As a practicing Catholic, I am familiar with the miracle at Lourdes, but I had no idea of this little American-version! Luckily one of our program readings, “Everyday Miracles: The Study of Lived Religion” by Robert Orsi, prepared us for the visit. The garden around the church of St. Lucy is a replica of the countryside of Lourdes and even has its own grotto that looks like the one the Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette in 1858.
Now that’s all fine and good, but the article goes on to talk about people who revere this water as “holy” (it’s city water by the way) and there’s criticism about the difference between superstition and symbolism with the ritual but I find it fascinating. Personally, if someone feels comforted when they drink the water or use it, then fine – doesn’t mean that I have to jump on their bandwagon.
The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the Religious Worlds institute. For detailed information about the institute, see http://religiousworldsnyc.org.