[LINK] Another GPS/human error story

Jan Whitaker jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Sat Aug 7 09:15:13 AEST 2010

Since it's the weekend,

Pilgrims in search of a miracle - and an 's'

Lizzy Davies, Paris
August 7, 2010 - 3:00AM

PUTTING your faith in GPS, it appears, is not as 
reliable as putting your faith in the Lord.

An increasing number of Catholic pilgrims are 
learning this lesson first hand as they show up 
in the unremarkable French village of Lourde - no 
's' - and wait in vain for a miracle that never comes.

Nestled in the Pyrenean border country south of 
Toulouse, the hamlet of 94 people has little in 
common with Lourdes, the famous holy site about 
90 kilometres to the west. It has no hotels or 
shops and certainly no history of Marian apparitions.

So when they turn up in their cars, having 
misspelt the name of their destination on their 
navigational system, the new arrivals are 
understandably confused. ''They are all surprised 
to see that Lourde[s] is so small; they ask you 
about the underground caves,'' a village councillor told French radio.

Since the mid-19th century, when the unassuming 
market town of Lourdes became a pilgrimage point 
for Catholics all over the world, residents of 
the lesser known Lourde have been pointing 
outsiders to the right road. But since the 
development of GPS, the strays have become far more numerous.

''For two years now 
 more and more people are 
getting it wrong. We have Spaniards, Dutch, 
Belgians and, of course, French. It's proof that 
they can't use technology,'' said one local.

Occasionally, it takes the errant pilgrims a 
while to notice they have taken a wrong turn, say 
the residents. Some of them even confuse the 
village's modest statue of the Virgin Mary with 
the Statue of Our Lady at the Grotto of 
Massabielle, and lay their wreaths with great seriousness.

The village is resisting calls to modify its 
name. One resident told RTL radio: ''Even without 
an 's', we are still a nice village.''


This story was found at: 

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com

Our truest response to the irrationality of the 
world is to paint or sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer

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