Thursday 30 October 2014

The science behind the ashes anomaly

Brian McDonald

Published 06/03/2014 | 13:11

Dr Andrew Flanagan studied a sample of ashes supplied by Galway priest Fr Malachy Hallinan.

Scientists believe they have found the cause behind the errant blessed ashes which posed problems for parishioners on Ash Wednesday. Dr Andrew Flanagan studied a sample of the ashes supplied by Galway priest Fr Malachy Hallinan. And he said the misfortune was caused by the dryness of the leaves before they were burned. Fr Hallinan said: “When I met him he asked me if it was it dry and seasoned." "I said it was perfectly dry — the driest I ever had. He said ‘that’s your misfortune’. He said that once you burned it, you took away all the carbon from it — you could say it was almost over-cooked." “Then when I applied the water it became caustic. I didn’t know that. He rang back at 12.30 to confirm it and later delivered the results to my house for fear I might have evening mass." “He told me that if I had dirty wet green palm, there would be less danger — no danger at all."

 

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