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Lourdes / Written and Directed by Peter Hoffmann, Produced by John Tenorio
An exploration of the medical facts and clerics’ position on the Miracles of Lourdes

Synopsis of LOURDES - A Film Documentary

Lourdes, the film, was shot on location in Lourdes, France, to document this most famous of Marian shrines. Each year over five million pilgrims visit this site where, in 1858, Bernadette Soubirous drew spring water from the rock of Massabielle. Although hundreds of people witnessed this event, only Bernadette could see the apparition of the Virgin Mary, who instructed her to drink and wash from this spring. Others followed her to the waters, namely the sick and the incurably ill, many of whom walked away cured of their afflictions – instantly and permanently.

To those of unshakable faith, the word “miracle” would certainly characterize such cures. The Catholic Church, hoever, which administers the Sanctuary of Lourdes, has set rigorous standards for proof. Thus, in 1883, university physicians founded the Bureau of Medical Verification so that these healings could be subject to scientific scrutiny and medical oversight. Today, the Bureau is an international organization of over 2,000 physicians of every medical specialty, and they oversee the investigation of any Lourdes cure claimed to occur outside the bounds of nature.

This film reviews four such cures in plain language using source material (clinical reports, radiographs, pathology slides and laboratory data) provided by the Medical Bureau. Between the cures, the incurably ill and the volunteers who care for them talk about prayer spirituality and healing. The Rector of Lourdes, the President of the Medical Bureau and the Bishop of Lourdes/Tarbes provide expert commentary.