Water way to reward pilgrims!

SOME of a skeptical nature are having a chortle today over the plight of the miracle seekers who damn near got themselves drowned yesterday in the floods that engulfed Lourdes. More than 450 had to be evacuated from the sanctuary.

One of the pilgrims who had to ferried to safety by a rescue team

Me? I can only shake my head in sorrow and disbelief that, in this day and age, there are people out there who still think that this centre of superstition has anything to offer but false hope and overpriced water ($100 per litre from a “miracle” spring).

Given that those who make their way to Lourdes are frequently unwell and unsteady on their pins, the experience must have been pretty terrifying, and I am neither laughing or gloating over the incident – particularly as I, and the two dogs I was out walking with last night, received an unpleasant drenching when the skies over Benidorm opened without warning last night.

Many cures have been attributed to visits to Lourdes since it was designated a place of healing by the Catholic Church, but very few have even been proven. According to the Skeptics’ Dictionary:

Of all the cures alleged to have occurred at Lourdes, however, none have involved dramatic, unambiguous events like the growing back of a severed limb. Belgian philosopher Etienne Vermeersch likened this fact to the lack of clear, unambiguous data in support of the existence of Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster. He also claimed that there have probably been significantly more fatal accidents suffered by pilgrims on their way to or from Lourdes than there have been cures.

What did make me laugh, however, was this gem from Wikipedia:

During the 1897 Jubilee Pilgrimage to Lourdes, priest François Picard was thirsty after a long day. Rather than drinking fresh water, he asked an assistant to fill his glass from a bathing pool, heavily contaminated from the sick pilgrims who had been immersed in it.


When the father had received the water, he made the sign of the cross and drank slowly, right to the end. Then, he gave back the glass and concluded with a smile: The water of the good Mother of Heaven is always delicious.

Hat tip: Pete H and others to numerous to mention.

27 responses to “Water way to reward pilgrims!”

  1. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    But god so loved these pilgrims, it wanted them to be with it asap, hence the floods and hence it’s pretty pissed off at the emergency services for having rescued so many potential victims.

    By the way, when I used to drive coaches around Europe, this was on our itinerary. You could get water for free back then (mid 80’s) from taps near the pools. I tried some, tasted just like water!

  2. RabbitOnAStick says:

    many thanks as this is really a good story.

    I wonder what god is doing about this. And how he will re-purify those amazing waters as I heard that the spring was under ten feet (at least) of river ‘filth’.

    Im sure there’s a message in here somewhere. But being human I don’t know what it is, and I couldn’t possibly guess either. So i am just laughing at it. Because this is actually very funny. I can’t wait for the cretinous facile explanations as to why god flooded the place. [No disrespect to the fuddie duddies and old fogies frightened by the event manhandled out of their hotels etc.]

    i am sure all the prayers are being heard and the waters receding as we write!

  3. Stoke humanist says:

    The Lourdes floods are a punishment from god on catholics for institutionalised child rape

  4. Broga says:

    I think the pilgrims will think, guided by their priests, that God has a message for them. As usual he communicates by a method that is incomprehensible but no doubt all the more profound because of that. In the same way that the saints’ miracles are always the result of subjective judgements – never an arm replaced – so with the miracles.

    It is sad that people, already ill, are taken in by making a pilgrimmage to this centre for tatty souvenirs and germs. I remember discussing this with an ex RC, who had seen the blessed light of atheism, and he said his very sick aunt had gone there with a bus load of sick RCs. He said that while he thought the Lourdes thing was a con trick his aunt and various relatives had been “encouraged and uplifted” at the possiblity of a cure. They had heard of people who had been cured. He wondered whether the hope, when nothing else was left, justified the pilgrimmage.

    Well, each to his own but it seemed to me then, and now, that the money could have been better spent on easing the pains and improving whatever life was left to his aunt. But as he said, “You have to believe beyond doubt to understand why they do it.” And I suppose that’s where life long indoctrination kicks in. Never be sceptical, never doubt and never question. Just listen to the priest.

  5. barriejohn says:


  6. barriejohn says:

    These are signs and wonders, brethren. The end is most certainly nigh!

  7. barriejohn says:

    Probably Gawd’s judgment. He doesn’t like people enjoying themselves:

  8. barriejohn says:

    Our Lady of Lourdes = Odorful, Lousy Dear

  9. remigius says:

    Lousy ol’ fraud doer!

  10. barriejohn says:

    Oh ever immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Health of the Sick, Refuge of Sinners, Comfortess of the Afflicted, you know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings. Look upon me with mercy. When you appeared in the grotto of Lourdes, you made it a privileged sanctuary where you dispense your favors, and where many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. I come, therefore, with unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. My loving Mother, obtain my request. I will try to imitate your virtues so that I may one day share your company and bless you in eternity. Amen.

  11. barriejohn says:

    Grotto of Lourdes = God tortures fool

  12. Lidia says:

    “fill his glass from a bathing pool, heavily contaminated from the sick pilgrims who had been immersed in it.”

    Many Catholic ‘saints’ historically undertook the practice of drinking pus and other contaminated fluids of ill people, as well as eating their scabs and lice to the exception of other foods. The most famous among these (mostly) women was Catherine of Siena.

  13. Brummie says:

    I read from an RC Irish funeral prayer leaflet found in my mother’s effects.
    “O immense Passions! O profound wounds! O profusion of blood! O sweetness above all sweetness! O most bitter death! Grant her eternal rest. Amen. 400 days indulgence.

  14. Barry Duke says:

    My one and only encounter with Lourdes pilgrims took place in Sitges, Spain, around 25 years ago. I was staying at a lovely hotel owned at the time by a gay artist, atheist and anachist, who agreed to accommodate a bunch of Irish pilgrims on their way back from Lourdes.

    About ten of them arrived at 2am and demanded that all of their luggage be taken up to their rooms on the third and fourth floors by the elderly concierge, a man in his mid-80s.

    They also insisted that he carry up their bottles of “holy” water. (There were no elevators in the building). They couldn’t lift their own stuff, according to the group leader, because they were all too old and infirm.

    Shortly after, when they found that the tap water was salty and could not be used to make tea, they set up a clamour to have bottled water brought up to their rooms.

    The old concierge, well pissed over the fact that he hadn’t received a single tip from these good Christians for sweating their bags and water up dozens of stairs, told them that if they they wanted a cuppa they could bloody well use their “holy water”.

    The following morning, Gonzal, the owner, was collared by the pilgrims who loudly berated him for his concierge’s “disrespect” and one of them described the homo-erotic murals in the hotel as “a terrible sin and affront all Christians.

    I watched Gonzal listen to all the belly-aching with a small patient smile. Then he yelled very loudly: “Pay your bills, then FUCK OFF!”

    The speed at which they pelted for the door suggested a far greater miracle had been wrought in the Hotel Romantic’s foyer than any at Lourdes.

  15. Angela_K says:

    Well if any disappointed christians or Mary-worshippers are reading this, I have some bottles of “holy water” guaranteed to be as effective as that Lourdes stuff; I’ll sell them to you for £50 a bottle. Don’t worry that the labels on the bottle are Evian. 😉

  16. tony e says:

    It never fails to amuse me that the ultra religious, who, when in good health, never fail to tell you that they cannot wait to be with Jesus.

    Fast forward a few years and once they start getting hit with severe disease and illnesses and it seems they will do anything (prayer, lourdes, alternative therapy, conventional medicine etc) to delay this meeting.

    Gives me the impression that deep down they know it’s all bollocks.

  17. Broga says:

    I think this explains what has happened and from an entirely appropriate source. Padre Pio, if I remember, had the stigmata. However, it was later revealed that he got his bleeding hands by scratching them daily with a nail.

    =In order to attract us, the Lord grants us many graces that we believe can easily obtain Heaven for us. We do not know, however, that in order to grow, we need hard bread: the cross, humiliation, trials and denials. ~Saint Padre Pio=

    I offer the following alternative. “If God hadn’t wanted them to be fleeced he would not have created sheep.”

    And you have to be sheep to spend hundreds of pounds for a week, as a sick person, in that festering hell of germs, toxins and expensive tat. Wonderful scam for the RCs.

  18. Matt Westwood says:

    I’ve just filled a couple of bottles of holy water. It’s so holy, it’s golden. Yours for 100 quid a throw.

  19. tony e says:


    Ref Padre Pio – If memory serves me right there was a book released recently that showed he got regular orders of carbolic acid to aid in the scam, but I’m buggered if I can remember the title.

  20. barriejohn says:

    What are you guys talking about? Like Mother Theresea, Padre Pio shared in the sufferings of Christ!

  21. barriejohn says:

    The book was by Prof Sergio Luzzatto – obviously a totally unreliable heretic!

  22. the Woggler says:

    If this is how gawd treats the faithful, what’s he got in store for the rest of us?

  23. RabbitOnAStick says:


    This is just a small downpour, no one hurt, apparently the last time gawd was angry he drowned everyone, save some 700 year old bloke and all the animals on the planet. [Well just those in the middle east. And a mustard seed. which is the smallest seed on the planet according to jewsush]

  24. Robster says:

    Do people still undertake pilgrimages? (pilgimiges, err…pilgim stuff…)Can’t the french spell “lords”? there’s no “u” in it. If there’s one good thing about having godbots around, it’s the opportunity for humour. We’ve got a cleric of some sort living next door, he gets very upset when my partner and I make fun of his nonsense and gets a bit cut when we tell him that without humour and there’s so much to laugh at, his saviour on a stick nonsense has no value whatsoever.

  25. Trevor Blake says:

    Excerpt from the superb work of Nabil Shaban. He and another disabled person go to Lourdes and, surprise, not only are not ‘healed’ but are patronized by the faithful.