The Pope in Lourdes

Mass hysteria among Catholic believers

The pope visits Lourdes and proves that religion is still alive

For the first time in a decade, a Pope, Benedictus XVII, visited Lourdes. The place is the center of pelgrimage for Catholics who hope for cure and salvation when drinking sacred water from a spring where Mary, mother of Jesus, is believed to have appeared to a 14-year old girl. Believers reach trance-like levels of veneration, singing and praying. Listen to Jean-Paul Theuni, a Dutch catholic, Niam Clarke, an Irishman who helps handicapped devotees who search for a cure; Sheen, who came to Lourdes 15 times; Eve from Poland who bottles water for her ailing parents, and William Swatos, a scholar from Illinois who is a pilgrimage specialist.