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Catholic Dictionary




A place of pilgrimage in West Flanders Province. Not far from the great market square in Bruges in the Place du Buorg is a famous Chapel of the Precious Blood. In 1150, Thierry, Count of Flanders and hero returning from the Second Crusade, brought with him a phial containing a drop of Christ's blood, which he had received from the Patriarch of Jerusalem. This precious relic is now contained in a lavish gold reliquary that is carried in solemn procession through the city with great pomp on the first Monday after May 2 each year. Pilgrims from all over the world come for the occasion, some having attended the ceremonies yearly for decades. Bruges also possesses relics of St. Basil (329-79), cherished with reverence in a chapel dedicated to him.