St. Maria Church of Ascension is an important Roman-Catholic church from the Wesel district of Ginderich, which became a pilgrimage site in the medieval times due to a miraculous vision of the Virgin Mary. The Ginderich Virgin Mary route was established in 1190 and therefore the oldest Virgin Mary pilgrimage on the Lower Rhine.
The Ginderich pilgrimage lost its cross-regional importance in 1640 through the procession prohibition from the Brandenburg elector Friedrich Wilhelm. The revocation of the processional right for 365 meant the end to the Virgin Mary pilgrimage site. With the decision from Bishop Reinhard Lettmann in 2005 to include the Ginderich churches in the pilgrimage sites of the diocese, a new beginning came about. Since then, around 2,500 pilgrims make their way annually to the "Maria, Queen of Peace". Ginderich has 2500 residents. This means that throughout the year, there is one pilgrim per resident.
Virgin Mary pilgrimage occupied for 1190
Large parts of the catholic church come from the beginning of the 14th century. But a church was mentioned in Ginderich even earlier in the 11th century. It was confirmed in 1190 by the Cologne Archbishop Anno II. Only the powerful western tower is now preserved from the former Roman facility; the choir and nave were torn down and rebuilt in the 14th century.
Maria, Queen of Peace
With the church, which is rather spacious for a small community, they wanted to offer the appropriate framework for the preserved miraculous painting of the Virgin Mary in Ginderich and could also house a considerable number of pilgrims that partook in the pilgrimage to the small village.
Pilgrimage time is from May 1 to October 31. During this time, the church is open on Saturday and Sundays as well as on Wednesdays from 10:00 to 18:00.
In addition to "normal" pilgrimage, different "special" pilgrimage trips are organised as well. Once annually in August/September, the national grandparent-grandchild pilgrimage starts. Old and young pilgrims can experience and find out at different stations from the Bislicher Insel natural forum to the pilgrimage church what God has to do with our lives.