The parish priest of the Saint Gerard Majella Church in Weebosch is so enthusiastic in his use of the aspergillum that some of the horses are frightened. The blessing of the horses is the highlight of the still very popular annual Gerard Procession. The priest who was responsible for the building of the church in this village in the south of Holland at the start of the 20th century recently witnessed Gerard's canonization in Rome. He believes he was saved from a potentially fatal tram accident by the very same saint during his subsequent visit to Cairo. The Miracle of Weebosch follows three almost adult "pony girls" in the lead-up to the procession. Their expectations, insecurities, and love of horses are rendered with tenderness. The Catholic celebration lives on in the village, but it's not easy for everyone to uphold the tradition in these modern times. Some people are struggling with the question of whether it makes sense to pray, burn a candle, or receive a blessing. Others don't understand why God saves one child but not another. "Pay a visit to Gerard, for the hopeless cases," says the priest to an elderly lady who is at her wits' end because of her physical condition. "You can at least ask him."

Wendelien Voogd, The Netherlands, 2011, color, HDcam, 50'
official selection Idfa 2011

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