At Mas-de-Mingue, a procession in honor of Santa Cruz between joy and fervor

At Mas-de-Mingue, a procession in honor of Santa Cruz between joy and fervor

Dernière prière pour les fidèles à l’entrée du sanctuaire, à l’issue de la procession. C.S. – Midi Libre

On May 9, like every year on Ascension Thursday, Santa Cruz was honored in her sanctuary in Nîmes during a traditional procession. In the presence of thousands of people.

In the Montée Monseigneur Lacaste, in the heart of Mas-de-Mingue, this Thursday, May 9 at 1:30 p.m., six out of breath retirees, one behind the other, quicken their pace.

On this hot, windy Ascension Thursday and perhaps a little too sunny for them, the weather conditions were still not going to discourage this group of friends , at least septuagenarians!

Like these black feet – mostly Oranese, as well as an Algerian – who came specially to Nîmes for the day, by shuttle, from the Alpes-Maritimes, there were around 3,000 participants gathered yesterday for a friendly pilgrimage to Nîmes, at the crossroads of faith, history and of memory. In homage to Santa Cruz, the holy virgin who stopped the cholera epidemic which decimated, in 1893, in Oran, around 10% of the local population.

Honor, as in Algeria, the holy protectress

14 hours. Under the pine trees, among the stands of succulent spicy sausages, delicious mouna (this dense and sweet brioche flavored with orange blossom) and so many other flavors of Oranie, Annie, 73 years old , and her sister Linda, 61, are regaining some strength.

At Mas-de-Mingue, a procession in honor of Santa Cruz between joy and fervor

For this beautiful day in Nîmes, Annie and Linda, 73 and 61 years old, made the special trip from Romans-sur-Isère. C.S. – Midi Libre

Like last year, the two smiling sisters made the special trip to Nîmes, by bus, from Romans-sur-Isère, in order to participate in the procession.

"For us, this beautiful day is an opportunity to meet friends from Oran, found thanks to Facebook and today scattered all over the world of the country,” explains Linda, daughter and sister of returnees.

Arrived in Marseille in 1962 after a “exhausting” (sic) at the bottom of the hold of the liner City of Oran – "with my mother and a suitcase"  – she specifies, Annie, 73 years old, Linda's older sister, was 12 years old when she experienced exile.

"Here, I come to honor the holy protector of “ma” city. The one we honored in Algeria, every Ascension Thursday, on the occasion of a beautiful and moving procession which always ended with a fabulous family picnic, tells her tower the peaceful retiree very moved.

Evoking memories of childhood and youth

At 2:30 p.m., the Statue of Santa Cruz left its starting point: the base within the cave adjoining the sanctuary chapel.

Surrounded by the faithful, she then walked on the shoulders of volunteers, a few hundred meters interspersed with times of prayer, under the leadership of the Bishop of Nîmes Monseigneur Brouwet.

Ali Boualem, son of « Bachaga Boualem » came to the procession: "out of love and nostalgia for French Algeria" and, of course, to honor the holy protector of Oran " “one of these symbols of Christian France,” insists the Arlesian.

At Mas-de-Mingue, a procession in honor of Santa Cruz between joy and fervor

In the middle of the procession in his honor, Santa Cruz is perched on the shoulders of volunteers. C.S. – Midi Libre

Behind the procession, Simone de Perpignan, 82, warmly embraces another octogenarian. this mother, grandmother, and now sparkling great-grandmother, delighted to evoke, as on every Ascension Thursday, in Nîmes, some of her most beautiful memories of her life. rsquo;childhood remained “there” .

At 3 p.m., the procession ended with a time of prayer, Marian praise, and, finally, the much appreciated distribution of the flowers adorning the base of Santa Cruz to its faithful.

Faithful of the holy protectress of Oran who each, at the end of this day rich in emotions and memories, joined Lyon, Marseille, Perpignan, Romans-sur-Isère or elsewhere, to simply resume the course of their lives.
While waiting to meet again next year among pieds noirs, with family or friends, to evoke, again in Nîmes, this bygone time and its memories – intact – of French Algeria, its culture and history. Values ​​that they consider valuable to pass on, out of a duty of memory, to future generations.

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