As we were about to depart Leuven on Saturday morning May 11th for our fourth pilgrimage to Basse-Wavre, the weather did not look promising at all. Also the preceding days it had rained a lot.
Despite this, thirty-three people assembled at Sint-Kwinten’s church, and we departed around 7:45, under grey skies, and yet with a lot of hope and confidence that it was going to be a beautiful day.
Our group, consisting of participants of varied nationalities and ages, really started our pilgrimage when we entered Heverlee woods and began praying the rosary for many different intentions.
The megaphone, which had brand new batteries, would not do its job until someone suggested that Father Bosco should bless it; and indeed immediately afterwards it worked properly. This was the first small miracle of our pilgrimage.
For the first time without a professional guide but under the expert guidance of Annemie, who had walked the trail the preceding Monday, we traveled through field and forest. Last year with the guide we lost our way, while this year we reached Basse-Wavre without any problems. And this was the second little wonder of our pilgrimage.
The slippery trails and ample mud along the way did not deter anyone from walking on courageously and happily.
There were conversations, prayers, silent stretches, and above all the beautiful nature to be admired.
And most surely we did admire God’s creation, as wondrously the sun began to shine, sometimes even exuberantly.
The day’s weather forecast was anything but favorable, and yet the sun continued to shine brightly during the afternoon. This was the third little miracle of our pilgrimage.
Thankfully, no one fell along the way, and everyone arrived safely in Basse-Wavre, where we prayed and walked on toward the basilica.
As we arrived, we were warmly greeted by the reception committee, who offered us drinks and something to eat.
Then we entered the basilica, where we were told the story of Basse-Wavre and were able to entrust all our intentions to Mary by going under the reliquary three times, as tradition dictates.
Dean Dirk De Gendt, together with Fr Bosco and all those present, celebrated the Eucharist in honor of Our Lady.
In spite of the fatigue, all sang the songs with great enthusiasm.
At the end of the celebration, during the singing of the Regina Coeli, the dean offered, as usual, a bouquet of flowers to Our Lady of Basse-Wavre in the name of the pastoral zone ‘Leuven aan de Dijle’.
Returning back to Leuven was no problem either, as everyone was able to get a ride in a car, and that was the fourth little wonder of our wonder-filled pilgrimage.
It was a small group this year that, with much courage and devotion, carried to Our Lady the intentions of many people. And so we can only be deeply grateful for this glorious day during which we were able to personally experience peace and unity among ourselves.