It has become apparent, as I chat with people about my upcoming masters research, that I at times seem a lot like a conspiracy theorist with regards to the apparitions of Mary at Lourdes. I was watching the documentaries about Dan Brown’s “the Da Vinci Code” and “Angels and Demons” and watched bitter atheist make their points about secret societies, etc, especially how Dan Brown manipulated the facts for his books. As I venture into researching the apparitions of Mary at Lourdes, it is worth knowing that I am not planning on doing the same.
For the sake of fiction, I do not think it wrong to manipulate facts. It’s fiction, based on truth. Dan Brown never claimed to be writing non-fiction and he can therefore alter, manipulate and choose facts to fit his story. For my masters, however, I hope to write truth, to the glory of God.
“And you shall know the Truth, and the truth shall set you free.” John 8:32
My agenda for my research on Lourdes is truth. Will I expose anything new? I’m not sure. Will I change my opinions about it? On some things, sure I will. I am worried that people will think I am anti-catholic. I am worried that my research will come across as a “conspiracy theory”. But truth is my only motivation. I love Truth, because I love Jesus. Anything else doesn’t matter.
So what am I doing for my masters again? You can read my previous blog post “Mary will be the only stronghold in Lourdes” Basically in 1858 in Lourdes, a young girl named Bernadette Soubirous had 18 visions of a white lady who at one point called herself ‘The Immaculate Conception’, a Catholic title for the Virgin Mary. The site of the visions in Lourdes, the Grotto of Massabielle receives over 5 million pilgrims each year.
Unlike any other Catholic town I have visited, this city is entirely dedicated to Mary. In February this year (2012) I visited Rome and I loved seeing places where Peter, Paul and others had spent time, as well as where other significant events in church history had occurred. Lourdes has none of that. There is no longer any church built in Lourdes before the visions of Mary, and hence no church not dedicated to the veneration of Mary. It is unlike any place i have ever been to.
But it breaks my heart. People come from all corners of the globe to literally bow down to Mary. Some will say that they’re asking Mary to pray for them, which resembles prayer, while others will openly pray to Mary for grace. This picture, the central picture in one of the churches in Lourdes, pretty much sums it up:
It seems that while there is a strong belief in Jesus, to get to Jesus, a Catholic will go first through Mary.
My masters research will be centred around these events, what lead up to the visions, what has happened since, and who has been involved (tourism, church, townspeople). Only the Lord truly knows what I will find, as he sees all and knows all.
I truly feel that the Lord has called me to this research, and I trust that Jesus has a plan for all of this research. It’s exciting! Please pray with me when it comes to mind, that He would guide my research, and protect me as I seek Truth where it may be hidden, and expose lies though they may seem convincing. But mostly please pray for Lourdes, its people and its pilgrims, that they may truly know what Jesus says:
“I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6