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Jakob Marx on the Exhibition of the Holy Shroud in Trier (1844)

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That is the series of events that took place, according to statements from the Countess herself, her grandmother, the other lady, and many eyewitnesses. The result of these events, expressed in short and simple terms, was that the Countess suddenly regained full use of her leg after visiting the Holy Shroud and the healing of her worst affliction, which is what she had prayed for. The indisputable facts were that the Countess came to Trier with a lame leg and that at the Holy Shroud it became fully normal. Joy abounded among people of faith because of this occurrence. There are people, however, who thought the healing of the Countess was very disturbing. These people do not like to consider the existence of what they would call an eerie spirit world or to think about a higher power and therefore do not want to believe or hear about miracles. This healing was a thorn in their eye, even more so due to the jubilation of the faithful. It had to be fought against at any price.

[ . . . ]

If we have observed in the preceding the multitude of flocking pilgrims and admired them, we should not ignore their wonderful unity. If we compare the millions of pilgrims to each other in terms of their normal stations in life, we find differences everywhere which divide them into different classes and tendencies. They differ in occupation, which determines everyone’s circle of influence. They also differ from each other in education, in their views of everyday human life, in ethnicity, language and dialect, in their level of luxury, in their customs and habits. All of these differences lead to the separation of people in civil society and often to bitter conflicts. These contrasts only let people associate with each other in the most limited of circumstances, such as family relations, friendships, living in the same community, and the short-term common interests of a certain class of people or an entire population. In everyday circumstances, people do not cross paths with a variety of other humans, not enough to form very many unions and associations. At the most, people rotate within the circles of their families and communities, their art, academic, trade associations, or their countries.

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