In the grotto rocks

Here is what was happening in 1858.   James Buchanan, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, was President of the United States.  He inaugurated the new trans-Atlantic telegraph cable by exchanging greetings with Queen Victoria.

Speaking of which.  Across the pond, wedding bells were ringing.  The “Wedding March” by Felix Mendelssohn became  THE popular wedding recessional.   Queen Victoria’s daughter Victoria got married, and that is what the band played on and on.

I wonder if the telegraph mentioned it.

No matter.  Here IS something to mention.  Hymen Lipman patented a pencil…. with an attached eraser! That was no mistake.

Also, this year….Abraham Lincoln accepted the Republican Party nomination for a seat in the United States Senate, delivering his “House Divided” speech in Springfield, Illinois.

Denver, Colorado was founded.  Theodore Roosevelt was born.  And Minnesota became a state.

But, one of the most interesting occurrences, happened in  the southern part of France.   On today’s date,  Marie-Bernarde Soubirous, said she saw Mary.  THE Mary.

Marie-Bernarde Soubirous was a 14-year-old French peasant girl.   She claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ.  She saw a total of 18 apparitions in a grotto of a rock headland near Lourdes, France.

Now, Mary had lots she wanted Marie to do.  She explained that the Virgin Mary revealed herself as the Immaculate Conception.  She also wantedd a chapel be built on the site of the vision.  And, the Virgin Mary told Marie to drink from a fountain in the grotto.  Except for there was not a fountain.  Marie subsequently discovered it… by digging into the earth.

Now… when all this was going on…. Marie’s claims garnered widespread attention.  But they put the girl through the ringer.   Church authorities were quite skeptical of this.  They subjected her to severe examinations and refused to accept her visions.

She went through years of mistreatment at the hands of the authorities and the curious public.  Seriously.  But then…. she was finally allowed to enter the convent of Notre-Dame de Nevers, where she spent her remaining years in prayer and seclusion. She died of ill heath at the age of 35.  Thirty-dang-five.

Somehow, out of all that, the public, and the church, flipped their view.  Subsequently, the sight of her manifestations  became the most famous modern shrine of the Virgin Mary.  And, some 75 years later…. in 1933 …. Marie-Bernarde Soubirous was canonized as St. Bernadette by the Roman Catholic Church.  Today, there are millions of people who travel to Lourdes every year.  They go to visit St. Bernadette’s grotto, and to get some of that water from the grotto… which supposedly have curative powers.  Incredible story, it is.

1858.  In one year, so much transpired.  The thing which amazes me about all of this…. goes back to time itself.  On any given day, there are occurrences, millions of them, happening simultaneously, around the world.  Some may be completely insignificant by our measure. Others might make headline news.  No matter the magnitude of the event, it effects all else.  It does.   If only we humans realize that it is all connected.   From the miraculous to the mundane to the tragic to the glorious.  Every moment is built on all moments before it.

I know I’ve said it before, but it all comes back to this.  We are all connected.  Through time, through energy, and through spirit.  The realization of this, is the beginning of compassion, and peace.



“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”
― Plato

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
― Mother Teresa


“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”
― Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness