Ludbreg Holy Sunday Feast Prepares For 100, 000 Pilgrims

Total Croatia News

Screenshot | Iovia
Screenshot | Iovia

Screenshot | Iovia

August 28, 2020 – The traditional Ludbreg Days of Holy Sunday usually attracts more than 100 000 pilgrims. The feast will be held from 3 – 7 September under special epidemiolocal measures.

So popular is the traditional visit of the faithful on Ludbreg’s Holy Sunday that the event is usually stretched out over ten days. But not this year. The event duration has been reduced due to the ongoing pandemic. Under special epidemiolocal measures, the town is still prepared to welcome as many as want to come. “It’s impossible to plan for an exact number of how many will come,” Ludbreg Tourist Board director, Andreja Horvat tells TCN. “Some will not come out of fear; some will come because it is a church holiday. There are no organized buses this year, and we have reduced promotion to a bare minimum because we do not want to invite people to a large gathering. But, for however many who do come, we are prepared.”

This year there will be no accompanying programs (concerts, exhibitions, promotions, etc.). All masses will be held outdoors, i,e in the sanctuary. Following the masses, pilgrims will be invited, as usual, to attend the outdoor market, which will still take place on the town streets and the central square. To afford everyone more room, this year the amusement park has been moved to Otok Mladosti (The Island of Youth).

The lack of knowing exact numbers has given some difficulties to local caterers. They don’t know exactly how they should prepare for these days; how many will come? Will they stay and eat after Mass, as they usually do? How much food should they order?.

“Given that the situation is changing from day to day, we hope that we already have plans for everything,” says Andreja Horvat. “Still, we expect new civil protection measures against Coronavirus for Varaždin County on September 1. Whether they will relate to the reduction of the number of people at various gatherings, we do not yet know.”

Ludbreg’s Days of Holy Sunday is based on a long tradition of pilgrimage to a unique Croatian sanctuary. Pope Leo X in 1513 acknowledged and confirmed the miraculous appearance of the Blood of Christ that took place in 1411 in the chapel of today’s Batthyany Castle, Ludbreg. Ever since, pilgrims from all over the world have been drawn to the town, its shrine, and the Holy relic.

Ludbreg is unique within Croatia and one of the few shrines in the Christian world confirmed by a written decree from the Pope. The miraculous event is said to have taken place when a priest doubted the words of the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the true body and blood of Jesus. Shortly afterward, the actual Blood of Christ is said to have appeared. Word of the miracle soon spread around the Christian world and pilgrimages began, even before the confirmation by the Vatican.

The faithful have visited since then, especially gathering each year during the ten days of Ludbreg Holy Sunday. Today, the Holy relic can be visited in the parish church of the Holy Trinity, where it is held in a chalice and kept in a beautiful baroque display.

Take a look at TCN’s video stories about Ludbreg to learn about the tallest statue of St. Vincent in the world or about Sara Kolak, the town’s gold-winning javelin thrower who brought her gold medal back from the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

If you want to learn more about the miracle city, read our detailed travel guide: Discover The Croatian Road Less Travelled: Ludbreg.

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