Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July 13: Feast of the Miracles

Feast of the Miracles, Brussels, Belgium

The 19th-Century English folklorist, Robert Chambers*, told of a quaint annual celebration in Brussels.

If a Sunday, the fiesta started on July 13, or the first Sunday after the 13th, and it went for 15 days. On the first day, there was a procession of the Holy Sacrament of the Miracles. This consisted of three consecrated wafers, with a miraculous, albeit anti-Semitic, story behind them.

In 1369, there lived at Enghein, in Hainault, Belgium, a rich Jew named Jonathan, who paid another Jew, a poor man named Jean de Louvain, to steal some wafers from the Church of St Catherine in Brussels, for the purpose of using them in an anti-Christian ceremony. For his sins, Jonathan died soon after the theft, murdered by person or persons unknown. His widow gave the wafers to a group of Jews who used them in a defiling ceremony on Good Friday, 1370 ...


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