It’s a miracle! No, really...

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The Independent Online

Last Tuesday the relics of St Thérèse of Liseux, a long dead French Carmelite nun, sparked a flurry of excitement when they arrived in the UK for a four week tour.

Thousands of pilgrims flocked to Portsmouth Cathedral to see the relics (part of an arm and part of a leg contained in a golden casket) and she has since wowed crowds in Birmingham and Cardiff. But what is the fascination with bones belonging to a young woman who died a century ago?

Well, before her death from tuberculosis at the age of 24 she is alleged to have prophesied that she would “let forth a shower of roses from heaven”, words which earned her the nick name “The Little Flower”.

Thérèse has since been credited with a number of "miraculous" occurrences some of which have been characterized by the appearance nearby of rose petals, and several of which have been officially validated by the Catholic Church.

She has a society, a feast day, thousands of followers globally and has been on a worldwide tour for the last 12 years, greeted by pilgrims and miracle seekers at every stop.

But miracles are just elaborate hoaxes designed to validate religious beliefs in the superstitious among us...aren’t they? Your guess is as good as mine, but stories of miraculous healings, crying statues and milk drinking icons have thrilled believers and infuriated sceptics for generations.

Click on the image on the right to launch our pick of miraculous tales.