Parishes in Italy have started installing electronic holy water dispensers in churches to keep church tradition alive for the faithful without the fear of catching swine flu.
The new machine, in the northern town of Fornaci di Briosco, works like an automatic soap dispenser, squirting water when a hand is passed under the tap, reports the BBC.
AdvertisementIt was due to the H1N1 outbreak that churches had to suspend the tradition of having holy water in open fonts into which people dip their hands.
Inventor Luciano Marabese says he is being inundated with enquiries.
Father Pierre Angelo Mota from Capriano Briosco, north of Milan, said squirtable holy water had surprised some of his parishoners at first.
"It has been a bit of a novelty," he said.
"People initially were a bit shocked by this technological innovation but then they welcomed it with great enthusiasm and joy. The members of this parish have got used to it," he added.