Salphen is a hamlet which is part of the village of
Oostmallein the Campineregion of Flanders, Belgium. The history of Salphen dates back to the 13th century when in the records of the Chapterof Our Lady (Dutch: O.L. Vrouw Kapittel) of Antwerpit was called "Zalhulfe".
Chapel of Saint Anthony
The earliest traces of "Zalhuffle" date back to 1278. In
1626the farmer Adriaan Mattheussen built a chapel for the people of Oostmalle, which fled the village to escape the Bubonic plague. Two of his daughters and other relatives were among the victims. Because they were refused a burial in Wechelderzande, they were buried in Salphen. Adriaan Mattheussen built the chapel to commemorate the deceased.
The chapel became a popular destination for
pilgrimswhich visited the chapel. In 1710a bell from the Antwerpbell founder Witlockx was installed in the chapel. However, the bell tower and the bell were removed in 1983.
1726the chapel was enlarged with the support of Robert Ots. The year of the enlargement of the chapel is placed in the wall, together with the initials of the stonemason"I.H." In 1734a statue of the Our lady from the altarof the church of Rijkevorselwas placed in the chapel.In 1944the chapel was destroyed by a V-1 flying bomb, but in 1945the chapel could be used again.
Procession of Saint Anthony
1971, the ancient Saint Anthony processionis restored, and it is being organized on the Saturday which is closest to 17 January, the feast dayof Saint Anthony. After mass, the heads of pigs are "sacrificed" to Saint Anthony and sold at an auction, horsesare blessed and a fire for Saint Anthony is made. A fairis held until late at night.
* Father Theodoor De Molder, "Geschiedenis van Oostmalle", Turnhout, 1947
* [http://www.malle.be/malle_algemeen/historisch_overzicht.aspx Malle history] (Dutch)
* [http://www.ethesis.net/hoogstraten/hoogstraten_hfst_3.htm#K.%20Salphen:%20Sint-Antonius-Abt Salphen: Sint-Antonius-Abt] (Dutch)
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