Born in 1804
Lived in Lourdes. Cured in March 1858, in his 55th year. Miracle on 18th
January 1862, by Mgr Laurence, Bishop of Tarbes.
This cure is the one most often quoted in the history of Lourdes. Although usually considered the first, in actual fact there is evidence that it could not have happened before the first days of March (cf. Laurentin).
Louis BOURIETTE was a quarryman's labourer, living and working in Lourdes. In 1858 he had been afflicted with a complete loss of vision in the right eye for two years. This serious disturbance resulted from an accident in the mine, which 19 years before had irreversibly injured his eye, and killed his brother Joseph, who was at his side.
Dr. Dozous, the first Medical "expert" verified this cure and in 1874 wrote this:
"It is a well known fact, corroborated by science, that whenever an eye is injured by a flying object in an explosion, the shock engendered is always sufficient to lead to incurable blindness. Often it happens that the other eye, unable to escape the repercussion of that shock due to the sympathy which exists between the two eyes, is itself weakened and ends up blind too".
The circumstances of this cure were reported by the same Dr. Dozous who took an interest in them himself.
"As soon as Bernadette had scratched the soil of the Grotto leading to the appearance of the Spring which had cured so many sick people, I wanted, he told me, to try and see if this water would cure my eye.
When the chance came to use this water, l started to pray to Our Lady of the Grotto, and humbly begged her to be with me when I bathed my eye with the water from the fountain.
I bathed and rebathed my right eye repeatedly in the space of a short time, and after these ablutions my sight was excellent, just as it is now" (cf. La Grotte de Lourdes, sa fontaine, ses guerisons).
The Commission of enquiry, set up by Mgr Laurence, heard Dr. Dozous speak about this cure on 28th. July 1858.
In April 1860, Dr. Henri Vergez, Professor attached to the Faculty at Montpellier, and Medical Officer at the Waters of Bareges, presented his preliminary report as requested by Mgr Laurence. He declared as his opinion:
"This event (the cure) possesses a supernatural character".
The verdict was solemnised in the Mandate of Mgr Laurence in January 1862.