Friday 14th July: Do You Believe?

The Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Louis Pasteur


Wine-producing areas of France lost money whenever their wine went sour. Louis Pasteur discovered that this was due to the presence of micro-organisms, often called bacteria or “germs”. He showed that heating sugar solutions before using them would kill off any bacte- ria. Louis Pasteur also showed that milk can be prevented from going sour if it is first heated to a high temperature under pressure. We now call this “pasteurised milk”, after his name.

A 9-year old boy, Joseph Meister, was brought to him, having been bitten badly by a rabid dog. Pasteur injected him with a vaccine of a weakened form of the killer disease, produced from the bodies of infected animals. It was on this day in 1885 that young Joseph Meister recovered from the rabies that otherwise would have killed him.

Before Pasteur’s discoveries about germs, 6 people died out of every 10 who had operations. He started the use of disinfectants to kill germs in operating theatres. The name of Louis Pasteur became widely known throughout France, and he received national honours for his scientific achievements.

One day he was travelling by train and was reading the Bible to himself. The man who happened to be sitting next to Louis Pasteur did not know who he was, but saw that he was reading about Jesus feeding 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish. The man said to him: “You don’t believe that story, do you?”
“Yes, I do believe it,” said Pasteur. The other man, not knowing who he was speaking to, said, “Well, I don’t believe it. I’m a scientist, you see, and that story doesn’t fit in with science.”

At that point the train slowed and the man was about to get off. He said goodbye, giving his name. He was more than surprised to hear in response, “And my name is Louis Pasteur.” The man, claiming to be a scientist, had been very dismissive of the religious beliefs of Louis Pasteur, one of the world’s greatest scientists.


Lord, I ask for the gifts
of knowledge and wisdom and understanding. What I pray for I intend to work at, so that I may develop an open mind,a thirst for knowledge, and a wisdom that makes good use of my knowledge and experience. I know that any gifts are useless if I do not also have love and concern for others, and so I ask that you inspire me to live in such a way that I am caring and compassionate and promote understanding between people.
May others respect me, Lord, as much as I respect them.


Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of death. Amen.

Our Lady Queen of Peace pray for us.

St Joseph pray for us

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.