Many Divine Word Missionaires know Düsseldorf. To be exactly: They know Düsseldorf Airport because it is the nearest airport to go on to Steyl. You can get many information about the city in the web. I will not repeat this here but I will tell you a little bit more about catholic Düsseldorf.
A Funfair and a Saint
Today the biggest funfair on the Rhine will start. Every year in July around 1,000,000 people come and have a good time. But why is this event in July?
Düsseldorf’s parton saint is St. Apollinaris, Bishop of Ravenna (+ around 150). His feast day is celebrated on 20th July. It is an old tradtion to have a market and a fair on the patron saint’s day all over Germany. Over the years the funfair in Düsseldorf became bigger and bigger and the feast is celebrated a whole week. But many know the reason for it no more.
Of course the catholic church doesn’t remain silent and celebrates the saint. The whole week is filled with prayer and processions and an Apollinaris‘ candle burns in all churches and chapels. So everybody should know: Without our patron saint St. Apollinairs no funfair.