Belgian priest lights lockdown candles for e-pilgrims
Wednesday, 25 March 2020
Credit: Creative Commons
A Belgian priest has been trying his hardest to accommodate for the difficulties posed to those who want to burn a candle in these difficult times.
Burning a candle for a loved one at the Basilica of Scherpenheuvel – a town in the province of Flemish Brabant – is a long-standing tradition. However, due to strict coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown measures, pilgrims are not allowed to visit for the time being.
Thankfully, Father Luc Van Hilst – who receives phone calls from people who still want to burn a candle – is happy to do that for them.
“We get phone calls regularly. Yesterday, a woman of 80 years old called from [the municipality of] Heverlee. She said ‘We love to come to Scherpenheuvel, but we cannot come now, because we are worried, for our children and grandchildren. Do you want to think about us, do you want to pray for us? Do you want to light a candle?’ she asked. And I will, of course,” said priest Luc Van Hilst to ROB (Regionale Omroep Brabant), a regional television station.
“We are so used to being in control of our lives and our coexistence, and now we can’t control it,” he said. “All sorts of things slip through our fingers, and we do not really know what is coming,” Van Hilst added.
“The day the threat is gone and people can breathe freely and hug each other again, that they will come here and thank Our Lady,” he said.