Holy water barred from Vatican flights

29th August 2007, Comments 0 comments

Holy water barred from Vatican flights

ROME, Aug 29, 2007 (AFP) - Pilgrims on the Vatican's fledgling airline were stunned to discover that holy water from Lourdes, in southwest France, cannot be taken on board for security reasons, media reports said Wednesday.

French security officers seized the liquid -- reputed to have miracle-giving qualities -- under a Europe-wide anti-terrorism rule that forbids more than 100 millilitres (3.5 British ounces) in each passenger's carry-on baggage.

One pilgrim was so distraught that he drank the holy water on the spot, rather than surrender it to the authorities, Italy's Il Corriere della Sera newspaper reported.

Holy water from Lourdes has a price.  One French website, lourdes-water.com, offers a one-litre (35 British ounce) plastic bottle for 100 euros (135 dollars).

Lourdes, a major European centre for Christian pilgrimage, is the first destination for the new air service created under a five-year deal between Mistral Air and the Vatican's pilgrimage bureau.

Service is to be expanded in 2008 to other places sacred to Roman Catholics, including Fatima in Portugal, Santiago di Compostella in Spain and the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico.


Subject: French news

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