Fr Peyramale tributes

Our Missa Cantata this morning in the crypt of the parish Church of Lourdes was assisted by the superb acoustic of the chapel. I hope to get some photos from Wendy later. We managed quite well with the portable kit that we brought along, including a lightweight self-assembly set of six candlesticks.

Afterwards, we spent some time at the statue of the parish priest of Lourdes at the time of St Bernadette. There was a girl of about St Bernadette's age for our reconstruction but as she is taller than I am, a younger girl played the part of St Bernadette while I played the part of Fr Peyramale. At first, he prudently rejected St Bernadette's story of the "beautiful lady": there were many such stories circulating at the time. He was converted when St Bernadette told him that the lady said "I am the Immaculate Conception." He knew that St Bernadette, who had very little formal instruction in the faith, could not have made this up.

Afterwards, the boys pinched my biretta to see if they could land it on the head of the Monsignore as he was later dignified. Mgr Peyramale is one of my heroes at Lourdes. He was a good and wise parish priest and once convinced of the truth of the apparitions, protected St Bernadette with determination.

Later we went to the Grotto for the Rosary in the afternoon and baked under the sun. I was able to give the children a special blessing at the Grotto. We're off now to the torchlight procession...

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