Miracles and Evidence Index
By Richard Bruce BA, MA, and PhC in Economics
Former Instructor St. John's University, New York City

The Water Miracles of Lourdes and Fatima

Lourdes in Southern France and Fatima in Portugal both had miracles involving water.

At Lourdes, Bernadette was instructed by the Virgin Mary in her ninth apparition "to drink from the fountain and bathe in it." This confused Bernadet because there had never been a fountain or natural spring at Massabieille. She began to scratch the loose gravel around her and then noticed that the ground was moist. Soon there was a pool, then a stream, and to this day there is the fountain and pool at Lourdes which is famed for its healing properties. I find this impressive, a kid scratches the ground and a permanent stream and pool form where none had been before. This is a link to a Catholic Encyclopedia article on Lourdes.

At Fatima immediately before the Miracle of the Sun, the people were drenched and the ground was muddy. A few minutes later their clothes and the ground were dry. I find this impressive too. Critics of the Miracle of the Sun argue that it was a mass delusion, or perhaps a strange atmospheric disturbance. I do not find that convincing. Nevertheless, being drenched and standing in mud and then noticing a few minutes later that everything is dry is rather down to earth.

Are we to believe the crowd had a mass delusion that they were wet and standing in mud but actually they and the ground were dry all along. Or perhaps they were drenched and the ground was muddy, but after the Miracle of the Sun, they had a mass delusion that they were dry. It seems implausible.

These two water miracles both seem down to earth and not susceptible to delusion. What is more, it strikes me as interesting that at Lourdes there is the miraculous appearance of water and at Fatima the miraculous disappearance of water. These are the two great Marian apparitions of that era. The appearance and disappearance of water almost seem like something a writer would put into their story. As a Catholic of course I suspect that writer is God.


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