Holy Water Rejected at France Airport Security

The real miracle would have been getting it past airport security.

Inspectors at Tarbes-Lourdes airport in France refused to give their blessing to holy water that passengers tried to bring on board the Vatican's new pilgrim flights this week, saying it was a security threat just like any other liquid.

The water, which is said to have miraculous healing powers, came from a sacred grotto where Catholics believe the Virgin Mary appeared in 1858.

Passenger Paola Saluzzi told Corriere della Sera newspaper she was carrying the water in eight small plastic bottles "in the shape of the little Madonna". But it was not allowed on board.

"If they gave preference to the water from Lourdes it would be an (irregularity) that would not guarantee the proper procedure," she acknowledged.

But the Vatican had foreseen such an eventuality and placed a small complimentary bottle of holy water on the seat of each pilgrim to drink on board, Saluzzi said.

The Vatican's chartered Boeing 737 aims to serve 150,000 pilgrims a year. Beyond Lourdes, destinations will range from the shrine of Fatima in Portugal to Mount Sinai in Egypt, where Moses is said to have received the 10 Commandments from God.

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