Holy water is full of crap: According to a recent study 86 percent of holy water is infected with common bacteria found in fecal matter such as E. coli, enterococci and Campylobacter, which can lead to diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever.
Holy water is commonly used in baptism ceremonies and to wet congregants' lips.
Researchers at the Institute of Hygiene and Applied Immunology at the Medical University of Vienna tested water from 21 springs in Austria and 18 fonts in Vienna and found samples contained up to 62 million bacteria per milliliter of water, none of it safe to drink.
While many people believe that holy water has healing properties the new research suggests it may actually do more harm than good.
Dr. Alexander Kirschner of the Medical University of Vienna said holy water’s reputation for purity came from the Middle Ages, when local water sources were all contaminated.
In those days, the quality of the water in towns and cities was generally so poor that people were constantly developing diarrhea or other diseases as a result. If they then came across a protected spring in the forest that was not as polluted and drank from it for several days, their symptoms would disappear. So although in those days they were drinking healthier water, given the excellent quality of our drinking water today, the situation is now completely reversed.
The study, published in the Journal of Water and Health, also found that all church and hospital chapel fonts contained bacteria - the busier the church, the higher the bacterial count.