Bernadette's Body Still Rests Incorrupt

Sister Bernadette Soubirous died at age 35 on April 16, 1879, 13 years after joining the Sisters of Charity. She lived all her professed life in the congregation's convent in Nevers, France.

As part of Bernadette's cause for beatification (to gather relics), the Vatican's Ecclesiastical Court visited the cemetery of the Sisters of Charity in Nevers, where Bernadette was buried. At 8:30 a.m. Sept. 22, 1909, officials exhumed her body, which appeared preserved from decomposition. Other exhumations took place on April 3, 1919, and in 1925. Each time the body appeared incorrupt.

Today, the body of St. Bernadette, still incorrupt, lies in the main chapel of the Convent of St. Gildard in Nevers, France. A constant stream of pilgrims visits the saint's resting place to seek her intercession. They can get within four feet of the glass window of the coffin.

Mary's words are inscribed around the shrine to St. Bernadette in the convent at Nevers. They read: "I do not promise that you will be happy in this world, only in the next."

Bernadette was beatified in 1925 and canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1933.


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