An Extraordinary Blessing
On 3 February 1822 Fr Noailles, unable to be present, as was his custom, to give Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at the convent in Mazarin Street, Bordeaux, asked Fr Delort, a local priest, to replace him. Scarcely had Fr Delort placed the Blessed Sacrament in the monstrance when the host moved slightly and the head and shoulders of Our Lord, surrounded by a brilliant halo, were distinctly seen. His face was of dazzling brightness and represented a young man of about thirty, exceptionally handsome. He had fair hair, shoulder length; he wore a red sash. His left hand rested on his heart and his right hand was stretched out towards the people who were in the Chapel.
The miraculous apparition lasted for about twenty minutes. Some lay people from the locality had been present in the chapel and had witnessed the miracle. Fourteen accounts of the miracle were collected and sent to the Archbishop of Bordeaux who carried out a thorough investigation into the event. Fr Delort concluded his testimony with the following:
“Some believed what I said; others treated me as a visionary. Be that as it may, I declare what I have seen, what I have, so to speak, touched with my own hands, and though my testimony may have little weight I should consider myself the most ungrateful and blameworthy person if I did not bear witness to the truth.”
This event confirmed Fr Noailles in his resolve to continue the work he had begun in spite of
difficulties andobstacles, convinced that it was, indeed, God’s work:
“My great desire, as my most constant prayer to the Lord, is to see a continuation of the good which Jesus himself came to bless and encourage in a visible manner, a blessing which, to this day, has borne such abundant fruits.”
The story of this unusual occurrence spread throughout France, and many more people, especially bishops and priests, were attracted to the Association, convinced that this ‘miracle’ was truly an exceptional sign of approval.