Pilgrimage to Breda


The Miraculous Sacrament of Niervaart

About the year 1300 a host would be found by peat-cutters in the neighborhood of Niervaart (nowadays Zundert). At picking up the host went bleeding. The host, from that time kept in the local parish church of Niervaart, was honored as ‘Miraculous Sacrament’ and attracted lots of worshippers. Many miracles were attributed to it.

As a consequence of the advancing shoreline the host was brought to safety in the Church of Our Lady in Breda in 1449. Thanks to this Breda became a place of pilgrimage and attracted many pilgrims until the iconoclastic attacks in 1566. That year the monstrance with host was probably lost.

Nevertheless, a special devotion to the Miraculous Sacrament continued to exist in Breda. From about the end of the nineteenth century until now there has been (with interruptions) a serious revival of worship, including a procession. Starting on 1995, the Miraculous Sacrament is commemorated on the Sunday before June 24 (St. John) in the church of St. Anthony of Padua in Breda.

© photos: Bea and Dick Hoeks-De Laat, 2007

Read more about the Miraculous Sacrament (in Dutch) or about the project Places of Pilgrimage