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Sunday, 4 June 2006

Fr Peyramale

Jean Delannoy's 1988 film "Bernadette" is shot on location with a largely Pyrennean cast and, in my view, gives a more accurate portrayal of Bernadette's life than "The Song of Bernadette". The most moving scene for me as a priest is where Bernadette runs to the now somewhat impatient Fr Peyramale, her parish priest. Previously, she has told him of the Lady's words and he has sent her away. In one amusing scene, she goes back to the house and says "I forgot, the Lady said to tell you "Ask the priests to build me a chapel", and he slams the window shut. Now she is repeating to herself the title that Mary told her and then says to the priest "She said 'I am the Immaculate Conception'". Fr Peyramale's grief and realisation that he has been wrong is captured very well in an understated way.

He then effectively became her protector; another good scene is where the psychologists tell him that they intend to take her away for some tests. He tells them that they will have to take her over his corpse.

Here is the presbytery that Bernadette visited to see Fr Peyramale. The statue is of St Bernadette seated.

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