A protestant looks at Lourdes

Ruth  Cranston (1887-1956) was the Ohio-born daughter of a Methodist bishop. She was apparently well educated and well travelled and she even worked with the Red Cross in the US and in international  groups in Europe such as the World Conference of Religions. She wrote at least seven novels under the nom de plumeAnne Warwick.

Among several non-fiction works, her 234 page The Miracle of Lourdes was published in 1955, just one year before her death and two years after she began her stay in Lourdes in 1953.

The account was republished in 1988 by Doubleday. A brief pamphlet form of it had also been published in 1958 by the Catholic Truth Society. (This bore the imprimatur of Dr Daniel Mannix,  president for 9 years of Maynooth and also the Archbishop of Melbourne  for 46 years. He died in 1963, just 5 months earlier than his 100th birthday!)

The CTS pamphlet tells us that:

. . . Ruth Cranston lived in Lourdes, talked with doctors, nurses, stretcher-bearers, patients. A Protestant herself, her approach was that of the reporter and impartial investigator She has verified and documented the facts she presents.

Her interest in Lourdes was spiked by a media report and she says that . . .

“I WENT to Lourdes out of an irrepressible curiosity. For years I had been interested in the part that faith can play in alleviating our human ills. But I had known very little about this famous French shrine until one morning my eye fell on the headline: IDIOT CHILD CURED AT LOURDES, BOY OF SEVEN REGAINS FULL INTELLIGENCE AFTER YEARS OF LIVING LIKE AN ANIMAL.

This incredible newspaper story, which also told of other startling cures—cancer of the stomach, peritonitis, lung tumor, angina—stirred my imagination. I wanted to know more about Lourdes.”

For what happened next please continue reading at A PROTESTANT LOOKS AT LOURDES.


About GC

Poor sinner.
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4 Responses to A protestant looks at Lourdes

  1. johnhenrycn says:

    What a beautiful woman Cranston was, if her photograph is anything to go by.

    And her report on Lourdes is so moving. I feel compelled, however, to provide a link to The Life of Sir William Osler – often called the Father of Modern Medicine – and specifically pages 908-909 thereof:

    Osler does not deny the occurrence of miracles, but demurs when it comes to ascribing them to ‘supernatural’ forces. Is a miracle any less so if it may one day be explicable? Does a Christian conviction in the miracles of Lourdes require they never be explained?

    “A South African man with Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative disorder that often leaves its sufferers immobile, walks his symptoms into submission. A Broadway singer, silenced for 30 years by multiple sclerosis, recovers his voice. And in California, a psychiatrist and pain specialist rids himself of 13 years of chronic pain within a year, without drugs or surgery, through his brain’s own efforts.”


    …none of which miracles have anything to do with Lourdes. I don’t believe it’s necessary to think of Lourdes as something out of The Twilight Zone before believing in it.

    Whatever, this piece has made me think about taking my son there in the hope of a cure for his cerebral venous thrombosis, which for him, whenever he has a headache or neck pain, makes him wonder if he’ll be alive 30 seconds later.

  2. toadspittle says:

    Take him JH, soon as possible. What harm can it do? And if he (and you) believes it might help him – it very well might.
    We don’t know much about the power of thought. Probably never will.
    I’ll put him on my candle-lighting list, at least.

    I often wonder if a doctor says, “Take this pill, and you’ll get better, “ how often that works. Quite frequently, I suspect. It probably would with me, under quite a few circumstances.
    Though not all.

  3. johnhenrycn says:

    Many thanks, Toad.

  4. Tom Fisher says:

    Whatever, this piece has made me think about taking my son there

    No matter what the outcome, the journey itself would be a wonderful experience. I think you should take him if you can

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