Bernadette’s interrogation by the imperial prosecutor - February 1858 :

"My name is Bernadette Soubirous. I am "13 to 14" years old", I can not read or write ; I have not made my first communion yet.

February 11, day of market in Tarbes, Jeanne Baloune (Jeanne Abadie, Baloune is a nickname) ; came to pick me up to go gather bones with her along the stream, through the pebbles.

These bones, we had the project to sell them one or two cents in order to buy sardines. *

We left, followed by my sister Marie, younger than me. Arriving at the mouth of the canal of the Savy mill (belonging to Monsieur De Lafitte ) ; who separated us from the grotto of Massabielle, Jeanne and Marie crossed the canal. As I did not want to put myself in the water **, I expressed the desire that one of them carried me to the other side. - "You can do it as well" ; they told me.

I had taken off my shoes, and I was about to cross the canal too. I stepped into the water when I heard a rustling sound (like a gust of wind) ; very strong in the hedge we can see on the rock overlooking the cave.

I looked on this side, I saw the bush stirred and behind the bush something white. I stared at him for a moment, then I knelt down and prayed. "This" (Aquero) ; smiled at me and plunged into one of the openings (the largest) that is above the cave.

My fellows were dancing on the other side of the canal, and I asked them if they had seen anything. They answered me negatively. They questioned me in turn about what I had seen. "It's nothing" ; I told them.

" Aquero " was not my size and was about this height (Bernadette indicates a height of about 90 centimeters) ; she had a white veil coming down on her feet, on each of which I saw a yellow rose.

Her hands slightly apart held a rosary, she was young. She was perfectly like her face and clothes to a Blessed Virgin placed on one of the altars of the church of Lourdes, at the foot of which I used to go to pray but she was surrounded by light and alive."

* probably a can

** Bernadette's health was poor