Saint Bernadette  

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Saint Bernadette (born Marie-Bernarde Soubirous; January 7, 1844 – April 16, 1879), was a miller's daughter from the town of Lourdes in southern France. From February 11 to July 16, 1858, she reported eighteen apparitions of "a Lady." Despite initial skepticism from the Catholic Church, these claims were eventually declared to be worthy of belief after a canonical investigation, and the apparition is known as Our Lady of Lourdes. After her death, Bernadette's body remained incorrupt, and the shrine at Lourdes went on to become a major site for pilgrimage, attracting millions of Catholics each year. On December 8, 1933 she was canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church; her Feast Day is celebrated on April 16.

Bishop Gauthey of Nevers and the Church exhumed the body of Bernadette Soubirous on September 22, 1909, in the presence of representatives appointed by the postulators of the cause, two doctors, and a sister of the community. They found that although the crucifix in her hand and the rosary had both oxidized, her body appeared "incorrupt" — preserved from decomposition. This was cited as one of the miracles to support her canonization. They washed and reclothed her body before burial in a new double casket.
The Church exhumed the corpse a second time on April 3, 1919. The body still appeared preserved, however, her face was slightly discolored possibly due to the washing process (by the sisters) of the first exhumation.
In 1925, the church exhumed the body for a third time. They took relics, which were sent to Rome. A precise imprint of the face was molded so that the firm of Pierre Imans in Paris could make a light wax mask based on the imprints and on some genuine photos. This was common practice for relics in France, as it was feared that although the body was uncorrupted, the blackish tinge to the face and the sunken eyes and nose would make an unpleasant impression on the public. Imprints of the hands were also taken for the presentation of the body. The remains were then placed in a gold and crystal reliquary in the Chapel of Saint Bernadette at the mother house in Nevers. The site is visited by many pilgrims and the body of Saint Bernadette to this day remains intact despite being nearly one hundred and thirty years old