The Inventory Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in the Netherlands contains ICH of which the communities, groups or individuals involved have written a safeguarding plan. Those plans are reviewed by an independent review committee. Every three years an evaluation of the safeguarding takes place.


The Boxmeer Procession is a colourful procession, annually passing through the streets of Boxmeer. It consists of six main groups. The highlight of the procession is the large group around the relic of the Holy Blood. The Boxmeer Procession is held fourteen days after Pentecost. The festivities start on Saturday, with the decoration of the procession route. In the evening the Procession weekend is opened by the unique and traditional ringing of the bells in the St. Peter Basilica, after which the relic is brought in and the opening mass starts. Afterwards many choirs ‘sing in’ the procession. Early Sunday morning the last decorations, including the green pruning and flowers, are placed along the route. At 8.30 AM there is a mass, mainly visited by German pilgrims. Two hours later the Solemn High Mass starts. All masses during the procession weekend are graced with the Holy Blood Guild Boxmeer. After the High Mass the Boxmeer Procession starts, passing the wayside altar and back again. Every year around ten thousand people come to see the Procession.



The organising foundation was established in April 2000. Beforehand the organisation was done by the Carmelites and the Sisters of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. By transferring the organisation to a foundation, a follow-up and adequate succession were ensured for the future. Moreover, it became easier to attract public funding and subsidies. Six board members were appointed Procession Masters. Young board members can become Procession Masters after a trial period. In preparation there is frequent contact with the municipality and the police.



The miracle of the Holy Blood – when before the eyes of an unbelieving priest, the wine in the chalice turned into effervescent blood and dripped onto the antependium – is thought to have taken place around 1400. In 1457 a Holy Blood altar was consecrated in the church of Boxmeer. In 1482 Johannes van Meer, Canon in Zutphen, bestowed a gilded carrier chest for the cloth with the Holy Blood. In 1507 and 1508 a procession was stated. During the Eighty Years’ War the chest with the relic was transferred to the neighbouring Gennip. In 1631 the Bishop of Roermond reconfirmed the Blood Miracle of Boxmeer. In 1656 Count Albert van den Bergh bestowed a golden chest for the relic. During the French domination it became difficult to hold a procession and openly worship the Holy Blood. The relic then was hidden in the house of a private person until in 1854 it was replaced in the Holy Blood altar in the church of Boxmeer. In 1856 the Boxmeer Procession, being an old tradition, was placed on the list of legally admitted processions. The celebration in 1900, the fifth centennial of the miracle, became a large-scale project. Since that day the Procession has been passing through the streets of Boxmeer three times a year. After World War II that number was raised to five times a year. However, during the sixties of the last century the enthusiasm for the Procession decreased. Since 1965 the Procession is held once a year.



Stichting Comité Boxmeerse Vaart
Van den Berghstraat 15
5831 GP