Cat tat

Aug 15, 2020 | Lourdes

Souvenirs from Lourdes highlight the contrast between
the spiritual and the material: how author Ruth Harris reconciled the two.

We found this exquisite example of catholic tat at Lourdes last year. We don’t find an occasion to use them that often in the Deedes household. However, they are quite useful for keeping wasps and other insects out of the bottle when we have an opportunity to sit outside in the summer.

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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