September 7, 2008 |
When Pope Benedict XVI visits this small town in the foothills of the French Pyrenees next weekend, he will follow in the footsteps of millions of pilgrims who have come before him. Like them, he will take Communion, drink from the holy spring and touch the stone at the base of a cliff by the Gave River, where heaven opened to a 14-year-old girl, known as Bernadette, who said she first saw the Virgin Mary there on Feb. 11, 1858. The pope will celebrate the 150th anniversary of St. Bernadette's apparitions, with a pilgrim's heart full of yearning for transformation.
September 20, 2009 |
For my niece Rachel, it was that magical summer between high school graduation and the start of college. I hoped our trip would be the beginning of a new set of memories, the adult life realized. I had already treated a niece and nephew to graduation celebrations in Hawaii, but the islands somehow seemed the wrong fit for Rachel, a devout Catholic and, at 18, already a cancer survivor. She is a remarkable young woman, my sister Tina's middle child, who, even before her illness, had exhibited a graciousness that continued into adolescence, lifting her past the awkward it's-all-about-me stage into an early serenity.
July 13, 2013
Would Lawrence R. Krauss "recognize a miracle if one sat down and bit him on the ankle"? Reader Nathan Post wondered as much in his letter published Thursday in response to Krauss' July 8 Op-Ed article on miracles and the canonization of Pope John Paul II. Post also wrote: "Noting the dearth of miracles reported at Lourdes, France, Lawrence M. Krauss appears to make several assumptions. In a nutshell, he is saying that the number of miracles reported at Lourdes and recognized by the Roman Catholic Church as legitimate is solid evidence - almost proof - that miracles do not occur.
July 7, 2013 |
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavors to establish . - David Hume Last week the Vatican announced that a meeting of cardinals and bishops had ruled that the late Pope John Paul II was responsible for a second miracle, and thus the way was cleared for sainthood. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints decided he had cured a woman from Costa Rica in 2011 after a panel of doctors apparently ruled that her recovery was otherwise inexplicable.
December 24, 1989
I fail to understand the logic of the biased headline "Religion is Big Business at the Shrine of Lourdes" (Dec. 3), based on the article by Phillippe Naughton. I had the privilege of visiting Lourdes twice, spending up to 12 hours a day in prayer and public devotions--even forgoing lunch in order to treasure each spiritual moment. Pilgrims visiting Lourdes are there for the spiritual benefits. In the religious domain of Lourdes, one may obtain blessed candles and mass offerings can be made.
September 21, 2008
I've read and enjoyed Susan Spano's work for at least a few years and was finally prompted to drop a note of appreciation after the story on Lourdes, France ["Slice of Heaven," Sept. 7]. My wife and I are planning our fifth trip to France next year, and we were debating whether to include Lourdes on our itinerary. Then Spano's article leaps off the front page of the Travel section. Case closed. John J. Flynn Irvine