Kevelaer Basilica

Basilika St. Marien, Kapellenplatz, Kevelaer, Nemčija

Website of the Sanctuary

+49 28 32 / 933 80

The Pilgrimage – Site of Kevelaer

Every year 1,000,000 people visit this place of pilgrimage. They come from all over Europe; in particular from Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Lying on the border between the Netherlands and Germany, Kevelaer has been from the beginning an international place of pilgrimage, For more than 350 years, then, a lively inter-communication has take place between different peoples.

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The Picture of Our Lady at the Wayside

It was around Christmas 1641 that the simple merchant Hendrick Busman three times heard the mysterious call: “At this place you will build me a chapel!” Each time he had been on his way from Weeze to Geldern and had stopped to pray at a wayside cross close to Kevelaer.

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Hendrick Busman was poor but nevertheless he answered the call. The engraving was installed in the shrine in 1642. The minutes of the Synod of Venlo cast more light on the matter:

“I am married to Mechel Schrouse who is aged about 50. I have earned my living by means of a small business which has obliged me to travel hither and thither. Hence I was on the road from Weeze and near a place known as Kevelaer at Christmastide in the year of Our Lord 1641.

At this point stands a wayside cross. There I heard a voice which said to me: ‘On this spot shalt thou build me a chapel.’ At this I was greatly astonished. I looked all around, but saw no-one.

I continued on my way and, on this first occasion, put all thoughts of the voice from me. Seven or eight days later, I travelled the same road and at the self-same spot I heard the afore-mentioned voice loud and clear coming from the direction of the wayside cross.

This caused me great sorrow considering my humble circumstances and meagre resources. None the less, I had been charged with the commission and determined to put aside each day a portion of my scant income in order to build the shrine.

Subsequently, one month before Whitsuntide, there came to my aforementioned spouse a vision in blinding light of a shrine containing a picture like the one she had noticed in the hands of two soldiers some time previously.

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These soldiers had been carrying two paper pictures of Our Lady of Luxembourg and they had tried to sell them to Mechel. However, nothing came of it as the price was too high.

On this account I gave more credence to the matter and sent my wife off to find the soldiers and enquire about the little picture. They had passed on the pictures to their lieutenant who was under arrest in Kempen. The lieutenant was released and Mechel solicited one of the pictures from him…”

The inscription under the picture reads:

Vera Effigies Matris IESU Consolatricis afflictorum in agro suburbano Luxemburgi Miraculis et Hominum Visitatione celebris. Anno 1640.

True effigy of the Mother of Christ, Comforter of the Afflicted, in a field before the city of Luxembourg, celebrated by miracles and the visit of men. A.D. 1640.

Two hovering angels set above the picture hold the crown of honour. On a scroll under the top edge of the picture the title of honour of the Madonna.

The Kevelaer Basilica

Designated a papal basilica in 1927, the church was built initially to receive pilgrims and is intended through its dedication to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary to be a constant reminder of the goal of man’s earthly journey.

The paintings of Friedrich Stummel embody the ideas of the ‚biblia pauperum‘ (poor man’s bible). That is to say, he who rests a while in the basilica and allows his eyes to glide over the paintings can follow the story of the Passion, excerpts from the history of the Church and aspects of Christian life as defined in the sacraments, the scriptures and the liturgy.

Kevelaer Basilica

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The colouring of the extensive ornamentation was greatly influenced by the Church of Sainte Chapelle in Paris. The nave and transepts were erected in 1864 to the plans of Vincenz Statz, the master cathedral-builder from Cologne.

The spire, almost 300 feet high was added twenty years later. The pilgrims‘ services are held in the Basilica. Here in communion with the Blessed Virgin the devout can relive in prayer the Gospel story.

Pause awhile to take in the atmosphere and you will discover that what is enacted below in the ceremonial of the liturgy is reflected above in the arches and the apse. The faithful in the community of the saints, living and dead, are gathered together in the praise of the Lamb of God.

Kevelaer Basilica

The retable in the apse depicts the seven sorrows of the Virgin. In the centre is the Pieta and above this, in the gothic vaulting, the Assumption is represented. Not all hope is lost; Good Friday is not the end of Mary’s existence. Just as God fulfilled his purpose in the life of Mary, she too attains her goal in the splendour of the Trinity.

Kevelaer is situated amidst of the European business centres in a pleasant distance and close to the Ruhr-area with the cities Duisburg, Essen, Oberhausen or Gelsenkirchen.

In just a few kilometres distance there is the German-Dutch border with the agglomeration Nijmwegen and Venlo. Duesseldorf and Cologne, metropolises upon the Rhine, are not far away from Kevelaer either

How to get there:

Visiting Kevelaer by car
The city of Kevelaer is next to federal main-road 9. You can also reach Kevelaer via motorway-exit Sonsbeck (Kevelaer) (exit 5) of A 57.

Travelling by Train
Kevelaer station is situated on the left side of the river Rhine-line. During weekdays every half an hour and at weekends every hour the Niers-Express(RE 10) from Kleve via Krefeld to Duesselsorf stops there.

Train Schedules are available at the Deutsche Bahn.

The Airport of Weeze
Coming from the airport of Weeze you will reach our town after about a 7 km long signposted tour along the ain-road or by airport-shuttle. Further airport-shuttle-information are available.

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Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!

The Pilgrimage – Site of Kevelaer

Every year 1,000,000 people visit this place of pilgrimage. They come from all over Europe; in particular from Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Lying on the border between the Netherlands and Germany, Kevelaer has been from the beginning an international place of pilgrimage, For more than 350 years, then, a lively inter-communication has take place between different peoples.

The visitor to the picture of Holy Mary, Full of Grace, sees a tiny, unpretentious, mortal image of the Heavenly Queen holding her blessed son.

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The picture says to everyone who looks more deeply, “God at all times allows his heavenly presence to shine through all things, however small”. The pilgrimage to Kevelaer prepares us to experience the nearness of God in our daily lives.

May the words and pictures in this guide help you to discover Kevelaer and comprehend its message.

Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!

Kevelaer is situated amidst of the European business centres in a pleasant distance and close to the Ruhr-area with the cities Duisburg, Essen, Oberhausen or Gelsenkirchen. In just a few kilometres distance there is the German-Dutch border with the agglomeration Nijmwegen and Venlo. Duesseldorf and Cologne, metropolises upon the Rhine, are not far away from Kevelaer either

Visiting Kevelaer by car
The city of Kevelaer is next to federal main-road 9. You can also reach Kevelaer via motorway-exit Sonsbeck (Kevelaer) (exit 5) of A 57.

You might also like our T-shirts:

Travelling by Train
Kevelaer station is situated on the left side of the river Rhine-line. During weekdays every half an hour and at weekends every hour the Niers-Express(RE 10) from Kleve via Krefeld to Duesselsorf stops there.

Train Schedules are available at the Deutsche Bahn.

The Airport of Weeze
Coming from the airport of Weeze you will reach our town after about a 7 km long signposted tour along the ain-road or by airport-shuttle. Further airport-shuttle-information are available.

Map of Kevelaer City

Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!

Sunday:

  • 08.00 h: Mass: Klarissenkloster
  • 08.00 h: Mass from the Misal 1962: Candle Chapel
  • 08.15 h: Mass: Basilica
  • 10.30 h: Familiy Mass: Chapel
  • 11.45 h: Mass: Basilica
  • 18.30 h: Evening Mass: Basilica

Mass on workdays and Saturdays: 

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  • 08.00 h: Klarissenkloster
  • 09.00 h: Chaple of the Sacrament
  • 10.00 h: Basilica
  • 11.30 h: Candle Chapel
  • 18.30 h: Beichtkapelle

Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!

History

On June 1st 1642, the little copper-plate engraving made in Antwerp depicting the “Comforter of the Afflicted” against a background of the City of Luxembourg was installed in a wayside shrine, at the intersection of the trade route Cologne-Amsterdam (today the B9) and the confluence of the rivers Rhine and Maas.

The Thirty Years War and the turmoil of the War of Spanish Succession had left the country in a sorry state. A silent witness to these times is the Croatian Cross recalling the day, ten years before, when 100 inhabitants of Kevelaer were butchered by soldiers who happened to be passing through. The illustration of the installation of the icon shows the merchant, Hendrick Busman and his wife, the then parish priest of St Anthony’s, Johannes Schink, a Capuchin monk from Geldern, one of the soldiers who brought the picture from Luxembourg and the first of the pilgrims. But what were the circumstances surrounding the Madonna of Luxembourg and how did the shrine come to be built?

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Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!

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