Campaign for return of St Bernadette’s remains to Lourdes

Campaigners are arguing for return of the body of St Bernadette Soubirous to Lourdes, where she reported seeing visions of the Virgin Mary in 1858.

An association, which has the support of several of the saint’s descendants, want her body to be returned from a chapel in Nevers in Burgundy.

The association argues that the number of Sisters of Charity of Nevers is dwindling, and soon only lay people will run the chapel where St Bernadette’s remains lie.

But opponents say Bernadette made it clear she did not want to return to Lourdes after leaving in 1866, because she was attracting too much attention from pilgrims and the media.

She died in Nevers in 1879.

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