When getting blessed, you might also be getting sick. Researchers say holy water could actually be harmful to your health, as some of it contains fecal matter.
“Austrian scientists tested water from more than three dozen holy springs and church fonts and found that none, not one of them, were safe to drink.” (Via WPVI)
Researchers say 86 percent of the samples from 39 different springs and church bowls they tested contained bacteria from fecal matter like e-coli, which can lead to diarrhea, cramps, stomach pain, fever and other illnesses if ingested. (Via ABC)
Some of the water contained up to 62 million bacteria in every milliliter of holy water. The Daily Mirror says, for comparison, British tap water legally can’t have more than 100 bacteria per milliliter.
The study examined church water from springs that had a reputation of having healing qualities in medieval times. But one of the study’s researchers, Dr. Alexander Kirschner, says there’s a reason why they had so-called healing powers then, but not now.
“In those days, the quality of the water in towns and cities was generally so poor that people were constantly developing diarrhoea or other diseases. If they then came across a protected spring in a forest that was not as polluted and drank from it for several days, their symptoms disappeared.” (Via University Herald)
The researchers suggest churches add salt to the water to prevent the bacteria from spreading as rapidly and change out their holy water more often. (Via WGN-TV)