Holy Smokes! Holy Water!
Let me start by admitting that I am not religious. So the idea of holy water for sale seems odd to me. But here in Ireland I have become a particular fan of St Peter’s Church in Drogheda which houses the head of Oliver Plunkett. Not that I am a fan of such horrid treatment of martyrs, even if he did become a saint. But they actually have a two-story shrine holding his head. And they have a few assorted bones of his as well that they cherish. Needless to say, when I am in Drogheda I often drop in to St. Peter’s just to see how Oliver is doing.
And on a recent trip to Drogheda I found myself sitting in a back pew there avoiding a lashing rain and just checking in.
I saw a little gift shop I had never noticed before. It had books on Oliver and the history of the church. And in the corner it had a big canister of Holy Water. It looked a lot like what my kids used to sell lemonade.
I asked about it, and discovered that the water was free but if you wanted a little bottle to put it in, they'd sell you one for a euro. So I had to get some. Most churches have a basin of Holy Water for entering and leaving the church. And I’m told that a lot of churches have Holy Water for you to take home. I've just apparently never noticed it. But Oliver Plunkett Holy Water seemed like a must have thing to me.
Emily, my gift shop guide, told me that the reason Oliver's head had never rotted (it looks mummified to me) was because he was a true saint, and had been blessed with Holy Water. Now I don't know if that can actually be, but it was worth a euro to me.