Text: “I don’t have a ton of specifics about what he was suffering from, but there was a kid in my class who had some rare leg-bone condition and he had to have surgery to walk. They thought he was going to die and he had leg casts for two years, and he went to this like font of naturally occurring holy water in Mexico. I don’t exactly know where it was, but he went there and went to mass and had a priest bless him and like fine now. He’s cured.”
Context: S is currently a twenty-year old student at USC. She grew up in Orange County, California and attended private, Catholic school for her education.
Analysis: Water as a healing source is a common belief in many different cultures. In S myth it seems that the water is providing a contagious magic, and that by having proximity to the water or touching it, her classmate was able to be cured. In Mexico there are a few different fonts or fountains which S could be referring to, one is described in this LA Times Story: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1992-06-27-mn-838-story.html. Healing fountains are often located near or in connection to the Roman Catholic Church for example the In the 18th century it wasn’t uncommon for doctors to prescribe “going to the sea” as a cure for patients with various ailments. This article by the Atlantic, https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/08/the-historic-healing-power-of-the-beach/279175/, provides context about how proximity to water alone has been prescribed in many different medical capacities. S myth also relates to the story of the fountain of youth which dates back to the 5th century B.C. and is thought to provide eternal youth to anyone who drinks from it. However, maybe more applicable S’ myth is the healing power of water in the Bible. The Christian ritual of baptism is thought to cleanse “original sin.” Also, the story of Naaman in 2 Kings 5:1-14, in which a leper is healed in the Jordan waters.