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In Perpignan, a religious and political procession for rain

A religious procession before a new meeting with the prefect on March 21. In the Pyrenees-Orientales, the world of agriculture no longer knows where to turn for the rain to finally fall, and the department remains particularly affected by the drought, with a rainfall deficit of 70% in the last few months. In fact, the so-called The system of gravity channels that supplies municipalities and farms has been stopped due to the lack of water in the lakes and after the decision of the Administrative Court of Montpellier on November 29, 2022, which calls into question the withdrawal of water from one of the department’s three rivers, the Tête.

Faced with this particular situation, and at the initiative of Charles Puig, a Catholic farmer, a procession that gathered about a thousand believers walked through the streets on Saturday, March 18, towards the River Tet, in celebration of St. Gauderick. For centuries, relics of this peasant born in 820, the author of miracles – the bust and bones of the relic – were carried to the river to make rain.

“In the 11th-19th centuries, the procession multiplied. It had at least eight hundred seats during the revolution. Then the tradition was lost, Father Christophe Lefebvre, the rector of Saint-Jean Cathedral, explained. If the tradition was preserved in a few villages, a hundred and fifty years had passed since Perpignan had pleaded with Gauderic. Mr. Puig, also municipal councilor of the National Action (RN) of Perpignan, says:

“At the beginning of February, when I saw the very low level of Vincha Lake, I decided to contact the bishop to restore the tradition of Saint-Goderique. »

“Marion doesn’t interfere anywhere”

Farmer could count on the support of Jean-Luc Antoniazzi, Doctor of History and President of the Cultural Association of Perpignan Cathedral and Historic Churches. Also responsible for relations with the bishop in the same municipal council, which is headed by the mayor of the city, RN, Louis Aliot. “This procession is purely religious” convinced the world Mr. Antoniatsi. If some of his deputies paraded well, Mr. Aliot, for his part, did not come to celebrate Goderick, and his servants specified the day before. “The municipality does not interfere in this action.

During the march, Gerard Mayoral, a farmer in Tuire, a former rugby player and a member of the Chamber of Agriculture, said. “I don’t care if it’s right or left, the main thing is that water is no longer managed by farmers, but by technocrats and a lot of government services.” “We were the first to save the resource, and today it prevents us from irrigation, the profession is on a tightrope”he adds.

Source: Le Monde



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