Catholics E-Mail Prayers and Candles to Lourdes
Thu Aug 12, 2004
LOURDES, France (Reuters) - Roman Catholics who can't make it to France for Pope John Paul (news - web sites)'s pilgrimage to Lourdes this weekend can now say a prayer and light candles there thanks to a new Internet service.
The Web site Croire.com -- "croire" is the French verb for "believe" -- is offering to add prayers it receives by e-mail to the intentions to be prayed for during the annual Lourdes pilgrimage the pope will attend on Saturday and Sunday.
For a five euro ($6.13) fee, it will light a candle at the grotto where Saint Bernadette Soubirous saw visions of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, in 1858.
Thierry Lamboley, editor of the site, said the prayer service had already brought in over 2,000 messages in several languages, some from as far away as India and Venezuela.
While this is an innovation for Europe's most popular Christian pilgrimage site, it is not the first time the Internet has offered long-distance prayers.
Jews have been able to e-mail prayers to Jerusalem's Western or Wailing Wall since 1996.