Souvenirs from Lourdes highlight the contrast between
the spiritual and the material: how author Ruth Harris reconciled the two.
Whilst we can all have a bit of a laugh about some of the stuff on sale in the shops clustered around the entrance to the Sanctuary, it does highlight the contrast between the spiritual and the material. Mind you, it was ever thus, and the souvenir shops have been around almost since the time of Bernadette. Historian and author of Lourdes Ruth Harris describes how initially appalled she was at the ‘pious commerce’, a judgement that melted away, however, when faced with the pressing needs of the sick.
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