There is a sense of anticipation searching for a place to find peace and relaxation, whether you are religious or not; in this article, it tells something about the solemnity of being around this place called Heppeneert.
Heppeneert is located in the Belgian town of Maaseik in the northeast province of Limburg. A friendly village with less than a hundred inhabitants. This village was recognized because of the Parish Saint Gertrudis Church, which was built in 1883, and in here the Blessed Virgin Mary is worshiped as “Our Lady of Rest.”. Moreover, in that same year, Father Aloysius Froyen made the devotion to Our Lady of Rest widely known, e.g. the Parish park has since grown into a place of meditation and equanimity. This suburb it is also a self-governed parish church that has become a busy pilgrimage site this time, because of the group of volunteers in the neighbourhood, who had been active to put their best hoof in front for the church visitors. The pilgrims come to Heppeneert to pray and seek for help to the Blessed Virgin Mary to help them pray to the Holy Father for their mental illness, fear and ferocious issues in life, to yield wisdom into decisions making, and to ask forgiveness for their sins.
I visit the site regularly because of its areas serenity, for me being there it gives the feeling of calmness and to unwind. I strolled around and wandered to the Maria park and have noticed and seen the (Liturgical Description), ” the seven sorrows and seven joys.”. Maria Park, i.e. laid its foundation in the year 1926 by Father Aloysius Froyen, who made the devotion widely known to this day. A place for placidity and rumination. There is a candle chapel too, where you can buy and lit a candle and say your own personal prayer.
The list of the seven sorrows and seven joys:
- Jesus committed to God
- Jesus finds refuge in Egypt
- Jesus found in the temple
- Jesus carries the cross of the people
- Jesus on the cross
- Jesus was taken from the cross
- Jesus in the grave
The suburb area has a population of less than a hundred as mention above. However, this place has many things that can offer to its visitors, although it’s such a small village. There is a cafe, restaurant, bar, and shop where you can drink coffee, have lunch and dinner, drink beer or wine and can purchase souvenirs, and are located on the one side of the road. On the other hand, there is a weir wall and dyke built by the former volunteers after the floods in the place in 1926, to protect the people from flooding.
Considering that this place, the increasing number of visitors were kept coming back in the area, believe that the Blessed Virgin Mary miraculously healed the sick people who come for worship. Virgin Mary’s intercession is mighty in this church; this is why the church is sacred to many adherents. I also noticed that many devotees come from different nationalities.
It is also a place to wander and lull by viewing the nature of the rural area since it is a neighborhood of agriculture.
The Church and Candle Chapel Opening Hours:
From November 1 to March 31
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM
From April 1 to October 31 – 7:30 AM to 7 PM
Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday 7:30 AM until after the evening celebration.
How to Get There: It is easy to reach by car, foot, bicycle and motorbike from the round road of Maaseik, where the Heppeneert situated – 1.5 km the church is at the right side. Take note that you ride on the one side of the road.
© Leonie M.