News of: Wednesday, March 15 2006,
On Saturday March 18 the Silent Procession will be held in Amsterdam for the 125th time.
The (Catholic) procession is held because, according to tradition, on 15 March 1345, a man lay seriously ill in his house on Kalverstraat. Thinking he was about to die he called for a priest to administer the last rites, including the Blessed Sacrament. After receiving the host, the man became sick and finally vomited. As was the custom, what he had brought up was thrown into the fire. The next morning the host was discovered undamaged in the ashes.
When the host was put in a box and taken to the Old Church, it miraculously made its way back to the house twice.
Ever since, Amsterdam became a centre of pilgrimage.
The procession is silent, and no religious clothes are worn. The current procession is held in this form since 1881. About 8,000 people participate in the nightly procession.
The route is the same every year. The procession starts at Spui. Then: Kalverstraat, Dam Square, Nieuwendijk, Prins Hendrikkade, Warmoesstraat, back to Spui.