Out of the tens of millions of pilgrims who have sought healing at Lourdes since the 19th century, there have been 66 official miracles, says Robert Scott in this UC Press podcast. However, the number of people who report that their suffering vanished after visiting the site is astronomically higher.
Scott finds that for many, appealing to saints for a cure can have real healing effects. In the podcast, he talks to Chris Gondek about his book Miracle Cures, exploring the role of belief, emotion, and culture in healing, from medieval times to the present day.
In his book The Gothic Enterprise, Scott explores the building of the great medieval European cathedrals. Some of these enormous cathedrals were partly funded by coins left at saints’ shrines by pilgrims, hoping for a cure. Ken Follett, who tells the story of one such cathedral in his book Pillars of the Earth, called The Gothic Enterprise “easily the best book I have seen on why the great cathedrals were built.”
Listen to the podcast now: