Parade Closing Amelberga’s Jubilee Year Celebration: “Our Patron Saint Has Been Honored Here For 1250 Years” | times

timesOn Sunday, Thames concluded the festivities to commemorate 1,250 years of Saint Amelberga with a procession. The community’s patron saint was buried in the Church of Our Lady in 772 and is still honored there twelve centuries later. At Sunday’s celebration, not even one but two bishops attended.

Mgr. Luc van Looy, Bishop Emeritus of Ghent, joined the procession. His colleague Lode Van Hecke, Bishop of Ghent, is somewhat less mobile, and therefore he subsequently joined the papal Eucharistic celebration in the church. That block was the culmination of a special jubilee year around the character Amelberga.

runaway bride

Amelberga was born in Lorraine and was of nobility. I grew up in a monastery. According to tradition, Scheldt crossed on the back of a sturgeon to escape from Charles Martel, who wanted to marry her. She died in Thames in 772 and was buried in the church she founded, from which later arose the Deans’ Chapel and in which her mausoleum can still be seen.

1250 years of worship

Amelberga has been revered in Temse for 1250 years. For centuries, her name has been given to countless girls. In Temse, a street and a school are also named after her. Today there is still a Sint-Amelberga union with over 400 members. Every year the so-called “wegom” is walked three times. It is a 22 km long pilgrimage along the boundaries of the former parish with 9 chapels whose origins date back to the eleventh century.

The moment of prayer in the church

Bishop Van Lowe blessed Amelberga’s shoulder which was then handed at the end of the ceremony. © Christoph Peters

Various associations took part in the procession on Sunday, including of course the Guild of Sint-Amelberga itself, but also the Harmonieorkest Temse and vendors. Via De Zaat he went to Cauwerburg where a short prayer was held in the Heilige Amelberg church. Bishop Van Loy also blessed Amelberga’s shoulder which was then handed at the end of the ceremony.

The secret of a parking violation

For Bishop Van Looy, it was a pleasure to see again the church, which he himself was allowed to consecrate in 2012 after a comprehensive restoration. However, he mainly remembers the parking violation he found ten years ago among the after-party windshield wipers. He laughs: “But strangely enough, I didn’t get an invitation to pay.” However, it was not a miracle that should be attributed to Saint Amelberga, but to the mayor of the time who rescinded the fine for the overzealous officer.

Christoph Peters
© Christoph Peters

Christoph Peters
© Christoph Peters

Christoph Peters
© Christoph Peters

Christoph Peters
© Christoph Peters

Christoph Peters
© Christoph Peters

Christoph Peters
© Christoph Peters

Christoph Peters
© Christoph Peters

Christoph Peters
© Christoph Peters

Christoph Peters
© Christoph Peters

Christoph Peters
© Christoph Peters



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