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"National Acadian Day" honors those who made their journey here - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

"National Acadian Day" honors those who made their journey here 250 years ago

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On Saturday the arrival of the Acadians and the 250th anniversary of St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church in St. Martinville were celebrated.

The day was used to honor legacy of the Acadian people who migrated to Louisiana after being banished from their native land during the Great Expulsion, which began in 1755. 

Starting in Leonville, the day began with a mass at St. Leo The Great Church.

After mass, a flotilla of boats traveled down Bayou Teche in observance of the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and to honor The Acadians for never giving up on their faith.

“They were exiled for two reasons because they were French and they were Catholic.” Greg Howzie who attended the event said. He added, “We have a strong catholic community and faith here in South Louisiana. ”

Participants made stops along the bayou throughout the areas (Cecilia, Breaux Bridge and Parks) where the first Acadians made landfall.

The journey along the bayou was a symbol of the journey the Acadians made years ago, in search for a new home.

“Without this event and without our faith we are lost as a country and this is what helps us keep that faith and heritage alive. It helps hold forth to that faith and pass it down to our children and families.” Howzie said.

Educator Betty Dupont was in attendance with her family. She expressed how the day was used to keep the history and lessons of the Acadian people alive.

“It’s just a beautiful history. They were going to move and settle anywhere that was going to allow them to practice their faith and continue their faith. “ Dupont said.

Participants had the opportunity to recite a Rosary at each stop made. The day ended at St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church in St. Martinville.

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