Church of the Presentation of the Holy Virgin

Up until the Second World War, the village hardly expanded. It wasn’t until 1960 that they started with new construction projects. Ever sinc…

Up until the Second World War, the village hardly expanded. It wasn’t until 1960 that they started with new construction projects. Ever since the construction of the tram line Asten – Brouwhuis – Helmond, Ommel has been a well-known stopping place.   About seventy-five percent of all the houses in Ommel were destroyed during the Second World War, as a result of a bombing in 1944. Several of the village’s inhabitants were killed during the bombing. Many members of the families Klaus and Michiels were killed when a grenade exploded near a bomb shelter in the Jan van Havenstraat.   Throughout the ages, Ommel has always been a famous pilgrimage site for the Holy Virgin Mary and still is. Every year during the month of May, over 50,000 people visit the statue of the Holy Virgin Mary with Child in the church.   Around the year 1400, as the legend goes, a small statue was found on a pole in a meadow between Asten and Ommel. The person that found the statue brought it to the priest of Asten who placed it in the church. But the statue didn’t want to be in Asten and left the church after it was closed. The statue was recovered on the same pole where it had been previously found. The statue was returned to the church of Asten, but disappeared again. And again, it had walked back to the pole in the meadow between Asten and Ommel. According to the legend, this process repeated itself a few more times. During its journeys, the statue reportedly rested underneath a linden tree. At that exact spot, just inside the built-up area of Asten, there is a little platform with the inscription “Keskesboom”, with an image of the Holy Virgin Mary mounted to the tree. “Kesken” is a dialect word for cabinet and “boom” means tree. The statue was placed in a little cabinet on the pole in the meadow, so it didn’t have to return to the church of Asten. Experts believe that the statue was made between the years 1000 and 1200. It is an ivory relief of 24 centimeters in height and half a centimeter thick. It was probably carved out in Byzantium (the current city of Istanbul in Turkey) and brought to The Netherlands during a crusade.   Anno 2004   Every year in May and all year long, many people find comfort at the Holy Virgin Mary of Ommel, earning her the nickname “Comfortress in every need”. During the month of May, many parishioners are active trying to manage the immense flow of pilgrims. The number of pilgrims coming to Ommel in May alone is estimated at well over 50,000.  

Contact

Address:
Onze Lieve Vrouwe Presentatie kerk
Kluisstraat
5724 AD Ommel
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