The Deacon's Bench

Modern technology can work wonders — but it can also lead you astray.

From the Telegraph:

A small, but rising portion of the six million pilgrims who flock to the world’s third most visited Catholic shrine in Lourdes are showing up at another, rather less well-known village called Lourde.

Their sin was to have misspelled the name of their destination on their satellite navigational system.

New arrivals to the tiny hamlet in the Pyrenean foothills south of Toulouse are understandably confused, as not only does the village contain no Marian shrine, nor does it offer a single hotel or shop. Indeed, finding a baguette in the near vicinity would be nothing short of a miracle.

Lourde’s 94 residents are now getting used to redirecting bemused drivers, who have strayed 57 miles west of their intended destination, as they crawl forlornly through the village in search of the holy site’s familiar trinket shops and stretcher bearers.

“They are all surprised to see that Lourde[s] is so small; they ask you about the underground caves,” one village councillor told French radio today.

“One day, a hearse showed up,” Robert Amblard, village mayor, said. “The driver stopped in front of the map. I advised him to have a look in the 65 [Haute-Pyrenees department] instead.”

Check out more at the link.

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