Crowds come out to celebrate Fete Dieu du Vermilion

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The Diocese of Lafayette hosted Fete Dieu du Vermilion today to celebrate its Centennial.  

The event started with Mass at St. Mary Magdalen Church in Abbeville, followed by a Eucharistic Procession from the Church to the Vermilion River.    

Fr. Michael Richard, Associate Pastor at St. Mary Magdalen Church, says, “This is called Fete Dieu du Vermilion. And Fete Dieu is the “Feast of God” so it’s the feast of our Eucharistic Lord where we begin with a Mass and then we have a Eucharistic Procession not just through the streets, but up the river and so we just set off here from Abbeville and the Vermilion River going north towards Lafayette this evening.”

It’s to honor the feast day of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven. 

Pope Francis granted both a papal blessing and plenary indulgence to all those who participated. 

“Here in Acadiana from the very beginning the first settlers brought our faith, they brought the Eucharist, and they brought Our Lady, and so it’s a celebration of the Eucharist. It’s a celebration of Our Lady on today. The Feast of Our Lady of the Assumption… the Patroness of the Acadians, of the Acadian people, thus the Cajuns as well,” explains Fr. Richard. 

This is the fourth year of the event and the 100TH anniversary of the Diocese of Lafayette.  

It took place on Bayou Teche before.  

Deacon Donald Bernard of St. Mary Magdalen Church says having the Eucharist travel on the Vermilion River is special to the community. 

“That river sort of running through its center… I think it represents that the Lord has really struck a chord in the heart of Acadiana and is calling His people to love Him more and more,” adds Deacon Bernard. 

Many people traveled from Lafayette to Abbeville this morning… all to see the Blessed Sacrament begin its journey throughout the Diocese. 

Deacon Bernard says, “For me, it’s that devotion to the Eucharist and wanting to show that devotion that we have in our faith of Acadiana to the Blessed Mother and to the Eucharist throughout the Diocese really taking the Vermilion River across the Diocese.” 

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