News of: Sunday, March 13 2005,

Silent Procession ('Stille Omgang') attracts 8000 pilgrims

The yearly silent procession in Amsterdam, has drawn 8000 pilgrims last nights.

The procession is held every year, in veneration of the Miracle of Amsterdam. The procession takes place in the centre of Amsterdam.

According to tradition, on 15 March 1345, a man lay seriously ill in his house on the 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 on the fire. The next morning the host was discovered undamaged in the ashes. It was put into a box and taken by a priest to the parish church (the present-day Oude Kerk), but on two occasions miraculously made its way back to the house on the Kalverstraat. This was the beginning of the tradition known in Amsterdam as the Micracle Procession, since people had taken it as a sign that they should spread word of what had happened.

Although catholic by origin, the procession attracts more and more protestants. Also, more young people appear to participate every year.