Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Pilgrims bottle 'papal' water for healing powers

Water runs over life-sized monument of John Paul II in his hometown
Updated: 2:09 p.m. ET Aug 8, 2006

WADOWICE, Poland - Pilgrims are flocking to a new monument to Pope John Paul II in his hometown, touching the water that runs over its base and collecting it in bottles in the belief that it carries healing powers.

The Roman Catholic church has not proclaimed the water holy, but since the statue was unveiled in Wadowice in southern Poland on June 30, believers have been turning the life-sized bronze figure on a granite base into an informal shrine. The late pontiff was born Karol Wojtyla here in 1920.

“If the water comes from the papal monument, it is holy to us,” said Stanislaw Unijewski, a 37-year-old electrician who traveled 120 miles from his hometown of Nysa.


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