Revenue or redemption – the business with pilgrimages is booming. I notice this when I visit Lourdes and Altötting with my pocket camera together with thousands of pilgrims. The hearts pure, the spirit willing to pay, the operators of the surrounding shops think. Here they offer what could remotely have to do with the white-dressed woman who is said to have appeared to Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes in 1858. Or with the drowned child who was supposedly resuscitated in the Chapel of Grace in 1489. There is no room for doubt, the shelves are filled to the ceiling. Souvenirs become trophies that can gather dust at home alongside holiday memories.
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