20090416

The Medieval Procession of Penance at Furnes: a Real Mystery Play

According to an article published in The New York Times (October 25, 1908), the Belgian city of Furnes (Veurne) celebrates a Medieval Procession of Penance or Penitence, a religious pageant being 500 years old. But it is said that the Procession originated in 1099 when Count Robert II of Flanders returned from Jerusalem with a splinter from the Holy True Cross. However, one of the greatest mysteries of this Mystery Play is why there is not one modern source or Belgian website where you can find this information. Check out for instance the official website of the Procession, where the history starts in 1637. It's as if the dark origins of the Penitents in Flanders, the Dutch speaking part of Belgium, are erased from the history books...

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