The photos and the texts of each place or parish or association dedicated to Saint Leonard are edited by their representatives
who have accepted to appear in these documents
Friends of Leonard of Sint-Lenaarts
In 2013 we, four young people from Sint-Lenaarts: Els Van Looveren, Anya Hoefnagels, Maarten Gilops and Bart Neefs, took up the torch to organise the annual procession in honour of Saint Leonard. The oldest written testimony demonstrates that our procession has been taking place since 1495.
In 2020 we mark the 225th anniversary by processing in the streets of Sint-Lenaarts. Besides a relic of Saint Leonard, 500 personalities, of whom the majority are children and young people, carry precious statues which represent the life of Saint Leonard. Saint James and the Blessed Virgin Mary take a prominent place in the procession.
Every year thousands of spectators and pilgrims join us beneath the bell tower of our church of St Leonard - the cathedral of our region- to experience this festival in close proximity.
In our role as friends of St Leonard we are actively working to preserve and prolong this secular tradition, and the veneration of Saint Leonard.
The Confraternity of Saint Leonard at Zoutleeuw (Belgium)
Zoutleeuw (Léau), the pearl of Flemish Brabant, situated at 60 km from Brussels (Belgium)
In the Middle Ages, Léau was a fortified town, prosperous due to its commerce in grain and cloth. However, as from the 16th century it remained in its past. This little town still had some fine buildings but there was no indication that seven convents and three ramparts would be constructed. The church of Saint Leonard is the true marvel of the town. It escaped from the fury of the iconoclasts and today it gives the impression of a museum of religious art: there are several retables, including one about Saint Leonard, as well as a tableau dedicated to Our Lady and depictions in copperware. The main artistic element of the church is the little tower of the Blessed Sacrament – a tabernacle with a worldwide reputation. This monumental church is not just a depository for relics, it is and will remain principally a house of God, a place of faith and prayer.
Ever since the monks of the Abbey of Vlierbeek, near Louvain, carried the relics of Saint Leonard to Léau the Saint has been venerated as the patron saint of prisoners and miners. He helped cure rheumatism and fortified mothers about to give birth. As from 1274, on the Monday after Pentecost there has been a major procession, in honour of Saint Leonard, through the winding streets of the town. There is no pilgrimage in Belgium better known than this one dedicated to Saint Leonard.
At this time the Confraternity of Saint Leonard has, once again, become a flourishing organisation.
La Confrérie Sint Leonardus