Just before Christmas, Resurrection parish in Boxtel, located in the Diocese of ‘s Hertogenbosch, received news of a fairly unique Christmas gift: one of it’s parish churches would be elevated to a minor basilica. The 500-year old St. Peter’s basilica is the 23rd basilica in the Netherlands, and the third in the Diocese of ‘s Hertogenbosch.
The first requests to elevate this church date from 2006, and were made by the current parish priest, Father Richard Niessen.
A church may be given the title of minor basilica (major basilicas are the four main churches of Rome) for reasons of outstanding beauty, age or size, although in this case one of the reasons may be the presence in the church of a 14th century piece of cloth which contains bloodstains from spilled consecrated wine. A procession to commemorate this Blood Miracle is held every year in Boxtel.
Photo credit: parish website