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Netherlands: Amsterdam, 5 thousand pilgrims expected to come for the “silent procession”. A special event for young people

Over 5 thousand pilgrims are expected to go to Amsterdam the night between Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th March for the “silent procession” that is held once a year to commemorate the “miracle of the Host”: on March 15th 1345, a seriously ill man received the Last Rites and Communion, but he felt sick and vomited the Host. However, the Host was found intact the morning after, among the ash: to avoid desecration, the vomit had not been washed out but burnt. Thereafter, the priest wanted to bring the Host back to his church twice, but it always miraculously went back to the sick man’s house. So since 1881 the road covered by the Host has been walked over again for about one hour in the dark, in silence, with no symbols or signs whatsoever. The faithful are invited to attend one of the Masses officiated in Amsterdam’s churches, before their pilgrimage. This year, suggestions for prayer during the procession have been taken from the spiritual diary of Dag Hammarskjöld (1905-1961), former general secretary of the United Nations and winner of the posthumous Nobel Peace Prize. The dioceses are getting ready to bring their youth groups to Amsterdam. “Live!” is the name of the event organised for young people, which includes a meeting where people will tell their personal stories, followed by a moment of personal prayer, confession or theme workshops. After Mass officiated by the bishop of Haarlem-Amsterdam, mgr. Jos Punt, the young will go on their silent procession.

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