance of his infirmity and pain, his appetite and sleep returned.  The next day, his mother returned to the Grotto to bathe him once more and had a Mass of thanksgiving celebrated in the Parish-Church of Lourdes.  Then, both started on their return homewards, but on foot, and not in any vehicle.
     When, after having slept en route, they reached St. Justin, the child perceived his father, who was on the high-road, looking out, no doubt, for the carriage which was to bring home his pilgrims.  Jean-Marie recognizing him from afar, let go his mother’s hand and began to run towards him.
     The father almost fainted at the sight.  But his dearly-loved child was already in his arms.  “Father,” he exclaimed, “the Blessed Virgin has cured me!”
     The fame of this event spread like wild-fire in the town, where Jean-Marie was known by every one.  People came to see him in crowds from all quarters. 

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