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Home > Horror News > Western Horror News > Waiting To Be Healed
Waiting To Be Healed
By: RSS/News Feeds

600 sick and infirm people will be offered the water flown in here for major church event
By Tracy Quek – STRAITS TIMES Nov 21, 2004

SOME 120 litres of holy water, air-freighted from Lourdes, France, is now being kept in a secret location here.

It will be taken out only on Dec 4, when 10,000 Roman Catholics are expected to turn up at the Singapore Indoor Stadium for The Lourdes Experience, a seven-hour event to mark the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of a Catholic doctrine.

Tens of thousands of pilgrims flock to Lourdes every year, where Catholics believe the Virgin Mary appeared to an illiterate peasant girl, Bernadette Soubirous, in 1858.

At the grotto near the Gave River, St Bernadette was instructed by Mary to dig in the earth. From that spot, a spring started to flow. Pilgrims drink the water or bathe in it believing that this, together with their faith in God, can heal them.

Cancer specialist Gabriel Oon, one of the organisers of the event, made arrangements with the Catholic diocese at Lourdes to transport the water here during his trip there in May.

The water, in a polystyrene container, was flown here in September. It was given free, and donations paid for the transportation costs, said Dr Oon. ‘The water is an integral part of any pilgrimage to Lourdes so we wanted to have some physical reminder of Lourdes here at the event.’

Among the 10,000 people attending are some 600 who have chronic illnesses and physical disabilities. They will be given small bottles containing the water. ‘Whether there will be physical healings, it’s hard to say, but I believe many will be healed spiritually that day,’ said Dr Oon.

They will also receive rosaries which were brought in from Bethlehem, the birth place of Christ in Israel; Lourdes; and some made by the Carmelite nuns here.

The event is the first of its kind organised by a Catholic organisation here. Its $98,000 cost was paid for by donations from Catholics.

Archbishop Nicholas Chia, the head of the Catholic church here, said: ‘We hope the occasion will lead to a deeper appreciation of Mother Mary’s role in bringing them closer to God.’

Organisers, which include several Catholic organisations such as the Order of Malta, the Legion of Mary and the St Vincent de Paul Society, said the event is to commemorate the 150th anniversary this year of the proclamation of the Immaculate Conception.

It was made by Pope Pius IX in 1854, and asserts that the Virgin Mary, from the first moment of her conception, was preserved free from every stain of original sin.

All but a few hundred of the 10,000 tickets have been snapped up. They were distributed free through the 31 Catholic churches here, with priority given to the sick.

During the event, the congregation will say the stations of the cross, which depict the last 12 hours of the life of Christ. Mass celebrated by the archbishop will follow. Prayers will also be said for the sick and disabled, who will be seated in the stall areas closest to the stage and altar.

Among those attending is Mr Shelac Nathan, a retired school principal and grandfather of two who suffers from a weak heart and diabetes.

Said Mr Nathan, 80: ‘I’ve not been to Lourdes but have heard many things about it, how people have been cured there. This is the next best thing and when I am at the stadium I will pray for healing and good health.’

About 10,000 ‘miraculous medallions’, each embossed with the image of the Virgin Mary will be given out to all at the event. The medals were specially flown in from Paris and donated by the St Vincent de Paul Society, which helps the poor here.

_______________________________________

He will be praying to walk again

EIGHT years ago, Mr Gerard Miranda and his wife Bernie were planning to mark their 10th wedding anniversary in Lourdes.

But before they could make the trip, the former aircraft technician and sergeant in the Republic of Singapore Air Force suffered brain damage after an accident while on duty in Thailand.

So when she heard about The Lourdes Experience next month at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, Mrs Miranda, an assistant bank manager in her 40s, got tickets right away.

Devout Roman Catholics who attend mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour church near their home in Siglap, the Mirandas will be saying a prayer of thanks and asking for a miracle.

On Nov 10, 1996, Mr Miranda was found unconscious on the ground below the balcony of a double-storey terrace house near Bangkok.

His left shoulder was dislocated, nine ribs were broken, his left lung was punctured, his fingernails were crushed and he sustained severe head injuries that caused permanent damage to his right brain.

Despite the doctors’ prognosis that he would remain a vegetable all his life, Mr Miranda defied the odds.

Under the care of his wife and godson, Mr Chris Pieris, 36, co-owner of an advertising company who took time off work to look after him, Mr Miranda can now speak, albeit slowly and haltingly. He can also sit up without help in his wheelchair. But he does not remember how he fell.

At the event, Mr Miranda knows exactly what he will be praying for.

He said: ‘To walk again.’

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