A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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iv                 THE ECCLESIA AND PNEUMATIC THERAPY              163
ception \ The movement which followed was authorized by the Pope as the ' Cult of Our Lady of Lourdes \
But in view of the psychological data we now possess, it is impossible to discard Antoinette Peyret's theory altogether. Bernadette had probably been one of the very people who had mourned Mademoiselle Latapie's death. If this person were buried in the cemetery she would have passed her grave on the way to the grotto before her first experience ; and it is not impossible that even the stockings she pulled ofif reminded her of her dead friend. As she was poor, they might well have been a gift from her. It may be that Bernadette desired her resurrection and that her experience was a gratification of this wish. It is not without significance that she said she had seen ' a lady coming out of the grotto \ On the other hand, we are not justified either scientifically or theologically in altogether excluding the possibility of an objective apparition. Such phenomena are now considered a subject of serious research. At present there is a statue of the Virgin standing on a rock which projects above the grotto, the walls of which are covered with crutches and votive offerings.
It was during Bernadette's ninth ecstatic experience that she discovered the ' miraculous spring'. Estrade,54 who was present in person on this occasion, gives a detailed account of what happened. On February 25 the girl went to the place where she usually prayed and, after some moments of meditation, rose from her knees and advanced towards the grotto. In passing, she pushed aside the branches of a wild rose tree and went to kiss the ground under the rock beyond the bush. Then she returned down the slope and once more fell into ecstasy. Again standing up she turned hesitantly towards the ' Gave', moved in that direction, and then abruptly stopped and looked behind her as if in answer