A Touch to the Relic of the Holy Blood

I’ve recently returned from a short trip to Bruges, where I was on a special celebration for my birthday. It’s a magnificent historical place and the largest city in the Flemish Region of Belgium. However, I would like to tell you about a particular spiritual experience that I had and the feelings and reflections that it provoked in me.

The Basilica of the Holy Blood was one of the landmarks of Bruges

that the helpful and friendly receptionist recommended to visit in the morning before we went out of the hotel. Of course, I was interested to see it as I presumed it would be a place where history, architecture, national heritage and faith would interweave in a fascinating way.

Little did I know that what I was about to experience that day was going to move me deeply.

We headed for the city centre in our desire to see as many places of interest as possible for the duration of the trip. After the canal cruise, climbing the Belfry Tower and having a cup of sumptuous Belgium hot chocolate, in the late afternoon we set out to the basilica.

It was peaceful, placid and serene there –

and luckily enough, not crowded with tourists. I always try to go to church on my birthday as in my opinion, this is one of the most important holidays as that’s the day when you were given life. And life, sometimes good, sometimes bad, is the biggest blessing – just to be alive. So I lit a candle, prayed to God for good health and gave thanks for all that I have and I was about to leave when the basilica officer asked me if we had seen the Relic of the Holy Blood.

He explained to us that it’s a phial said to contain a cloth with blood of Jesus Christ,

brought to the city by Thierry of Alsace after the 12th century Second Crusade and everyone could approach it given they show reverence and respect. He needn’t say more, as I was instantly back into the basilica. I waited for a while to see if anyone else would dare to climb the little staircase and face the Catholic priest in his purple mantle – the guardian of the relic – in order to have a close look at this historical item, brought over 800 years ago from Constantinople. So I climbed the steps and there I was, staring at what was believed for centuries to be a relic of the Blood of Jesus. I don’t know if it’s genuine or not, I’m not familiar with all the facts and I do not claim to give any judgement on this point, I’m simply sharing my emotions.



By Matt Hopkins – originally posted to Flickr as The Blood Relic,https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6866646

I stood in front of it and thoughts were running through my head: “It has never been opened since it was brought here, what if there is truly a part of Jesus in this little phial?”

I felt an overwhelming sensation of awe and submission and as I didn’t know exactly what to do, I bowed and kissed the cloth where the relic was placed on. Then I descended and sat for a while in quiet contemplation, slowly realizing how deeply enriching this experience was and how much it nourished my soul.

Soul needs to be nourished in its own way

and it’s not any of the common commercial ways of buying goods, consuming more, comparing ourselves to others – i.e. by all the approaches which the ego implies. Soul can be nurtured only from the inside out – by rich, meaningful, genuine and pure sensations.

As a sensitive person, I often need deep, spiritual experiences to replenish and refresh me. How about you? When was the last time you felt deeply connected to someone or something and how did this make you feel? Please leave a comment to share your experience.

Leave a Comment