The Bishop of Bernadette: Monseigneur Laurence

His childhood:

Bertrand SévèreMascarou, known as Laurence, was born in Oroix in the Hautes-Pyrénées on the 7th September 1790. He came from a family of 12 children, most of whom went on to serve the faith.
A health officer, Dr Duserm, spotted the boy. He saw him as an apprentice to the profession of doctor which he carried out in his medical school in the village of Juncalas. The boy seemed serious and intelligent, and he decided to take care of him.  As a child, Bertrand Severine took communion with Mr Cazenavette, priest of Juncalas, while helping his protector to bear the men of the valley of Castelloubon.
It was in this valley that he decided to enter the priesthood.


A priest at 31, he became bishop of Tarbes in 1844 under the reign of Louis-Philippe until his death in 1870.

The apparitions and Bernadette:

He met Bernadette on 5th February 1860, two years after the apparitions.
Recognising the first appearance of 11th February 1858 and subsequent appearances, he judged the narratives of Bernadette Soubirous to be coherent. Monseigneur Laurence recognised that these apparitions could be of divine origin. 

The consequences of such a decision:

The bishop's decision led to the setting up of an infrastructure for official pilgrimages and the construction of the chapel requested by the Virgin during her apparitions, which became the current basilica of the Immaculate Conception.