Posted by Gillian Polard on October 22, 2013
Today I read an article online on the DailyMail.co that reported on new findings from the researchers at the Institute of Hygiene and Applied Immunology at the Medical University of Vienna. It was startling but, in light of the many contaminants that have been discovered in our water, not all that surprising to read that scientist have discovered that 86% of water samples from holy sources contain fecal matter. It seems that the majority of holy water is, unfortunately, a bit less than pure.
Researches studied samples taken from 21 holy springs in Austria and 18 fonts in Vienna taken at various times throughout the course of a year and learned that for every millilitre of holy water there were up to 62 million bacteria. The bacteria includes E.Coli, enterococci and Campylobacter, which can cause inflammatory diarrhoea. In addition many of those same springs have also been contaminated by agricultural nitrates – in other words…
Dr Alexander Kirschner, a microbiologist from the Medical University of Vienna recommends that government and church officials warn people not to drink the water. He also suggests that salt be added to the fonts to help reduce the bacteria and/or that the water be changed regularly.
I doubt that many folks would disagree with his recommendations. After all, we know how dangerous contaminated drinking water is.
The practise of consuming holy water began back in the middle ages when the springs first developed a reputation as “healing”. The thing is, back then the quality of drinking water in villages was so poor that people were often very ill. When they found pure, unpolluted water in the middle of a forest and found that their symptoms went away they rightfully labelled that water as special.
However, now that the quality of water in villages has improved so much, the situation is literally reversed and now the spring in the forest is of a lesser quality. Perhaps its time to recognize that even holy water could sometimes stand to be cleansed.