Miracles in Beirut: 1863
Mariam Baouardy works as a domestic for Madame Atalla
Life and Thoughts of Mariam Baouardy the ‘Little Nothing”
Chapter 4 (excerpt)
Of this period in Mariam’s life there are two events that stand out as exceptional. Mariam had been working at Madame Atalla’s house for about six months when she was suddenly struck with total blindness, a condition that would afflict her for about forty days. As was her habit, Mariam trustingly turned to the Blessed Virgin with an ardent prayer:
“My mother, see how much trouble they take for me. I have never been surrounded by such affectionate care. If it pleases you and your Son, please give me back my sight.”
She was about to finish this prayer, when all of a sudden, she felt ‘something’ fall from her eyes and immediately she could see.
“If it pleases you and your Son, please give me back my sight.” She felt ‘something’ fall from her eyes and immediately she could see. #MariamBaouardy #healingTweet
Sometime later, as she was hanging out the washing on a high terrace, she fell off, breaking her bones in such a way that at first she seemed dead. The doctors who had been called to her deathbed, did not give much hope of recovery. Her employers cared for her as for their own child.
One day, after about a month of unsuccessful treatment, in front of her little lamp, Mariam saw the Blessed Virgin smiling at her. The Virgin recommended three things: obedience, charity and confidence in God.
“My mother, please take me with you!” Mariam pleaded.
“Mariam, I can’t take you with me because your book is not yet finished. In the meantime, I want to remind you of three things: blind obedience, perfect charity and immense confidence in God, without any concern about tomorrow or for all that may happen to you.”
A sweet perfume and a shining bright light filled the room: Mariam felt she had been cured, and after a long time, finally felt she was hungry.
The family and neighbours came rushing in, and they all fell to their knees, Christians and Muslim alike, giving thanks and proclaiming the miracle performed through the intercession of the Virgin Mary.
Mariam saw the Blessed Virgin smiling at her. The Virgin recommended three things: obedience, charity and confidence in God. #MariamBaouardy #healingTweet
Six years later, in 1869, the prioress of the Carmel of Pau wrote to Sister Gelas, Mother Superior of the Daughters of Charity at Beirut, asking her to verify the authenticity of these events. The following is the reply she received:
16 October 1869. The information obtained from the Atalla family, and which was given to us by the same lady with whom your young protegee lived, conforms entirely with what you mentioned to us. Further, we have a number of other details, not less interesting, that greatly edified us. What the young girl could not tell you was, that wherever she went, she left a perfume of virtue, especially of candour, and of a piety so striking that those who came in contact with her were always deeply impressed by it… I am happy to be able to give you such a good reply. It is so rare that lives that have been thus tossed around are without reproach!
Zampini F 2018, Life and Thoughts of Mariam Baouardy, the ‘Little Nothing’, translated from the Italian by Leontini C, Self-published, Bethlehem.