Monday, February 20, 2012


You might enjoy this film about a wheelchair bound woman who goes on pilgrimage to Lourdes, it was on BBC 4 yesterday, it is French.


Nicolas Bellord said...

Many thanks Father. Will watch it this evening.

The Bones said...

Fr Z says that Lourdes has a new Bishop.

Following the “personal” appointment of Bishop Francis Moraglia as patriarch of Venice, Benedict XVI has hit a similar shot with the Church of France.

He did so last Saturday, February 11, the feast of the Blessed Virgin of Lourdes, when he appointed the new bishop of the diocese in which the famous Marian shrine stands, that of Tarbes and Lourdes. Pope Joseph Ratzinger has called to this post Nicolas Brouwet, who will turn 50 next August 31, since April of 2008 the auxiliary bishop of Nanterre, the diocese in which he was born and was ordained a priest in 1992.

Amfortas said...

A thoughtful if ambiguous film. I wonder what motivated the film maker.

Peter said...

Thank you for the link.
Yesterday the French TV Mass, Le Jour du Seigneur featured the Mass of the Order of Malta from the church of St Elizabeth in Paris (3). The programme website also has a film about the work of the Order of which taking Malades to Lourdes is but one activity.
All in French so good practice for listeners.

Seems to work.

FrBT said...


I watched the film last night on the TV. I noted several important messages in the film.

- Our Faith: are we really strong in our Faith?

- Tolerance and kindness: Is it real or not - or do we wear a mask?

- Love: Are we really understanding what love means and all that it asks of us? The sacrifices we must make?

- Devotion and basically the Gifts of The Holy Spirit: do we use them correctly or abuse them?

God in his love for us gave us Our Lady of Lourdes, The Immaculate Conception as our Mother. Could we ask for anything better or greater?

Having been to Lourdes (lost count how many times), in the sick and suffering, and those who accompanied them, I saw the eyes of complete trust in God, the eyes of sceptics, the eyes of hope and great love for BVM, The Immaculata.

There are so many miracles performed in Lourdes, not always apparent on a daily basis.

The important one is love.

Love for God and His Holy Mother.
Love for a child - unconditional.

In the film - the young lady's mother has such a love. I found the mother to be a true heroine.

What happened to Cecile? I really began to like her. Could do with a few of Ceciles in my parish!!


john-of-hayling said...

Thank you for the tip. I watched the film last night and found it enthralling.
Somebody called it ambiguous - that is surely a good thing as it enabled the viewer to form their own opinions about what was going on. It would have been too easy to present either a miracle or an expose of something phony. Here you could watch and assess.
I liked the scene in the confessional where she said that she just wanted to be normal. The priest was calm and quiet and then said ' but what is normal? We are each of us unique. Do you think that just because somebody has two legs and are not paralysed, that they are therefore happy and lead fulfilling lives......'

Gigi said...

Hi Father Ray. I watched the film on TV the other night. Like John-of-Hayling, I found it to be "open" rather than ambiguous. It's certainly a film that you rework in your mind afterwards; given the subject, this has to be a good thing. I also thought the film questioned if we really know what we mean by "love", even if we appear to be strong advocates of it.
Good old fashioned cinematography too.

Nicolas Bellord said...

I too watched the film and need to watch it again. I think some people transfer the ambiguities of the characters in the film onto the film makers.

I wondered what the message was with regard to Sister Celine who forecasts the cure and later falls dying revealing a bald head (result of chemotherapy?). This reminded me of a theme of Bernanos that suffering transferred or accepted can lead to the redemption of another.

PwMS said...

I thought the film highlighted the huge gulf between the able bodied and disabled amongst the pilgrims. Lifting a tetra-paraplegic onto her bed, pushing wheelchair users, the general stupid remarks about queue jumping and the coach trip for the able bodied. Moreover it highlighted the isolation when you do not fit into the able bodied world. I think I will stick with my technology, my carers, my power wheelchair, my hoist, my MS, my independence and my mirror at the correct height for paraplegics such as myself. Is Lourdes that inaccessible and the faithful able bodied that dumb?

FrBT said...

Mr Bellord

Sorry to labour the point, but I am still thinking about Cecile and her sudden pain in the back and her collapse. Obviously her loss of hair must have occured as a result of oncology treatments.

I do wonder what happened to her?

Is Cecile a person who shows the viewer that not all is as it seems, under the layers of clothes etc?

Or is the message that when we judge a person we may be wrong because there may be different things to consider?

ie. an able bodied nurse, who showed no signs of illness, until----

Or is the message - that we are all frail as humans and can develop an illness at any time with a sudden onset?

Her character has made me wonder. I was beginning to like her, and I have seen such kindness and leadership in my parishioners who are nurses and doctors.

Frankly, I would like more parishioners with such kindness.


Michael said...

Because of a mental problem or disability, I have only been able to watch 34 minutes of this film. I was in Lourdes as a disabled person some years ago with the "Christe Roi" pilgrimage of the SSPX. This film is so real in many respects, but our priests blessed everyone of the sick and disabled, not one every 50 yards as the film shows, no matter how long it took. The Host in the Monstrance was a real Host, not a pizza or a cookie. If I ever manage to view the film to the end, no doubt there will be other points which I find uncomfortable, but Lourdes will always be home to me because Our Blessed Lady is there.
Yes, some of the uniformed officials were Little Hitlers, but others were as welcoming as Jesus Christ Himself. When I always explained my disability in pure Scouse, the Little Hitlers vanished. Obviously Our Blessed Lady was originally from Liverpool. God Bless her cotton socks.

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