Holy water is sometimes available in a communal vessel at the entrance to Catholic and other churches. The faithful dip their hands in the water, moistening themselves with its sanctified droplets so as to receive the power of its blessing and purification. The rite of blessing for holy water reads as follows:
…ut creatura tua, mysteriis tuis serviens, ad abigendos dæmones morbosque pellendos divinæ gratiæ sumat effectum; ut quidquid in domibus vel in locis fidelium hæc unda resperserit careat omni immunditia, liberetur a noxa. Non illic resideat spiritus pestilens, non aura corrumpens: discedant omnes insidiæ latentis inimici; et si quid est quod aut incolumitati habitantium invidet aut quieti, aspersione hujus aquæ effugiat: ut salubritas, per invocationem sancti tui nominis expetita, ab omnibus sit impugnationibus defensa…
“… May this your creation be a vessel of divine grace to dispel demons and sicknesses, so that everything that it is sprinkled on in the homes and buildings of the faithful will be rid of all unclean and harmful things. Let no pestilent spirit, no corrupting atmosphere, remain in those places: may all the schemes of the hidden enemy be dispelled. Let whatever might trouble the safety and peace of those who live here be put to flight by this water, so that health, gotten by calling Your holy name, may be made secure against all attacks…”
However, as Reuters reports, “fear of contracting the H1N1 virus has led many in Italy – where some 15 people have died of swine flu – not to dip their hands in the communal water font.” The Catholic Italian response has been very practical. An Italian ‘inventor’ has invented an electronic Holy Water Dispenser for use in Catholic churches – thereby allowing the faithful to avoid contracting sickness from the very water which overcomes all sickness, disease, and other demonic afflictions.
“After all the news that some churches, like Milan’s cathedral, were suspending the use of holy water fonts as a measure against swine flu, demands for my invention shot to the stars. I have received orders from all over the world,” said Holy Water Dispenser Inventor, Luciano Marabese.