Oh My Lourdes

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The 3rd Bascilica

I was lucky enough to Europe two summers ago. During that time we stopped in Lourdes, France. For those of you that don’t know, Lourdes is the birth place of St. Bernadette, home to the Grotto, the three basilicas and one of the most religious cities in the world. So it was pretty rad, not going to lie. While I was there we participated in a candle lit precession at the 3rd basilica. We watched as thousands marched toward the towers and prayed and sang. It was breath taking. And horrible.

Horrible because of the hundreds of elderly, weak and paralyzed people, praying that God would help them. All I could think is how sadly beautiful it was. They believed so wholeheartedly that is precession, this holy water would cure them. Save them. While we were on tour the tour guide said there were 50 reported medical miracles because of the water from the Grotto (of course, I have to grab some for myself).unnamed

In class the other day we asked if prayer lowered mortality, fevers and hospital stays. So now I ask…

What about Holy Water?

Believe it or not, there is literally no studies done with holy water curing people. I looked in most major medical journals including BMJ, AMJ, NEJM, and many more.

WHAT?!?! Why is no one studying this??

I find it odd too. Well look at the facts. Millions of people use holy water every year. Yet there’s, as for mentioned, only 50 recorded cases of curing/miracles that we know of. Source. The only information we really have are the anecdotes of the people who were cured. Which you can’t use as scientific proof.

How could we even test that?

I’d suggest a double blind randomized control study. I would focus it on a more terminal or long lasting illness because that is what it is associated with. I’m going to suggest HIV.

So you’d a large random sample of HIV patients and divide them into four groups. Four comes from the following groups: bathing in holy water, bathing in placebo, drinking holy water, and placebo. Bathing and drinking are the most common forms of usage for holy water. Source.

Group A will receive holy water baths, while group B will receive baths in the placebo. Group C with get holy water to drink, group D will drink a placebo.

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Until it is tested there is now way to know if holy water affects healing or curing process

Thanks for reading!! I hope you enjoyed the post and my pictures from the trip!

1 thought on “Oh My Lourdes

  1. Margaret Mary Kreienberg

    I am very surprised to find out that no one is studying this. If anything, I feel like studying the affects of Holy Water might be easier than studying the power of prayer. Holy Water is something tangible. Prayer on the other hand can happen in many different ways. It is also very important to remember that many religions use Holy Water as a form of spiritual cleansing or connection. Therefore, Holy Water, like prayer, can not be considered universal . When conducting a study using Holy Water, it is very important to identify which type of blessing is being used. Perhaps the results might show that one religions Holy Water is more successful than another’s. This study would have to be repeated many times, with many participants, and with many different religions. I hope one day someone decides to take on this task. It would be very interesting to see the connection between spirit and science, if we could ever understand what that connection might be.

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