Second meditation by Cardinal Angelo Comastri on the roots of devotion to the Virgin between anecdotes and stories of conversion. A journey that will accompany us throughout the month of May. From Lourdes, one of the most important Marian sanctuaries in the world, extraordinary stories arrive such as the one starring the Nobel Prize winner Alex Carrel. The Telepace initiative relaunched by Vatican News
Eugenio Bonanata and Daniele D’Elia – Vatican City
“The most beautiful miracle are conversions” because they are synonymous with a “healing of the soul”, says Comastri. And in Lourdes there have been, in over two centuries, many conversions. One of these is well known and is that of the scientist Alexis Carrel. In today’s episode, the cardinal tells the story of this distinguished physician from Lyons, an atheist, who in 1903 went to the place of the apparitions. Positivist, skeptical, and also advocate of eugenics. For him miracles and healings were due, rather, to phenomena of self-suggestion. He agreed to go to Lourdes to replace the doctor in charge, who had failed, to accompany the disabled.
“A month with Mary” – second meditation
On the train, Comastri recounts, Carrel ran into a woman suffering from peritonitis who, in his opinion, should have returned home as she could not possibly face the journey. Despite the doctor’s opinion against the continuation of the journey, the woman arrived at her destination and in the hospital, in Lourdes, recovered inexplicably. A spectator of the prodigious recovery of the woman, the doctor, who later received the Nobel Prize, converted and became a “fervent believer”. He would have addressed the plea to Our Lady “Sweet Virgin, helpful towards the unhappy who humbly invoke you, help me!”. Cardinal Comastri takes his cue from the book, written by Carrel, “Journey to Lourdes, Fragments of a Diary” (Morcelliana 1996) and later became a classic.