Paderborn: an entire city celebrates the Libori Festival
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Paderborn: an entire city celebrates the Libori Festival

Paderborn. The entire city of Paderborn celebrated a traditional festival whose roots date back to 836. On Saturday, the relics of St. Liborius were elevated at Paderborn cathedral. The Feast of St. Liborius (who died around the year 397), who was a contemporary of the renowned St. Martin of Tours, is a traditional annual religious and popular festival that has become one of Germany's largest and oldest events of its kind.

Around 1.7 million visitors flocked to Paderborn to bask in the magical atmosphere of the Libori Festival, which combines a religious celebration (the Feast of St. Liborius per se) with a secular celebration.

Brother Damian, Brother Heinrich, Brother Bernhard-Maria and Brother Benedikt M., came to Paderborn early Sunday morning to attend the Festival.

The Bishop of Paderborn celebrated this year's Libori Festival under the motto "Seek me, for then you shall live" (Amos 5:4). As Archbishop Hans-Josef Becker explained in his welcoming remarks, this motto reminds us of the fundamental experience of the relationship between God and man. "In the Christian faith, we are exhorted and encouraged to seek God and to respond to His call and message", the Archbishop noted. In saying this, the Archbishop was evoking the concept of the Church (particularly emphasized by Vatican II) as the "pilgrim people of God": "In the community of the Church, we are sojourners and are always seeking God anew". 


The festival procession

During the church year, the golden shrine containing the relics of St. Liborius will be kept in the altar pedestal of the Paderborn cathedral crypt. On the Sunday of the Libori Festival, the golden shrine, along with the relics, were carried in a procession from Domplatz to the cathedral, to be solemnly laid in the crypt. This was surely one of the high points of the festival.

The Alexian Brother's all agreed that the joy of having faith in God was particularly palpable on this festive day in Paderborn.

Before returning home to Munster, the Alexian's lingered for a while longer at the festival in Paderborn.