HAIL BLESSED VIRGIN MARY!
The prayer that the Holy Father calls 'the bullet'
O most beautiful flower of Mount Carmel, faithful Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in this necessity. O Star of the Sea, help me and show me herein thou art my Mother. O Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth, I humbly beseech Thee from the bottom of my heart to succour me in this necessity. (Make your request).
There are none that can withstand Thy power.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us (repeat three times)
I thank Thee for Thy mercy towards me and mine.
This prayer should be said for 3 days after which the request will be granted.
Bernadette sees 'the Aquero' for the first time.........
The younger children went off to search for wood and bones on the banks of the Gave, and Bernadette then decided to wade the canal. She had taken off a stocking when she heard "a sound of wind like a storm."
"I turned towards the meadow, and I saw that the trees were not moving at all. I had half noticed, but without attending to it, that some branches were waving somewhere near the grotto. I went on taking my shoes off, and I was putting one foot into the water, when I heard the same sound in front of me. I lifted my eyes and I saw a mass of branches and brambles tossed and waving this way and that, under the higher opening in the grotto, though nothing stirred all round. Behind these branches, in the opening, I saw, immediately afterwards, a white girl, not bigger than I, who made me a little bow with her head. At the same time she put her hands out a little from beside her body - her arms were hanging down like (the pictures of) Our Lady. A rosary was hanging on her right arm. I was frightened. I stepped back. I wanted to call the two little ones, but I dared not.
I rubbed my eyes again and again: I thought I must be mistaken. Looking up, I saw the girl smiling at me very sweetly. She seemed to be inviting me to approach, but I still was frightened. All the same, it was not a fear like what I have felt at other times, because I would always have stayed to look at that (aquero), but when one is frightened one goes away quick. Then I thought of saying my prayers: I put my hand in my pocket and took out the rosary I always carry in it; I knelt down and meant to make the sign of the Cross; but I could not put my hand to my forehead - it fell back.
Meanwhile, the girl put herself sideways and turned towards me: this time she was holding the big rosary in her hand. She crossed herself, as though to pray. My hand was trembling; I tried again to make the sign of the Cross, and this time I could. After this I was no more frightened. I said my rosary. The girl made the beads of hers slip (through her fingers), but she did not move her lips".................
.....On the following Sunday some children asked Bernadette to come to the grotto, and eventually her father consented. Her mother gave them a bottle of holy water. If the apparition was the devil in disguise it would disappear when the holy water was sprinkled. All the children knelt at the grotto and began to say the rosary. To Bernadette "the same white girl showed herself in the same place as before," but the others saw nothing unusual. Bernadette threw some holy water and the "white girl" bowed and made the sign of the Cross. Just then Jean Abadie appeared on the top of the crag and shouted: "Ask her if she comes from God or the devil! Wait, wait, I'll do for your white girl for you!"
With that she hurled a big stone which fell near Bernadette. "Instantly," said Bernadette, "it disappeared like lightening," then "it reappeared," and Bernadette knew no more until she "woke up" at a neighbouring mill.
Extracts from 'A Time to Keep' by Halliday Sutherland written during his visit to Lourdes in 1923.