On the 17th of December, 1899, the fast mail on the way from Bordeaux to Paris met with a collision. In the mail car was Gabriel Gargam, a 30-year-old post office express clerk. At the time of the wreck the train was going at the speed of fifty miles an hour. By the crash Gargam was thrown fifty-two feet. He was terribly bruised and broken and paralyzed from the waist down. He was barely alive when lifted onto a stretcher. Taken to a hospital, his existence for some time was a living death.
After eight months he had wasted away to a mere skeleton, weighing but seventy-eight pounds, although normally a big man. His feet became gangrenous. He could take no solid food and was obliged to take nourishment by a tube. Only once in twenty-four hours could he be fed even that way.
Gargam’s condition was pitiable in the extreme. He could not help himself even in the most trifling needs. Two trained nurses were needed day and night to assist him. Previous to the accident, Gargam had not been to church for fifteen years. His aunt, who was a nun of the Order of the Sacred Heart, begged him to go to Lourdes. He refused. She continued her appeals to him to place himself in the hands of Our Lady of Lourdes. He was deaf to all her prayers. After continuous pleading of his mother he consented to go to Lourdes. It was now two years since the accident, and not for a moment had he left his bed all that time. He was carried on a stretcher to the train. The exertion caused him to faint, and for a full hour he was unconscious. They were on the point of abandoning the pilgrimage, as it looked as if he would die on the way, but the mother insisted, and the journey was made.
Arrived at Lourdes, he was carried to the miraculous pool and tenderly placed in its waters–no effect. Rather a bad effect resulted, for the exertion threw him into a swoon and he lay apparently dead. On the way back they saw the procession of the Blessed Sacrament approaching. They stood aside to let it pass, having placed a cloth over the face of the man whom they supposed to be dead.
As the priest passed carrying the Sacred Host, he pronounced Benediction over the sorrowful group around the covered body. Soon there was a movement from under the covering. To the amazement of the bystanders, the body raised itself to a sitting posture. While the family were looking dumbfounded and the spectators gazed in amazement, Gargam said in a full, strong voice that he wanted to get up. He got up and stood erect, walked a few paces and said that he was cured. The multitude looked in wonder, and then fell on their knees and thanked God for this new sign of His power at the shrine of His Blessed Mother. For two years hardly any food had passed his lips but now he sat down to the table and ate a hearty meal.
On August 20th, 1901, sixty prominent doctors examined Gargam. Without stating the nature of the cure, they pronounced him entirely cured. Gargam, out of gratitude to God in the Holy Eucharist and His Blessed Mother, consecrated himself to the service of the invalids at Lourdes. Fifteen years after his miraculous cure he was still engaged in his strenuous and devoted work. He was for years a living, visible testimony of the supernatural.
PRAYER: May the Heart of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament be praised, adored and loved with grateful affection, at every moment, in all the tabernacles of the world, even to the end of time. Amen