Si, is an actual photograph, in colour, taken at the time, of Our Lady making an apparition in front of poor ignorant hallucinating French peasant girl Bernadette Soubirous in the grotto in Lourdes, France. Of course, Bernadette is no longer a poor ignorant hallucinating peasant girl these days, because she is dead; she is now SAINT Bernadette, which just go to show that, despite what people say, no matter how poor and ignorant you are, the Catholic Chruch is an equal opportunity employer. Any idiot can become a saint if they are pious enough, just like any idiot can become president of America if he is rich enough.
Our Lady make an apparition to Bernadette on 18 occasions in 1858. There wasn’t much else going on back then and she was probly bored in Heaven, so she come down for a few chats in a nice quiet place where nobody else would see her and nobody would make a fuss. She talk to Bernadette about all sort of things; the weather, Real Madrid, knitting, lambs, the importance of washing down there, and so on. On the occasion when this photo was taken, she was telling Bernadette about the miracle of the loaves and fishes which Jesus perform to feed the 5,000 fans who had come to see his show. Bernadette was curious about this miracle and had just asked Our Lady, “How big was the fishes?” You can see Our Lady’s reply in the photo.
I am mentioning all about the Lourdes today because this year is the 150th anniversary of Our Lady’s appearances, and some people are wondering if she will do an anniversary show. Is not very likely, in my opinion, because everyone else in the original cast is either dead or have sold their souls to Satan. Either the organizers will have to resurrect Saint Bernadette or else they will have to find someone appropriate to stand in for her, such as Kylie Minogue, your one off Eastenders, or one of the Cheeky Girls (not Madonna, though, because that would be confusing and raise all sort of copyright issues).
I also mention Lourdes because of the terrible kerfuffle that is appearing in the papers about the miraculous appearance of €500,000 in the personal bank account of Father Raymond Zambelli, who is the priest in charge of the sanctuaries of Lourdes. Father Zambelli says that this money was just resting in his account, having being donated by a senile worshiper who have more money than sense, but nobody is believing him. They all think that he is covering up the truth that this is another miracle that will distract pilgrims in what is a very important year for the shrine. I realize that it is difficult for non-Catholics to understand, but another miracle at this time would be the last thing they need at Lourdes. It would be very bad for business indeed!
I was read in the papers that, in the past, the Chruch authorities have already disallowed the sale of bottles of wine with pictures of Our Lady of Lourdes on the front and also beer mats with pictures of the grotto on, which is I think a little escessive; I don’t not think Our Lady ever frowned upon the Devoted having a few bottles of wine with their lunch. There is nothing in the Gospels about it, and her son was very partial to a drop. Is still possible, however, to get holy water at Lourdes, for €3 a litre, which is good value when you compare it to Lucozade Sport or Powerade, neither of which have the special properties of Lourdes water, such as minerals, holiness, and cryptosporidium. Also you can still get after-dinner mints made with water from the spring and stamped with the likeness of Our Lady on them, which make a nice present for a dinner party and can be also used to scare children.
Is espected this year that there will be 8 million visitors making pilgrimage to the shrine at Lourdes, each one of them spending around €100 on holy nick-nacks, so is important for the Chruch that this Zambelli miracle is not allowed to divert attention away from the first and original Lourdes miracle, even if a hormonal pubescent girl seeing things is nowhere near as impressive as the miraculous appearance of vast sums of money in a Catholic priest’s personal bank account. But as Jesus esplain when he walk on the water: The Good Lord Move on Mysterious Waves!!