`PROCESSION ARE STILL WITH GREAT VALUE'After all those years the Holy-Blood-procession in Boxmeer are still alive. The devotion indeed less has become, but that thousands of people each other looks up because of the Procession every year on second Sunday after Whitsun that says enough. For Carmelite Falco Thuis the "Vaart" is, such as the Procession in the popular expression is called, an always live memory to the marvellous event which will have executed itself in 1400 in Boxmeer. The order of the Carmelites has in the past among others played a large role at the maintenance of the Procession.
Falco Thuis have been twelve years long in Rome the general of the order of the Carmelites. He has visited a lot of people in that quality and lands and knows therefore possibly if no other one in which context the worship must be placed of the wonder, which would be happened in 1400 in Boxmeer. A priest doubted to the conversion of bread and wine in the body and blood of Christ. Suddenly there blood concerning the cup flowed. A some drop could be caught on corporale. This white linen have been kept in silver reliquary remained and put away. And that with gold convened 'little case' since then each year becomes during the procession as that reliquary led. For six centuries and that by the end of June 2000 in Boxmeer is now already celebrated with a spectacularly set up jubilee programme.
IMPRESSIVEIn 1951, Falco Thuis met as a novice, as prospective monk, for the first time and for a short period with this typical tradition of Boxmeer. Some years ago he returned, at the request of the locally -monastery centre, definitively in the East Brabant place. "I remind me the Procession as an impressive event, because there in a week time as much as five processions passed through the streets. It was then also more Pray-Vaart then now Look-Vaart, such as you the Procession could label. For me the devotion for the reliquary of the Holy Blood was an direct reference to the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. I had no difficulty in thinking where it had happened, which was for me an obvious fact, that is indisputable. When I was studying some time later in the Carmelites monastery in Boxmeer philosophy, I am differently will think concerning the worship of blood. I remind myself still in the time being a student - critical made by everything what to do had with philosophy - to a teacher who kept the reliquary whom I has asked if them ever researches have left or clotted blood real blood was. 'Your typical pagan philosopher, why you ask that ', was the response of that teacher. This type of asking was in that time not done. That was this way obvious, that you did not ask simply. And that was possible it took self-evident for granted. . As young a Carmelite I have experienced it that complete Boxmeer by that Procession has turned topsyturvy, even buses with lot of pilgrims came to this side there on. To look at and pray and to walk itself along in the Procession. Influenced by the studies in Nijmegen and Rome and by the second Vaticanian Council I have reached the conclusion that the Procession many far famed event have become. The presence of Christ to be adored, is for me no longer this way at issue. It is for me much more what Christ has wanted accentuate: the Eucharist as a meal, which at each other brings people to summon them from and to stimulate for Christian is. And this way to see I the Procession also. That reliquary reaches us of generation on generation, has been passed on, kept and honoured as something holy from the past. Now, today the day I would say that that doubting priest perhaps also symbol for our mankind are, because we wrestle also with the term Eucharist and with Christ' real presence. What is it actual, where proceeds it, what is there holy in our life? That reliquary helps to reflect our concerning living, which is hope there and that radiates the Procession in already its joy, music and symbolism also out".
But appropriate is the tradition, the folklore of this Procession in fact fit still in this time of business. Falco Thuis: "I think it, however. Perhaps it is for half folklore, perhaps may not, I call it a kind devotion by the people. It is in itself nevertheless particular that still, based on an ancient tale, which worship takes place. That surprises me itself also. Just still I have examined the reliquary, which splendid shrine, convened with gold. To read the texts once which appear then and then I myself wondered myself how something like that could be made in 1482 . Pay attention, however,: ten years before Colombus took off to discover America. Terribly nevertheless? That also finds I of the fact that every year from that time many people in Boxmeer is motivated, to have so much left to let go to this tradition not lost. Then it can be not only folklore. Because then you more nice still many solicit are able think of. It concerns also and especially the solidarity, which makes the Vaart this way particular. I am myself not a real inhabitant of Boxmeer , but it impresses me on that the Procession each year is a family-feast. People on the feet brings together, brings together to a party, to act in sympathy together. With a learned theological word they call that also 'communio' make, making community. And that is exact what also wants the Eucharist: people bringing together !".
Sometimes the Procession in Boxmeer is compared to Carnival. Falco Thuis cannot find themselves total in it. "Carnival are something substantial differently. With carnival on funny wise the seriousness of living is relativised. By masks and because people change themselves. Of course, changed in the Procession people walk around also, but I call that more furnishing than change of clothing . Moreover can I it me well present that outsiders strangely look against at the Procession. They do not understand the tradition even they find the Procession ridiculous . But why can produce you no respect for something that you do not understand or in what you don't share, to which you do not take part? We do not need there twist natural around that the intense perception of in former days has gone away a bit . I see it now this way: the Procession passes with a group of initiates through a world of outsiders. It is no longer this way obvious that people believe, it is much more obvious that people no longer hurry themselves believe. All the more reason to keep this Mystery well, to cultivate and form, because the Procession has a large meaning for me still. For this reason I find the jubilee programme 2000 and all those preparations which are therefore necessary , none thrown away money or wasted energy. It makes people glad and late them quiet stand at a past, which brings still people together, or it is said such as that in United Kingdom, "what live giving is".