Octave pilgrimage ends

Royals honour Luxembourg's patron saint

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(CS) Luxembourg's royal family concluded a busy weekend on Sunday afternoon, joining the procession marking the end of the traditional Octave pilgrimage in Luxembourg City.

Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, together with Prince Guillaume and Princess Stéphanie, as well as Prince Félix, Prince Louis and Princess Tessy, Princess Alexandra and Prince Sébastien made their way through town on foot from Notre Dame Cathedral to the palace.

They were joined by pilgrims for the final procession through the capital, before taking the Eucharist outside the Luxembourg City palace. The group then made their way back to the Cathedral for prayers before a walkabout back to the City centre "palais".

Missing from the royal party was pregnant Princess Claire, who had showed off her bump the previous day at the first holy communion of 8-year-old Prince Gabriel. Prince Félix's wife did, however, join the family in an appearance on the palace balcony.

The Octave pilgrimage celebrates the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Luxembourg, patron saint of the Grand Duchy. Every year, the pilgrimage begins on the third Sunday after Easter and continues for two weeks until the fifth Sunday after Easter.

It is accompanied by the so-called “Mäertchen” - a market in the City centre where food and drink but also religious items, such as rosaries or crosses are available to pilgrims and non-pilgrims alike.

Earlier on Sunday, the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess attended mass at the Notre Dame Cathedral, while the younger princes and princesses, as well as Grand Duke Jean headed to the polls in the European elections.

On Saturday, the family celebrated Prince Gabriel's first holy communion, while the Grand Duke also attended Memorial Day in the afternoon.