Forget gargling hot brandy for a sore throat - keep Lourdes water at home

Some weeks ago, I picked up a viral infection that brought on a lung packed with fluid, a constantly runny nose and a terribly sore throat.

Owing to the fact that it was ‘viral’, it could not be treated with anti-biotics. So, I got hold of ground-up grapefruit seed tonic that tasted like floor polish, but only made my throat ache more. A friend playing Florence Nightingale gave me a hot brandy and lemon toddy that I gargled to ‘bump off’ the virus. Let’s just say that hot brandy is not meant for gargling!

The idea of taking some Lourdes water popped into my mind. It’s that time of year, when pilgrims are flooding into the French village, and a few of my friends have already been there on pilgrimage. I remembered the five litre flask of Lourdes water that I schlepped back from my last pilgrimage to Lourdes in 2010. The Lourdes water is stationed at the entrance to my flat to bless my humble abode. And it’s kosher to drink it – Our Lady instructed us to ‘drink at the spring and wash in it’.

Lourdes Pilgrimage 2010
I poured the water into a cup and gingerly took some sips. I forgot about it for an hour, and suddenly realised that my sore throat had vanished. It was not an abrupt cure, the healing came on in a gentle way, and the pain melted and was gone. Shortly, the hideous signs of my infection faded away.

There are 69 miraculous Lourdes cures that are officially recognised by the Church. Not forgetting the myriad anecdotal cures that people attribute to drinking the water or bathing in it.

But many of us can’t go to Lourdes where we would pray at the shrine or immerse ourselves in the water. That’s not to say that we are excluded from all the blessings from Our Lady of Lourdes.

For those of us who long to go to Lourdes, but can’t get the time off work or can’t afford to travel, it can be a source of healing grace to keep a cache of Lourdes water at home.

I wrote this post for The Catholic Herald Website, do visit the site and see the full range of bright blogs,  great comment pieces and the latest news from the Vatican.


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