Christine has been confined to a wheelchair for most of her life. In order to escape her isolation, she makes a journey to Lourdes, the iconic site of pilgrimage in the Pyrenees mountains. She wakes up one morning seemingly cured by a miracle. The leader of the pilgrimage group, a handsome 40-year-old volunteer from the Order of Malta, begins to take an interest in her. She tries to hold on to this newfound chance for happiness, while her cure provokes envy and admiration.


The film tells the story of a pilgrimage to Lourdes. Among the pilgrims are sufferers of various illnesses as well as others in good health. They undertake the journey in hopes of finding spiritual comfort or a bodily cure. The main character, Christine, has been confined to a wheelchair by an incurable disease. We accompany her on her voyage, discovering Lourdes through her eyes and experiencing her desire for social relationships and the company of other people. Her life was shattered by the disease, which has constrained her to an isolation from which she is now trying escape.

She would like to be ‘normal’ again, to be able to do what ‘others’ can do in a carefree manner. Maria is a young volunteer of the Order of Malta and Christine’s caretaker. She accompanies Christine to the baths and on processions, feeds her, washes her, and helps her to bed. Christine observes Maria’s world with a hint of envy. She sees in Maria a reflection of her own past, which instills her with newfound hope. Maria, however, prefers to associate with people her own age and tries to avoid the spectacle of illness paraded before her. Christine thus contents herself with the company of Madame Hartl, a severe and solitary old woman. Madame Hartl has not come to Lourdes to be cured of physical illness, but to ease the suffering caused by a life spent in complete solitude. The emptiness of her existence must be filled by a mission, a meaning. She finds it in taking care of Christine, in praying for her. And her prayers are heard: Christine’s health improves miraculously over the course of her stay, and finally she is cured: she can walk again. Her healing inspires admiration, but also doubt and jealousy. The miracle is assessed by the Committee of Physicians in Lourdes. Their findings are inconclusive because Christine’s illness is unpredictable: her condition may improve significantly, but may just as well deteriorate.

Christine clings to this new chance at happiness, all the while fearing that it may only be short-lived.