Bernadette was born in Domrémy, Champagne, France in 1421. Joan of Arc was from the same village, and like Joan, Bernadette experienced visions of angels while suffering from a high fever. These angels, however, were the manifestation of her Avatar. Once Awakened, Bernadette demonstrated a natural aptitude for healing, but could not life up to the reputation Joan had set.
At ten years old, Bernadette joined the Black Friars, a Dominican monastic order heavily involved in the Inquisition. As the same aura reading she used to heal the sick could also identify heretics, the Inquisition exploited her power to condemn a number of of their prisoners, including some mages. Bernadette went along with this until 1443, when she fled the Dominicans and took up life as a wandering doctor. She repeatedly fell in with various preachers, pilgrims, and self-proclaimed profits, many of whom exploited her healing abilities much as the Inquisition had, only to leave in disillusion a short time later.
One night, exhausted and ill, she wandered into the night and somehow made her way to Horizon, where she collapsed near the residence of Valoran, leader of the Celestial Chorus. How exactly she made it to Horizon unnoticed has never been satisfactorily explained. Valoran personally nursed her back to health in the midst of the Grand Convocation, and Bernadette eagerly took up the theology and paradigm of the Choristers. She also, at some point, began to communicate exclusively by singing. Probably by Valoran's advice, she did not reveal her prior association with the Inquisition to anyone else: many mages who had lost friends, family, and colleagues to the Inquisition would gladly have killed her on sight.
Valoran's choice of Bernadette, a recent convert, to represent the Chorus in the First Cabal was controversial, though in his own writings he suggested it was in part to give her a chance to atone for her past. Bernadette had a close but tense relationship with Eloine, whom she regarded as a "spirit-sister" despite her Pagan faith, but that soured over Bernadette's unrequited crush on Heylel Teomim. She also had a contentious relationship with Daud-Allah abu Hisham, who knew as much if not more Christian scripture and theology than she did; his attempt to engage her in discussions of its gray areas only made her angry. She also regarded Louis DuMonte as an intellectual snob, while her denigrated her for being illiterate. Bernadette's own tendency to manifest illusory copies of herself to sing in multipart harmony was alternately endearing and infuriating to the rest of the company. (Sister Imagna-Nicole suggests she suffered from Multiple Personality Disorder.)
Unaccustomed to combat, Bernadette hung back with Eloine and her children when the Order of Reason attacked the Cabal, and was captured. After the remains of the Cabal were rescued and Teomim put to trial, questions arose about Bernadette's possible culpability in the Great Betrayal; her past connection to the Inquisition was revealed, and some speculated on whether she had collaborated with her captors.
She never returned to Horizon after Teomim's execution, instead devoting her life to healing the sick. There are unsubstantiated rumors that she and Akrites Salonikas became lovers either during the March of the Nine or afterwards. At 301 years of age, Bernadette died, though not before composing a final, length autobiography called the Song of Bernadette.