Why Émile Zola Was So Frightened of Our Lady of Lourdes, by Angelo Stagnaro

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St. Bernadette Soubirous ca. 1858 (l) and Émile Zola ca. 1865 (photo: Wikimedia Commons)

‘For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible.’ ― Franz Werfel, ‘The Song of Bernadette’

By Angelo Stagnaro, EWTN News, November 29, 2022

“How evil life must be if it were indeed necessary that such imploring cries, such cries of physical and moral wretchedness, should ever and ever ascend to heaven!” ― Émile Zola, Lourdes

I’m not a fan of Émile Zola (1840–1902), the French novelist who is famous for his dissembling, unrestrained animus toward the Catholic Church. He was a contemporary of St. Bernadette of Lourdes and he had many opportunities to speak the truth and honestly report on what he witnessed at Lourdes — but instead, he took the cowardly way out.

On Dec. 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in his bull, Ineffabilis Deus. On Feb. 11, 1858 — three years later — the Blessed Virgin appeared to St. Bernadette Soubirous 14 times just outside the village of Lourdes, France. …

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