Catholic Pilgrims Get Lost Using GPS in France

Catholic pilgrims putting their faith in GPS have been heading off track when it comes to finding Lourdes, the world-famous holy site in France.

That's because there is also a tiny village of Lourde, without the "s." And thanks to the advent of GPS - and sloppy typing - more and more pilgrims are turning up there, The Guardian newspaper reports.

Lourde is south of Toulouse, and has a population of just 94, so it's easy to spot strangers. The village has no hotels or shops, and no history of miracles.

The much more popular Lourdes is about 55 miles to the west.

When people end up in Lourde they get confused and often comment on how small Lourde(s) is, according to villagers. Robert Amblard, the village's mayor, told local newspaper La Dépêche that even a hearse showed up lost one day.

GPS has only enhanced the confusion, apparently. "It's proof that they can't use technology," one local, Louis, tells the Guardian.

Visitors have been known to be so confused they even lay wreaths on the village's small statue of the Virgin Mary. The market town of Lourdes has a much more substantial Statue of Our Lady at the Grotto of Massabielle.

Despite the confusion, Lourde residents say they have no plans to change the village's name.

Lourdes photo, J. Gustavo Gongora, flickr

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