Perier, Marguerite

Perier, Marguerite a French inmate of Port Royal, noted for a pretended miraculous cure upon her person, which has been the subject of much controversy in the Church, was the daughter of M. Perier, magistrate at Clermont, and niece of Blaise and Jacqueline Pascal. She was born about 1645. When about eight years old she was afflicted with fistula lachrymalis in the left eye, and the disease was of so virulent a character that when she had attained the age of eleven years the bones of the nose and palate had become carious. Medical treatment proved unavailing; and as the child grew worse it was decided, as a last resource, to apply the cautenry, though with little hope of success. She was at this time a pupil in the convent of Port-Royal at Paris. The sisterhood just then received from a priest named La Poterie a reliquary containing what claimed to be a portion of the crown of thorns which pierced the head of the Redeemer. This was carried in procession to the altar of the convent chapel on March 24, 1656, being Friday of the third week in Lent. The nuns, in turn, kissed the sacred relic; and when the pensionnaires approached for the same purpose, their governess, sister Flavia, desired Mademoiselle Perier to commend herself to God, and apply the reliquary to the diseased eye. She did so, and is claimed to have been conscious of a complete and instantaneous cure. The occurrence was mentioned in the convent next day, but was not generally known till a week afterwards, When the surgeon, M. Dalence, called to see his patient, such was the change in her appearance that it was only after a most minute and careful examination that he was convinced of her identity and of the reality of the cure, which he declared unaccountable on any other than supernatural grounds. The news spreading through the city, the queen dispatched her own surgeon to Port-Royal to verify the facts. He and other medical witnesses attested the genuineness of the cure, and pronounced it beyond the operation of natural causes. Their testimony was confirmed by the ecclesiastical authorities; and the grand vicars published a formal recognition of the truth of the miracle. Solemn thanksgivings were offered in the church at Port-Royal, and the holy thorn was presented to the convent, where it was exposed every Friday for the veneration of the faithful. 'This miracle was considered important from the bearing which it had on the Jansenistic controversy then agitating the Romish Church, being thought to be a special indication of God's favor to and his direct interference in behalf of the persecuted Jansenists (q.v.). Demoiselle Marguerite Perier died in 1733. Of course Protestants refuse to give credence to the cure as of miraculous order, and would account for it on psychological principles as the best interpretation of the case. SEE MIRACLES, ECCLESIASTICAL.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

Verse reference tagging and popups powered by VerseClick™.