Pilgrims on the march in Belgium - in pictures

Some 3,000 joined the procession of Marche Sainte-Rolende through villages in Gerpinnes

Pilgrims and people dressed in French empire uniforms took part in the procession of Marche Sainte-Rolende, in Gerpinnes, Belgium.

The event was part of some 15 folkloric marches in Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse, all recognised by UNESCO.

Sainte-Rolende, which is both a religious and secular event, is the biggest one.

Starting at 2.30am with a religious service, more than 3,000 pilgrims took a 35km route, passing through seven villages while carrying the 58kg shrine with the relics of Sainte-Rolende, which were placed in a new reliquary in 1599.

The first traces of the Sainte-Rolende in Gerpinnes date back to 1699.


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