Her body


Saint Bernadette Soubirous

Since her arrival in Nevers in 1866 to enter the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Nevers, the spirit of Bernadette Soubirous has never ceased to inhabit the place.
We hear about the trivial and important moments of her story, her life dedicated to the service of others, her intact body, her words and prayers, her joys and pains, the many volunteers who, attracted by Bernadette, come from far and near to be at the service of the pilgrims and the sanctuary.

Her sayings

Her writings and sayings…

Bernadette only learned to read and write at the age of 14.  Her writings, as a Sister of Charity of Nevers in Nevers, include her “Personal Notes”   (1873-1874), a few of her jottings  and some family correspondance.

What she said about her encounters with the Lady

She was looking at me.  It was just like two people in conversation.

What she said about her choice of life

I love to take care of the poor and the sick.  I will stay with the Sisters of Nevers.

What she said about her daily life as a Sister of Charity of Nevers

I want my whole life to be inspired by love.

I shall always have enough health, but never enough love.

Our first movement doesn’t count but the second does.

What she said about her inner life

Jesus alone for Master, Jesus alone for Riches …

God speaks in the depths of the person, without the noise of words.

O Jesus, give me I pray … the bread of humility, the bread of obedience … the bread of charity.

What she said a few days before her death

My Jesus!  Oh, how I love him!

I am ground like a grain of wheat.

I won’t forget anyone!

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Her body

The intact body of Bernadette Soubirous is located in the main chapel of the sanctuary.

The Church puts her forward as a witness and invites us to visit her.

For the process of beatification and canonisation, three inspections of the body took place in 1909, 1919 and 1925.

Each time, the body was found to be intact.

In 1925, she was declared blessed and her body was placed in a shrine in the chapel where it still remains.  Bernadette was declared saint in 1933.

Visit Bernadette in Nevers!  There she is inviting you to look at Jesus, her “only Master.”

Today, as thousands of people from all over the world, of all ages and cultures, come to pray to Bernadette, tell her about your joys, your sorrows, your expectations!

Come and walk in her footsteps!  Walk where she lived and walked!  This place is now known as Espace Bernadette.

Pray with Bernadette

Bernadette’s prayer 

" O Jesus, give me I pray …
the bread of humility, the bread of obedience, the bread of charity,
the bread of strength to break my will, and make it one with yours,
the bread of patience to bear the pain my heart endures,
the bread to see you and you alone in all things and always! "

" I put my hope in you, Lord.  Be my house of refuge because you are my strength. "

" He is sufficient for me … Jesus alone for wealth."


A pilgrim’s prayer 

To put my hesitant footsteps in your footsteps,
Please, Bernadette, lend me your clogs.

They are for me, at the same time, symbols of good sense,
spirit of poverty and simplicity.
You know very well, alas, that I lack all of this.
Please, Bernadette, lend me your clogs.

You went to gather wood that would kindle the flame
that brings men together and conforts them.
May I too re-rekindle the hearts of those seeking,
silence, or words, or a smile, or a helping hand.
Please, Bernadette, lend me your clogs.

And should they be too small, may they make me modest.
In the knowledge that as I go forward I have limitations,
my steps are small, I stumble and rise again.
Please, Bernadette, lend me your clogs.

To go towards Mary with more confidence,
To discover the living water offered to those who thirst.
To go to the table where bread is freely give,
Please, Bernadette, lend me your clogs.

To go towards the Father who awaits and loves me.
To take part in the feast at the end of the road
After having walked, carrying my joys and sorrows,
Asking you at all times to take me by the hand,
Please, Bernadette, lend me your clogs.

Marie-Louise Pierson

Our own prayers 

Write your intentions here.  They will be taken care of by the Sisters who live in Nevers.

Write your intentions here.  They will be taken care of by the Sisters who live in Nevers.

Would you like to become a volunteer at Espace Bernadette ?


Come and join us! With others, share an adventure of solidarity in the service of the sanctuary and the pilgrims.

If you wish to live this adventure of solidarity at the service of the sanctuary and the pilgrims, a certain frame of mind is required

  • Welcome each person as he/she is. Listen compassionately.  Welcome the other members of the volunteer team.
  • Guide people in discovering Espace Bernadette. Guide them in doing the “Walk in the footsteps of Bernadette” and in awakening in them a spiritual awareness.
  • Be of assistance and enter into Bernadette’s spirit of availability.
  • Be ready to share with and receive from the Community of Sisters and the volunteer team during prayer time, re-reading, relaxation, meals, deepening of Bernadette’s spirituality.

There are multiple tasks:

  • Reception of pilgrims and visitors. Providing information.
  • Chapel service
  • Room cleaning
  • Shop
  • Table service
  • Maintenance of gardens and buildings
  • Animation … museum, video and walk in the footsteps of Bernadette



To become a volunteer


Requirements for registration

  • Be an adult
  • Be in good health
  • Speak and understand the French language. Any other language would be appreciated.
  • Respect the selected commitment period
  • Accept an assignment suitable to the needs of the sanctuary
  • Sign the volunteer’s agreement


Conditions of stay

  • Bedroom with one or two beds and wash-hand basin
  • Toilets and showers on each floor
  • Sheets and towels supplied


Conditions of registration

  • Send a covering letter explaining why you are interested in becoming a volunteer
  • Attach a description of your skills


Your application will be final after agreement with Espace Bernadette Volunteer Service.