Sunday, March 01, 2009

Marie Bernard

St. Bernadette Soubirous
I watched the French film about Bernadette on EWTN last night. The film is very well done - the more often I see it, the more I appreciate it. I think it is far more factual than the Hollywood film, Song Of Bernadette - although I'm still fond of that version.
One of the characteristics I like most about St. Bernadette was her humility and simplicity - she never pretended or feigned piety. Nor was she concerned about human respect; a virtue, which by itself contains the power to "scatter the proud in their conceit".


  1. I watched it too, for the second or third time. It is a great film done without a lot of excessive piety.

    But one thing that I can't understand is why the "subtitles" (the film is all in French) are in white. Probably a quarter or more of the subtitles were not readable because they were superimposed over bed sheets, the sisters' coifs or other white images.

    Those subtitles must at some point have been on a different film track. It couldn't be that difficult to make them blue or some other color.

    I always enjoy the snippet showing the scenes from the Franco Prussian War (1870-71) when the convent's hospital was turned into a military hospital. My great-grandfather fought for the victorious Prussians in that very short war. "Experts" thought that WWI would be about the same length with similarly small numbers of casualties.

    But by 1914 the machine gun had been perfected, motor vehicles and the tank had been invented and mustard gas became a weapon. And WWI caused WWII.

    I guess there could have been a lot worse things for a couple of single guys to watch on a Saturday night, eh?

  2. The Prussian war sequence hit me strangely, the idea that; #1) those German's always started wars, #2) why did they always have to attack France anyway? #3) war is really stupid, a game the elite play, watching young men die, #4 Our Lady never mentioned the war or the fate of France - so she thinks it's stupid too.

  3. In this instance, the French declared war on the Prussians and Bismarck in August 1870.

    Within two months, Napoleon III and one of his armies was surrounded and captured by the Prussians at Sedan. The war was in effect over by January 1871.

    The Prussians had spent the time between Napoleon I and 1870 developing mobilization plans that called for the use of railroads. Even though the French began mobilization (via marching) first and had better weapons, the Prussians were able to mobilize three armies quickly and the French couldn't stop them.

    The main effect of the war was that the Prussians were able to unite Germany under Kaiser Wilhelm I and impose heavy reparations costs on the French. The French remembered that in 1918 at the WWI Armistice and did likewise to the Germans, who remembered that and took their revenge in WWII.

  4. Thanks for the history - you are good - you and Fr. Welzbacher would enjoy one another's company. I love history but forgot a lot. So the French started it - those bastards! LOL!


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