“Make it rain!”: a procession against drought in Perpignan… and it rained a few hours later
Several hundred people took part in a procession on Saturday in Perpignan, between the cathedral and the river La Tet, to beg for the return of the rain and to fight against the drought.
Praying to God it finally rains. In Perpignan, several hundred people marched on Saturday March 18, 2023, to beg the graces of Saint-Gaudérique, patroness of farmers, known for triggering waves of rain. An act of faith and not of folklore, Abbot Benoît De Roeck pointed out.
Amidst liturgical chants and prayers, the procession left from the Saint-Jen-Baptiste cathedral. The participants – believers and non-believers alike – walked to the bed of the river La Têt which crosses Perpignan. Four peasants brought a relic of Saint-Gaudérique and crossed the river on foot.
In front of many passersby, the archpriest of the cathedral proceeded in front of the meager waters of the river to the blessing of the territory to the four cardinal points with the relic of the true cross of the Lord. he says that the Pyrénées-Orientales is the department where the drought is already the most severe in France. However, water is essential for the many horticulturalists in the department, the 191 campsites and the hundred or so hotels in the area. Not to mention the 480,000 inhabitants of the department.
A similar ceremony has already taken place in the past. “This is what happened in 1865. It was a period a bit like the one we live in today. The population organized a large procession and the next day it rained heavily for several weeks, saving the cultivated fields ”, he explains in the Parisian The Catalan historian Jean-Luc Antoniazzi.
Coincidence or not: it started raining around 7pm. Waterspouts have even watered the Catalan country. In three hours, the equivalent of 3 weeks of rain fell in normal weather for the month of March. This is obviously not enough. The weather forecast announced rain for most of the weekend in our region.