ICYMI: '60 Minutes' Reported on Potential Medical Miracles at Pilgrimage Site in France

January 9th, 2023 9:45 AM

"I look to CBS News for good news about the Catholic faith" is a sentence you'll never, ever hear.

So we just caught up and we thought it was important to go back and throw some kudos at Bill Whitaker and 60 Minutes for a December 18 report on reported miracles at Lourdes, France. In 1858, a 14-year-old girl named Bernadette Soubirous said the Virgin Mary appeared to her there in a grotto, and ever since, it's been a pilgrimage site. The Catholic Church has proclaimed 70 miraculous cures there....out of more than 7,000 claims. 

CBS focused in part on the case of Sister Bernadette Moriau:

WHITAKER: Strolling with 83-year-old Sister Moriau through the chapel grounds in Bresles, France, we found it hard to believe that for half her life, she suffered from Cauda Equina - a disorder of the nerves and lower spine....Her left foot, she said, was twisted and limp.

To walk at all, she needed this back and leg brace, an implant to dull nerve pain and massive doses of morphine. She told us she had exhausted all treatment options, so, in 2008, her doctor convinced her to make a pilgrimage to Lourdes.

Did you believe in miracles at the time?

SISTER BERNADETTE MORIAU (Translation): I always believed in miracles, but not for me.

WHITAKER: So why-- why did you decide to go?

MORIAU (Translation): Well, I didn't go there for a miracle. I just went there to pray with others. Lourdes is a place where the smallest people, or the sickest, or the poorest, they come first.

Three days after she returned from Lourdes, she heard an inner voice telling her to take off her braces and walk...and she did. Determining if this was an actual miracle took a lot of investigation and paperwork. After an exhaustive eight-year investigation by something called the Lourdes Office of Medical Observations, they determined Sister Moriau's case was "medically unexplained."

It was recognized as the 70th Lourdes miracle in 2018.

The small town of Lourdes, tucked in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains, draws more than 3 million pilgrims every year, more than travel to Mecca or Jerusalem. As CBS concluded: 

It's been said about Lourdes: for those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not, no explanation is possible.

This segment was made possible in part by Wayfair.