November 13, 2009

Holy water machine curbs swine flu fears


by Benjamin Graham

Catholic churches in Italy are attempting to halt the spread of swine flu by installing automatic dispensers for holy water.

The H1N1 virus had led many churches in Italy to suspend the Catholic tradition of having holy water in an open font for worshippers to dip their hands.

However, the new dispensers prevent the virus risk by squirting water automatically when a hand is placed under the tap.

Inventor Luciano Marabese said he came up with the idea because he was concerned that swine flu was forcing the church to drop centuries old traditions.

“Some people had stopped dipping their hand into the holy water font as they were afraid of infections,” he told Reuters.

“I think that it is a pity to lose our traditions.”

The demand for his invention has “shot to the stars,” Marabese claimed.

“I have received orders from all over the world,” he said.

Parish priest Father Pierre Angelo Mota said the hi-tech dispenser surprised his parishioners when they first encountered it.

“It has been a bit of a novelty,” he said.

“People initially were a bit shocked by this technological innovation but then they welcomed it with great enthusiasm and joy.”

Around 30 people in Italy have died after contracting swine flu.

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