Monday, December 9, 2013

Basilica of Our Lady of Scherpenheuvel

The Basilica of Our Lady of Scherpenheuvel was consecrated in 1627 but not considered a minor basilica until 1922. The city of Scherpenheuvel has a long history of pilgrimage, this basilica being one of the most visited.

The location of where this basilica is located is based on an old tale about an oak tree on top of a hill. Based on the legend, a small shepherd boy tried to take the small statue of the Virgin Mary, but when he tried to pick it up, he was frozen in his tracks. When his master realized that he hadn't come home, he came looking for him. It wasn't until he placed the statue back in its' location that the boy could move again.

As the legend spread, so did the popularity of this location for pilgrimage. In 1602, Godfried Van Thienwinkel, the pastor of Zichem, built a wooden chapel next to this oak tree. He himself had been healed miraculously by his visit to this site.



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