Monday, February 22, 2010

Franz Werfel and Bernadette

So its amazing the way sometimes things just fall into line. Today I was looking up something on Wikipedia and the article included a quote from Franz Werfel. Werfel, was a Jewish poet and play write who wrote against the Nazi's in the period prior to their take over of Austria. As the National Socialist Party came to power he fled to France, only to have to flee again when Germany invaded that country. Unable to procure the necessary documents he fled across France, finally hiding with various families around Lourdes.
While there he learned of the story of Bernadette Soubirous. Werfel made a promise to God that if he and his wife escaped to America he would write a song about Bernadette. With the help of American journalist Varian Fry he managed to escape. In 1941 he wrote Song of Bernadette, a novel about the young girl and the apparition of the Blessed Virgin which appeared to her.
Though Werfel never converted to Catholicism his book was very Catholic in tone.
Amazingly at the present time I'm doing a Lenten reflection on Mary. Today's reading was on Bernadette Soubirous and Our Lady of Lourdes.
Just moments ago someone sent me a factoid. It seems that this year Lent and Easter correspond exactly with those of 1858, the year Our Lady appeared to St Bernadette in Lourdes.
The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes was last week, on Feb 11. Somehow that date passed without my really noticing it. For some reason today the Spirit seemed determine to bring it to my attention

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