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Blessing of the Wound

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The Blessing of the Wound is an annual festival on the planet Neva, honouring Saint Celestine and her Nevan servant, Ivar of the Wound. During the Saint's War of Faith, Ivar followed her with a band of devoted soldiers. In combat with the Eldar on Kodiak Prime, the Exarch seized Ivar and tried to use him as a shield, but Ivar told Celestine to stab them both. The Saint did so, killing the Eldar, but Ivar survived.[1]

Ivar returned to Neva and became a high-ranking member of the Ecclesiarchy on that planet. He refused to have the wound in his chest treated, despite the constant agony it caused him.[1a] His devotion to Saint Celestine - the most revered figure on Neva after the Emperor himself - made the Blessing of the Wound the most important religious festival on the planet.[1]

One of the highlights of the annual festival is a reenactment of the battle between Celestine's forces and the Eldar, performed by children and using live ammunition. The citizens applaud the performers whenever the combat turns deadly, as the Ecclesiarchy teaches them that true bloodshed is required to show their devotion to the Saint and the Church.[1]

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