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Cyclists are already enjoying a refreshing glass of wine this summer, Source: Frauenkirchen Basilica

Austrian basilica opens a sacramental wine machine to coax new churchgoers

Austrian basilica opens a sacramental wine machine to coax new churchgoers

A local pastor explained that the throat and the soul are linked, so a little wine could open the door to religion for some

This week, the basilica in the small town of Frauenkirchen, Austria, unveiled a sacramental wine vending machine. The vending machine, placed in front of the religious site, offers visitors a selection of wines, chilled to six degrees Celsius.

As ORF, the Austrian National Broadcaster, reports, the vending machine was developed as a tourist magnet that is supposed to draw people towards visiting the church. While the August heatwave rolls through Europe, many local cyclists have picked up on the wine machine as a place to cool off.

After too many refills, people are encouraged to go for a casual prayer

The vending machine has a selection of four wines and passers-by could try them out at the low price of one euro per fill. The only way to pay will be through the device’s ban card reader, which is also how the machine will do age verification.

Furthermore, all four wines in the machine have been made by local winegrowers in the region. They also meet the criteria for sacramental wine – natural, without additives and with approval from the diocese for church use.

However, the wine is not "consecrated", meaning that technically it has not yet become the ‘blood of Christ’ according to the Catholic dogma. This makes the samples simply some good Austrian wine, with the proceeds helping to fund the local diocese.

The idea came from a town pastor, Thomas Lackner, who explained that this is the first machine of its kind in the world. He also said that this could be a great way to attract more visitors to the church, as well as get more people interested in religion.

He also pointed out that the throat and the soul are interlinked so a visit to the Messwein machine could open up an inner thirst for communing with a higher power. According to an official statement by the basilica, many cyclists have already visited the location, as well as the religious sites.

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