Holy Water Full of Crap… Literally!
Not so pure after all: Most holy water ‘is contaminated with faecal matter’ and could be harmful to health
- 86% of holy water contains faecal matter and in every millilitre of holy water there are up to 62 million bacteria
- Holy springs contain nitrates from agriculture which make them unsafe
- They got their healing reputation at a time when water in cities was dangerously contaminated meaning people were frequently unwell
- If they drank from a rural spring for a few days they would recover
- Now that water in cities is much safer, this no longer applies
Many people believe that holy water has healing properties but new research suggests it may actually do more harm than good.
Scientists have discovered that 86 per cent of water samples from holy sources contain faecal matter.
Austrian researchers also found that church fonts contain high levels of bacteria and that none of the holy springs they studied could be considered safe for drinking from.
The researchers, from the Institute of Hygiene and Applied Immunology at the Medical University of Vienna, analysed the water in 21 holy springs in Austria, and in 18 fonts in Vienna, at various times during the year.
They found that in every millilitre of holy water there were up to 62 million bacteria.
They also found that the busier the church, the more bacteria it tended to have in its font.
The study also revealed that holy springs contain not only faecal contamination with E coli bacteria and enterococci, but also Campylobacter, which can cause inflammatory diarrhoea.