prise de bec


The self-serve candle machine at Lourdes.

Audio File: The sign in the photo, above, says "Un cierge c'est une prière qui se prolonge." (A candle is a prolonged prayer.) Hear today's word and the above quote: Download cierge.mp3 .Download cierge.wav

le cierge
(see-airzh) noun, masculine
    : candle (votive); cereus (a kind of cactus)

Do you know the word for candle in another language? Thank you for sharing it here.

French definition of cierge from Le Petit Larousse:
Longue chandelle de cire que l'on brûle dans les églises.
Long wax candle that one burns in church.

...and from French Wikipedia: "Un cierge est une bougie utilisée dans les cérémonies religieuses." (A cierge is a candle used in religious ceremonies.")


I did not write an illustrative story for the French word cierge today... but a reader, or lectrice did! Merci beaucoup to Pamela for sharing her account of visiting Lourdes with her son -- and the "mini miracle" that occured on the road out of the sacred French town.

Pamela writes:

Years ago... we were in France on vacation for the first time, and I had always promised myself if I ever went to France, I would go to Lourdes. It was more important than ever, because my son has autism.

We went there, not expecting a miracle, but to ask for grace and strength throughout our lives (and I believe that request has been granted!). When you light a candle at Lourdes, apparently the volunteers extinguish them, and relight them later. As I was turning away, the volunteer got my attention and showed me he was not extinguishing our candle. That was sweet.

We did have our minor miracle while leaving. My husband was driving, my aunt was in the passenger seat. I was in the back of the van with mother and son. My nonverbal son turned to me, touched my hair and said "hair". I almost jumped out of my skin. This boy cannot talk. I tried to stay calm and smiled and said "yes, that's my hair".

No big cures happened for us at Lourdes, but we did receive the smallest of graces, and my son did speak, one word, one day.

Pamela lives on a small ranch in the Pacific Northwest where she and her family raise Norwegian Fjord Horses. Here is a picture of Pamela and her son, and more pictures of her horses, here, which she trains for dressage, handicapped riding and also search and rescue. More info here.

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