Monday, 19 January 2015
The famous statue of the black virgin, dated from the 11th century was re-installed on Sunday morning following the high mass in the Saint Catherine church in Brussels. The church recently opened its doors following 3 years of renovation work. “The black virgin is a historical piece that is not just part of the Saint Catherine church but also an important part of Brussels’ cultural heritage. The black virgin was actually a white statue originally, but with time and humidity, she became black, explains father Jérémie, one of the 4 priests from the the Holy Apostles Fraternity running the church.
“Since the 11th century, she is a popular respected virtue of the city. In 1744, she was stolen and thrown into the water. A few days after the theft, local residents saw her floating. In fact, she was floating on top of an object in the water and people saw it as a special omen and she became even more revered”, father Jérémie ads.
Originally housed in the former church of Saint Catherine, of which only the tower adjacent to the saint Catherine square remains, the black virgin has drawn attention for almost 1 000 year and been admired by both Brussels residents as well as pilgrims who traveled from all over the world to see her.