According to Tradition, Derrick of Alsace, Count of Flanders, brought the relic of the Holy Blood with him after the Second Crusade, having received it in the Holy Land (1150).
Because of his exceptional heroism during this crusade, Derrick received this relic, with the approval of the Patriarch of Jerusalem, from the hands of his brother-in-law, Baldwin III of Anjou, King of Jerusalem.
Arriving in Bruges on april 7th 1150, Count Derrick, accompanied by his wife Sybilla of Anjou and Leonius, Abbot of Saint Bertin's abbey of Saint Omar, brought the Relic to the Basilius chapel on the Burg, a chapel which he himself had built.
Much more to follow - to get the title click on the photo.
Veneration of the Relic follows at the end of the procession, first outside and then in the Basilica.
(film taken by another last October at one of the weekly venerations)
And look who was welcome in the Procession -
Anglicans whose track record of devotion to the Precious Blood is lamentable, beginning with their destruction not only of Hailes Abbey but also of the relic of the Precious Blood that was kept there.
"Though King Henry VIII's commissioners (conveniently) declared the famous relic to be nothing but the blood of a duck, regularly renewed, and though the Abbot Stephen Sagar admitted under torture, that the Holy Blood was a fake in hope of saving the Abbey, Hailes Abbey was one of the last religious institutions to acquiesce following the Dissolution Act of 1536."
And from the Victoria County History
"In 1413 Pope John XXIII granted for ten years a relaxation of ten years and ten quarantines of penance to penitents who on Whitsun Day and Corpus Christi and during those octaves visited the church of Hayles and gave alms for the maintenance of the fabric."
And elsewhere in the Procession. Stealth priestesses by the yard.
This is one of this years modernisations to the Procession. These women (and I think one man) are meant to represent the Resurrection and the Ascension. They ended up looking more like a new age sect. Given the general decline of the Church in Europe today, the membership numbers will not get far past those of a sect in future years.
Another was a section protesting against all the injustices in the world, such as homelessness or AIDS.
I put all the best in the Procession in the slide show at the beginning, but have saved the worst until last.
On the one hand, the Procession was deeply traditional, as even towards the end, we saw pilgrims of old, paying tribute to the pilgrims of today.
But after that a float whose participants were trying to hijack this great Catholic day to their own syncretist ends. Whatever they sought to prove it was not Catholic.
The modern world- as a tree but strangely fragile with a green topping, being led by members of another sect who celebrate all the world's religions who provide roots for the tree.
Two of the roots were oddly blank. Some of this sect wear books on their head.
This is probably one of their "priests".
More pictures of the group who would not look out of place stoned out of their mind at a sixties pop concert.
After this modern group came further members of the Noble Confraternity of the Precious Blood to rescue the honour of the occasion. Not least, after them came the Bishop carrying the Precious Blood. It goes to show how far Catholic society in Europe has fallen that such a group were given a place of honour in the parade.
The Procession tells the whole of salvation history, from the Creation through to the Redemption of many by Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ by His Most Precious Blood. I will try and obtain a full programme so readers can put the pictures in the slide show in their full context. More pictures will be put in the slide show tonight and tomorrow.
It is a shame and a scandal that modern elements are being slowly but surely injected into the Procession which, if allowed to continue will destroy this Catholic tradition forever.
To conclude pictures from previous years, which I will try to put into another slide show shortly.