The season of pilgrimages is typically in full swing in Lourdes every spring. This town in the Pyrenees is the setting for the story of young Bernadette, to whom the Virgin appeared 18 times in 1858. "Bernadette de Lourdes," an original musical, tells the story of this young girl who was the impetus for the creation of the sanctuary of Lourdes. Initially scheduled from April 5 to October 26, 2020, it was postponed to 2021 due to the health crisis.
February 11, 1858. Young Bernadette Soubirous goes to the banks of the Gave, in Lourdes, to collect wood. As she hears what sounds like a gust of wind, she looks up towards the Massabielle cave and sees a lady dressed in white: the Virgin Mary.
Bernadette has just had a Marian apparition, the first of a long series. In recounting these apparitions, the teenager finds herself in the light and has to face the skepticism of the men of law and church as well as the curious people who accompany her in increasing numbers to the grotto.
The Shrine of Lourdes, one of the main French pilgrimage sites
These apparitions were officially recognized by the Church in 1862, when Bernadette entered the orders of the Sisters of Nevers.
It is this story, at the origin of the creation of the shrine of Lourdes, (today one of the main French pilgrimage sites along with the ossuary at Saint Denis), that is told in the musical "Bernadette de Lourdes". The show follows the young girl in her encounters with the Virgin Mary, and then in her calm and humble struggle to defend her story to skeptical adults.
The character of Bernadette is accompanied on stage by her parents, Louise and François Soubirous, the curator Jacomet and Father Peyramale; their exchanges have been reconstructed according to authentic documents. On the set, the spectator travels from the police station to the completely reconstructed Massabielle cave, and from the presbytery to the Cachot where the Soubirous family lives.
2020 edition cancelled
The entire 2020 season of the show has been cancelled due to the health crisis. The organisers announced that they regretted not being able to welcome "the 200,000 spectators from the four corners of France and around the world." However, the troupe will return in 2021, from April to October, in this city so dear to everyone of Catholic faith!
"Bernadette de Lourdes" is performed at the Robert Hossein space in Lourdes, which has been completely refurbished to accommodate more than a hundred people with reduced mobility and disabilities. The show is also surtitled in English, Spanish and Italian.
The sanctuary of Lourdes, in the Pyrenees, is made up of 22 places of worship, including the Grotto of the Apparitions, the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, and the Pools, in which some 350,000 people come each year to immerse themselves in the hope of healing. In 2019, Lourdes commemorated the 140th anniversary of Bernadette's death.