FARMERS in the town of Perpignan in the south of France for the first time in 150 years organised a procession to pray for rain for their crops, reports say in Paris.
According to the priest, Christophe Lefebvre of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, on Monday, the procession will take place on Saturday from the cathedral to the Têt river.
The procession will include relics of St Gaudéric on two stretchers, a patron saint of peasants in the Catalan territories.
After many winter days without rain, large parts of the country were experiencing an unusual drought for the time of the year. In spite of some rain, the groundwater reserves are still depleted.
On Monday, the Bureau of Geological and Mineral Research (BRGM) said the groundwater levels are very low in 80 per cent of the area.
The precipitation during last autumn did not make up for the lack of groundwater after the previous hot and dry summer.
The situation will only change if there is more rain in the coming weeks up until the planting season.
The religious procession revives a Visigothic tradition that originated in the Middle ages.
As reported by the newspaper L’Indépendant, the idea came from winegrower Georges Puig, who had asked Lefebvre to join him in calling on the patron saint of farmers.
However, since a prayer in the cathedral did not bring any significant rain, the decision for the procession was made. (NAN)