Bomb Scare at Lourdes

“Tens of thousands of people were forced to evacuate the Marian Sanctuary in Lourdes on Sunday because of a bomb threat. Allowed to return later in the day, the faithful returned to the programmed schedule of worship and took part in the traditional afternoon procession.

The estimated number of pilgrims in Lourdes on Sunday was put at about 30,000 by local media, with large delegations coming particularly from both France and Italy.

According to Agence France Presse (AFP), at around noon an anonymous call was made to the local police station warning that four bombs would explode at 3pm.

Having evacuated the sanctuary, police conducted a search of the site with bomb-sniffing dogs. It was reopened to the masses at around 4pm when no explosive ordinance was found.

The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is traditionally one of the busiest days of the year at the sanctuary, for its importance as a Marian celebration and also for the practical reason that it takes place within the summer holidays of August. Many French Catholics take part in the National Pilgrimage organized every year to coincide with the solemnity.

Speaking of the bomb scare afterwards, a local police spokesman called it a “cruel hoax,” saying that the caller did nothing more than cause additional problems for those already suffering from illnesses and handicaps.

While a prayer for France and the world and a chaplet originally scheduled to be said at the grotto had to be observed from outside the gates of the sanctuary, the evacuation did not keep people from taking part in the National Pilgrimage-organized Eucharistic procession at 5pm.” – “Lourdes Evacuated for Bomb Scare, Evening Events Uninterrupted”, EWTN

This post from EWTN was strange to hear about. Apparently a bomb scare turned out to be nothing more then a glorified prank phone call. Of course, I am glad that it was not a real threat and that nobody was injured or hurt. Honestly though who takes time out of their day to call up the police and report a bomb threat? They must be a sad person. It is good that the Eucharistic procession could still be held in the evening though, after they realized that nobody was in any real danger.