After six months of Noviciate, Rosette Tamisier is admitted into another House of the Order of the Presentation of Mary, in Salon-de-Provence. There, she almost immediately, and for long months, falls seriously ill.
So seriously, that soon she will no longer be able to eat. This is when angels bring her Holy Communion which allows her to survive. A rigorous surveillance is exercised around her bedchamber. But, for the whole time that her fast lasts, it is impossible to discover the slightest fraud.
Her health remains so precarious that, on doctors’ orders, she is obliged to return to laic life. Back in her family, she has to remain in bed, and her poor days are spent embroidering Church ornaments.
The Good God does not desert her, however, during these ordeals, and there again, she is miraculously supplied with wafers that angels remove from Monsieur the Curate’s ciborium.
One day, in the Saignon church, she falls into ecstasy. As is indicated in the judicial dossier on the affair conserved in the archives of the Nimes Tribunal, totally trustworthy witnesses see her levitate. One of them several times passes his hands under her knees and notices, like other members of the congregation, that she is no longer touching the floor.
Over the years, Rosette’s reputation for sainthood grows, and to those who complain about the development of de-christianization, Vicar Sabon replies:
“You’ll see that a daughter of Saignon will do extraordinary things and that this will do a lot of good to religion.”
In 1845 one of Rose’s young brothers marries a Mademoiselle Jean, of Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt, who is mistress of an inn. The couple settles in this little town and Rose makes frequent visits to her sister-in-law’s home.
Of course, she is too weak to take part in heavy duties, but what does that matter?… she is such a good person, with such beautiful elevation of the soul, that the whole household is illuminated.
So when, in 1847, during one of her stays at Saint-Saturnin, she again falls very seriously ill, the family devotedly cares for her for long months, happy, it seems, to attenuate a little the sufferings of this girl with the frail body, but so loved by God…
As soon as the miracle of the picture that bleeds is known throughout the countryside, people come in the hope of seeing the prodigy repeat itself.
Doctor Bernard, a doctor in Apt, makes a very careful investigation but decides to postpone his conclusions until a new supernatural manifestation occurs.
He won’t have to wait long. On 13 December a new miracle happens. At eight o’clock in the morning, Josephine Imbert goes to the presbytery and asks Curate Grand to climb without delay to the chapel.
When he pushes open the door, he notices, in the dim light, Rose’s little frail silhouette. She is on her knees before the altar and her whole being looks as if it is being sucked toward the picture.
Josephine and Rosette’s sister-in-law are on the Curate’s heels. The ecclesiastic, who is very myopic, lights a candle, climbs on a step-ladder and approaches the flame to the picture…
Christ’s right hand which hangs down vertically has a big drop of blood on it…
When he moves the candle’s light, he then sees that the crucified one’s side bears a bloody trace and four reddish drops around it.
Called to the scene, a young, twenty-eight year old doctor, Doctor Clement, draws up a statement. This is repugnant to him for he is a free-thinker and fears the sarcasms of his entourage. The next day, however, he signs a witness statement which is very favourable to the supernatural thesis.
On 16 December, Rose announces that a new miracle is in the making.
A great part of the Canton rushes over in the morning, and the piety of the faithful is rewarded with a first prodigy. Even before the picture starts to bleed, the chapel bell joyfully peels. The chapel’s little bell-tower has, however, no bellringer in it.
This time the Mayor is there, flanked by Doctor Clement and Gendarme Allard. At the moment of the miracle, everyone can only respectfully bow his or her head. Doctor Bernard from Apt, who was one of the first to be convinced, goes to Saint-Saturnin as fast as his horse can carry him, but arrives too late… The blood has already coagulated…
In vain, certain people present emit doubts, Doctor Clement notably, who suggests that Rose evidently has a sick nature. Doctor Bernard interrupts him:
“They are supernatural ills,”
and reminds him that Rose’s pains are worse on Fridays.
The Sous-Prefet himself, notified by the Mayor, arrives and submits Rose to an extensive interrogation. The result is that this public servant is troubled by Rosette Tamisier’s intelligence and indiscutable logic, and praises her modesty and beautiful elocution qualities. He receives from her mouth the announcement of another miracle which could take place on 20 December.
On the evening before this great day, the whole Canton is set in motion. Even the Archbishop of Avignon, alerted by numerous letters from the faithful, has decided to see for himself. So as not to be retarded along the way, he sleeps at the presbytery, while the Sous-Prefet, a Judge and an Assistant Prosecutor spend the night at the inn.
When night falls, the chapel is surrounded by a double row of gendarmes…
This time, Doctor Bernard is being more prudent. At seven o’clock in the evening, his cabriolet had entered the village, making its way with difficulty through the many carriages which had converged on Saint-Saturnin from throughout the whole region.
Where are all these good people going to spend the night? No-one cares. They are all only thinking of the following day and, while waiting, prayers and canticles rise from the chars-a-bancs, while the poorest among them shuffle around in the mud without daring to curse the glacial rain which has been falling from the sky for two days.
The next day, the presbytery awakes well before Dawn.
Monsignor had asked to be woken very early. His request was obeyed but, at eight o’clock, he is still seated in front of his broth.
His Excellency should have known that Heaven does not like waiting, and his robe is not yet done up when the bell announcing another miracle begins to ring.
In fact, if the Prelate is frustrated this morning of the essential manifestations of the phenomenon, it is also because of the excessive zeal of Monsieur the Sous-Prefet Grave.
To be continued.