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EARTHQUAKES

Divine rumblings? Lourdes hit by quake

Inhabitants in and around the French pilgrimage town of Lourdes felt the earth move early Saturday morning, when the area experienced a light earthquake.

Divine rumblings? Lourdes hit by quake
Photo: Gabin Kattukaran (library image)

The French shrine experienced a tremble of 3.9 on the Richter scale at 6.33am on Saturday, according to the the French central office of seismology (BCSF).

The epicentre was in the town of Argelès-Gazost, 15 km west of Lourdes, where small earthquakes are a frequent occurrence.

“This earthquake was felt by the population within a 25 km radius of epicentre according to initial accounts,”  the BCSF said on their website.

“The house shook and the bed shook, that’s what woke me up. It lasted a few seconds, but really with things like this it’s impossible to tell,” said one inhabitant of a nearby village.

“We have earthquakes quite often, but they never do any damage,” she added.

The BCSF website confirmed there was no damage from Saturday’s earthquake, and no emergency services had been called out.

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LOURDES

Pope Francis pushes for more prayer and less business at Lourdes shrine

Pope Francis has named a special envoy to prioritise spirituality at the Roman Catholic shrine at Lourdes in France over "managerial and financial" aspects.

Pope Francis pushes for more prayer and less business at Lourdes shrine
Lourdes is one of the most revered sites for the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. Photo: AFP
The Italian press said Friday that the nomination of Lille auxiliary Bishop Antoine Herouard is seen as the equivalent of placing the holy spring in the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains under supervision.
 
Lourdes is one of the most revered sites for the world's 1.2 billion Catholics because the town is said to be where the Virgin Mary appeared to a peasant girl in a grotto.
 
“Pope Francis, who has this case very much at heart, wishes to accentuate the spiritual primacy over the temptation to overemphasise the managerial and 
financial aspect,” the official Vatican News website said.
   
The pope wants centres of Marian devotion to be “ever more a place of prayer and of Christian witness corresponding to the needs of the People of God.”
   
A former Renault manager, Guillaume de Vuilpan, was put in charge of Lourdes in 2017, and has introduced new products at the site.
   
The shrine returned to profit in 2018 after 10 years in the red, accumulating losses of 10 million euros.
   
Last year, 1.2 million pilgrims visited the site, half of them on organised tours.
 
 
Photo: AFP
 
 
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