Brothers of Our Lady of Mercy

Even after the second worldwar the confession of faith continued for a while in the atmosphere of the triumphal church and the Catholic Action.

A magnificent festive year

The procession and the flower homage on the occasion of the transport of the mortal remains of V. Scheppers from Walem to the mortuary chapel in Mechelen, fitted completely in that climate.

The year 1952 was an extremely magnificent festive year. In his speech Cardinal Van Roey talked about the living memory of Scheppers, about his example that was followed and he also talked about his instructions that were fulfilled.

A treble celebration

As it happened often in the congregation, a lot of reasons were bound to each other to celebrate: the commemoration of the poet’s death, his birth and the centennial jubilee of the Scheppers Institute.

Al those festivities and that splendour had only one purpose: the beatification of the honoured founder. The announcement of the solemn transport of the mortal remains of the founder didn’t conceal that purpose.

The announcement letter

In his announcement letter to the old students, Brother Omer wrote: “The purpose of this transport is not only a pious remembrance of the 75 year decease of our founder, but it is also a way of bringing the memory of V. Scheppers alive to the population.

We’re all firmly convinced that our father Founder looks down upon his congregation, his Brothers, his pupils and his old students from heaven with happiness. He will always remain for us an example of moral greatness, of unlimited charity and heroic self-denial.

We consider him as our Holy Father founder and we hope that the holy church will once replace his title of Servant of God by the Blessed, the Holy Father V. Scheppers.

The procession and the flower veneration

A triumphal procession during the carrying of V. Scheppers

The festive procession was one great expression of the veneration for V. Scheppers and from the emphatic presence of the congregation and her schools in social life.  

"Thousands of pupils were standing on both sides of the road, nicely posted up with flags and flowers while saluting respectfully. After the mortal remains were brought over on a ready float by six friars, Monsignor De Smedt read the liturgical prayers while the numerous crowd watched modestly and respectfully.

While the powerful Salvator bell rang stately and while the carillon was jubilating happily, the procession started along the St. Katherine street where most of the houses were decorated for this occasion and where an impressive crowd of inhabitants of Mechelen” were pushing each other so to greet the bones of the great people’s friend.

The triumph procession, the float

The float with the corpse of V. Scheppers

In front of the float the different divisions of the Brother and sister schools’ pupils were marching, all of them nicely clothed, irreproachably set up and prededed by their waving flags and colourful bunch of flowers..

Hereafter the boys’ choir of Brother Heliodoor: a nice group of one hundred singers dressed in a red toga and a white “”. Afterwards an very impressive group of seminarists in surplice, the clergy of Mechelen and the The Metropolitan minster, followed by Monsignor De Smedt

Then the richly decorated float appeared, pulled by four horses, each accompanied by a coachman in livery. This float was carried out under the conduct of the honourable Brother Hilaire, manager at the secondary horticultural school from Wetteren, designed by Herman Verbaer, artist and old student of the friars of Wetteren.

Source: SCHEPPERS, OUR SCHOOL by An Hermans, printed in 2002