The Guild of the Holy Sacrament of Niervaert
Collegium Sancti Sacramenti Niervaertensis

The Holy Sacrament of Niervaert
About the year 1300 Jan Boutoen, with two women peat-cutting, found a Holy Host, whence when touching blood flowed. One of the women went for the parish priest of the nearby Niervaert, nowadays Klundert not far from the city of Rotterdam. The priest carried the host to his church. Later on the bishop of Liege sent Mr. Macharius to look into this event. Macharius tried to pierce the host. Four times the piercer glanced off as if it was a pebble. When he did a fifth attempt, the host started bleeding on all five places.
The village of Niervaert repeatedly was harassed by flood. Therefore John IV of Nassau was allowed by the bishop of Liege to bring the Holy Host to his town of Breda. In the year 1449 the Holy Host was with great splendour and solemnity carried to Breda.

The Guild
Fourteen years later in Breda “die Gilde vanden heilighen ghebenediden Sacramente van miraculen en vand Nyeuwervaert” was founded. Men as well as women could become member of the guild. As a new member they donated a pound of wax for making candles. They wore a special cloak with their guild sign on it, being a representation of the Holy Host. That's how the members of the guild are portrayed on the retabel, altar piece, the guild had get painted for their chapel. Through the year they read masses for their souls salvation. Once a year, on the Sunday before the holyday of St. John, they attend to the solemn procession through the town of Breda. They also assisted during the celebration of the Eucharist by marking the altar with torches.
After the Beeldenstorm in the year 1566, on which occasion the Holy Host probably got lost, a difficult period came for the Guild. During the Eighty Years War the local authorities changed several times. The Peace of Westphalia put Breda finally in State's, that is Protestants, hands. In the time period following the latest record in the Guild Book, dated 1590, the Guild led a dormant continued existence.

Re-foundation of the Guild
With a renewed interest in the Holy Sacrament of Niervaert, on the 23rd of October 1994 the brotherhood of the Sacrament of Niervaert was founded. This Society stated at the moment of foundation the intention to be a continuation of the guild that was founded in the fifteenth century. As a result of investigations in cooperation with the diocese and historians learned that it was possible to re-found the middle-aged sacrament guild. At Corpus Christi, the 19th of June 2003, 540 years after her foundation the Guild was officially re-founded under the patronage of the bishop of Breda.
The Guild makes it her object, inspired by the miracle of the Sacrament of Niervaert, to ask for and advance the devotion for the Sacrament of Eucharist. At the same time the Guild investigates the history of the Sacrament of Niervaert and makes it public. The Guild counts 45 members of which six priest and eighteen female.