You read the title right: I saw the blood of Christ at the Basilica of the Holy Blood in Bruges, Belgium. You might not believe me because I don’t have photos to show you of the “actual” blood of Jesus Christ – but people, especially Christians, around the world go to this basilica to see God’s blood stained on a shred of cotton. Before you accuse me of being a false prophet bringing fake news, continue reading below. 😀
The Holy Blood of Jesus Christ. When the Count of Flanders went back from the Holy Land, he brought with him a crystal flask that contains purportedly the “blood of Jesus Christ.” It is said that one of Jesus disciples, Joseph of Aritmathea, was the one who collected the blood. How come? Because he’s the one (or maybe one of) who readied Jesus dead body before the burial ceremonies happened.
Is It Really Jesus’ Blood? Well, no one really knows. Experts failed to confirm nor challenge the relic or the story.
I Saw the Blood of Christ at the Basilica of the Holy Blood
How can I see the Blood of Christ? Going inside the church is free. However, you can’t just go and see it. You have to join the queue and wait for your turn to go up to an elevated platform. A priest is guarding the flask in front of him. You can gaze at it however you want but you can’t touch. And do not forget to drop a donation while the priest is looking at you. 😀 When you do that, the holy man will hand you in a prayer booklet (see pic above). No photography allowed.
Venerating the Blood of Christ. There’s even a mass at some times of the day. You can attend, of course. When there’s no mass service, that’s when you’re allowed to see the flask with Christ’s blood in it. For reference, be there at these times: 11:30-12 noon and 14:00-16:00.
Two Churches. There are two churches inside: The Church of Saint Basel and The Basilica of the Holy Blood. The former is a romanesque style and the latter is more of Gothic. It is a minor Catholic basilica.
Saint Basel Church. It is located under but it was closed in the afternoon I was there. However, one tourist I talked to and who had seen it, she told me that the church itself is quiet simple. Nothing much have changed since 12th century and the artefacts there all real from that era.
Inside the Basilica of the Holy Blood. In contrast with St Basel Church, the basilica is richly coloured and detailed. The stained glass windows are amazing and the altar is shining in gold. The paintings from the walls to the ceiling are a feast to savour with curios eyes. Stunning religious arts covered this basilica.
Where is it? It’s in Burg Square, Bruges’ old town square. When facing the ancient city hall, you’ll find the church on the right corner. The facade is of dark Gothic style – you can’t miss it. Just like I said above, entrance is free, but observe silence when inside.