Alexis Carrel

Scientist ALEXIS CARREL Nobel Prize for physiology and medicine

Conversion of Alexis Carrel

In 1903, when Alexis Carrel was thirty years old he was already a famous scientist. He had the opportunity to go to Lourdes, with a train filled with sick people. He Accepted with enthusiasm because, as a scientist, he wanted to seriously examine the sick, to see if there were really such changes told by stories of Lourdes, what they called "miracles." During the train journey he was entrusted with the care of a young woman, Marie Bailly, who had been ill with tuberculous peritonitis; she was very ill, so much so that it was feared that she would die during the journey. He disdained the fanaticism of pilgrimages, the priests, asleep in their blessed faith . During the journey, he had discussions on the phenomenon of Lourdes and its miracles. At the end of one of this discussion, he talked about Marie Bailly and concluded: "She is in a dramatic state, I have already given her injections of caffeine. I am afraid that she will die in my arms: if this sick woman is healed, it would be a miracle. I would believe in everything and I would enter a friars community.".

In front of the Grotto of the Apparitions,the patients, at two in forty in the afternoon, were arranged in order, accompanied by songs and invocations. Alexis Carrel had in front of him, just ahead, the stretcher with Marie Bailly, who was going through a remarkable change: The bruises were gone, she was less pale ... The good sisters had, a few minutes earlier, taken her to the pools. But did not want to immerse her; she had been restricted to a few washes in the stomach. Alexis himself, in the third person, described what was happening before his eyes, while Marie Bailly was being healed right in front of him: "He could see a clear and fast improvement. Leaning on the balustrade, all his faculties focused on Marie Bailly, not looking at anything but her ... and more the face of Marie continued to change, and her eyes were staring towards the cave. An incredible improvement had occurred ... Suddenly, Carrel felt pale. He saw the blanket fall gradually down her abdomen. It was tree o'clock After a few minutes the swelling of the abdomen seemed to completely disappear. "I think I'm really going crazy" - Carrel thought . "How do you feel?" - he asked Marie. "All right, I'm not very energetic, but I feel that I am healed!" - Marie said softly. There was no more doubt. The state of Marie Bailly had already improved beyond recognition. Carrel spoke no more, no more thoughts. The unexpected fact was so contrary to all his predictions and he thought he was dreaming! ... What had happened was impossible, the unexpected thing, the miracle.".

Carrel was so upset, he almost went mad. The next night after an event so unexpected and extraordinary, he could not get to sleep, he left the hotel and walked down the esplanade, where he stopped at the statue of the Immaculate Conception and there he indulged in a prayer to the Virgin, which, somehow, explains what had taken place in him: "Sweet Virgin , you succor the unfortunate, who humbly call upon you, help me ... My life so far has been a desert, I promise you, the desert will bloom".

Carrel was a man free from sectarianism and atheistic ideologies, he was man who sought the truth. The miraculous event that took place under his eyes led him to believe in the miracle he had witnessed, and finally in the Catholic faith. As a scientist he wanted to examine the fact called "miracle" and continued his scientific research as a believer. Through his studies, thanks to the freedom and honesty of which he had always been proud, he came to the supernatural, which appeared to him a reality no less valid and active than that submitted to its search tools.

November 3rd, 1938 (six years before his death), he turned the Lord: "I want nothing for myself, if not your grace. I want to be in your hands like smoke carried by the wind ... Every minute of my life, Lord, will be devoted to your service. In the darkness, where I cannot see, I will incessantly look for you. Though blind, I will try to follow you, Lord, Show me the way".

He embraced the beauty of the Gospel, the demands of Christian morality, and was fascinated by the new commandment of love dictated by Christ which, if lived by all, would create a new world.Carrel: "There's a big difference between Jesus of Nazareth and Newton, and it is the precept of mutual love taught by Jesus,it is way a more important law than the law of universal gravitation".


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