Fears Grow For “Lourdes Girl” Following Shocking Viral Video
A video of a woman receiving communion up to ten times at a single mass while on a pilgrimage to Lourdes has sparked outrage after it went viral yesterday. The woman, believed to be Irish, had no idea she was being filmed at the time and fears are growing for her safety following yesterday’s media frenzy.
One of the world’s most popular pilgrimage sites among Catholics aged 50 to dead, Lourdes has long been associated with apparitions of Our Lady and the miraculous healing powers of the water in the Grotto. Millions of Catholics flock to the site all round the year, and attend many of the hourly masses in the many basilicas and churches that adorn the sacred site. It is in one of these churches, believed to be the Church of St. Bernadette, that the 4 minute video which was posted on Facebook yesterday was shot.
In the clip, which has been taken down by Facebook, a woman in her fifties can be seen going up to one priest for communion before taking her place at the back of the queue and going up again. As the video progresses, she receives communion at least ten times. Dubbed “Lourdes Girl” by the media, she was yesterday subjected to vile taunts by online commentators as well as blanket media coverage by tabloid newspapers with nothing else to report on.
“I think it’s a disgrace, how can she do sumfin like this?” asked one Twitter user, echoing the views of thousands more. “Religious people maek me sik, she shouldn’t be doin this!!”. Further tweets suggested that the woman may have been tricked into going for communion so many times, or that she may have been under the influence of too much holiness.
As the family of the woman were said to be rallying around her in this difficult time, questions were being asked about the behaviour of pilgrims to Lourdes, which has a town motto of “What Happens In Lourdes, Goes With You For Life With The Blessing Of Our Lady”. Many Twitter users last night sprung to the defense of the woman, claiming that the media were just looking for someone they could shame in order to write lurid headlines and sell papers.
“Look, she was in Lourdes so she knew what she was doing,” tweeted one Lourdes Girl supporter, using the hashtag #IMWITHLOURDESGIRL.
“If she wanted to get communion ten times, that’s her business. Nobody is asking questions about the guy who filmed her, or the priest who gave her the communion. Y is it always the girls fault? #DUALSTANDARDS”.
In an exclusive interview with all major news outlets Cardinal Gustav Vasquez, head of security in Lourdes, spoke of the incident and how it should not deter others from making the trip to the site.
“Some people just can’t handle Lourdes,” said Vasquez during the nine hour press conference.
“We get a lot of sick and elderly people coming here, and they are all here for the same thing; to celebrate their Catholic faith. Sometimes they go for too much communion, sometimes they bless themselves too often. If someone makes a secret recording and posts it online, it will shock people sitting at home. But the people in Lourdes? They have made a decision to come here and act this way, so it is nobody’s business but theirs”.