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Bomb Scare at Lourdes Scatters Pilgrims on Feast of Assumption

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist More than 30,000 pilgrims were evacuated from the Sanctuary of Lourdes on Sunday after French police received a warning that four bombs had been planted at the site. The BBC is reporting that the bomb scare, which ultimately turned out to be a hoax, caused tens of thousands of worshipers to leave the Shrine during celebrations of the feast of the Assumption, one of the busiest days of the year for the holy site. A Church spokesman told the French news agency AFP that someone called in a warning that four bombs would go off at the site at around 3:00 p.m. This caused an immediate evacuation of the site just before the scheduled midday Mass. Police said the evacuation was calm and took place in an orderly fashion.  Army disposal experts and sniffer dogs spent the next three hours combing the grotto, but nothing was found. "It was a cruel hoax," a local police spokesman told London's Telegraph. "Somebody had wanted to cause as much disruption as possible to people already suffering illness and handicaps in their life." The shrine was reopened in time for a 5 p.m. procession. "We have no idea who is behind this," said Pierre Adias, spokesman for Lourdes. "Bomb scares are not something you associate with Lourdes." © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®  http://www.womenofgrace.com

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