Benedict of Aniane (750-821) founded the Benedictine monastery in today's Kornelimünster around 814. As advisor to King Louis the Pious, he implemented the rules of the order of his namesake Benedict of Nursia (480–547) as the standard rules of monastic life.
The monastery was initially well-known as the "Saviour's Monastery on the River Inde", since Louis gave the three Biblical or "redemptive" relics, the skirt, shroud and sudarium from the Aachen relics treasury to the monastery.
Around 875 an exchange took place: Charles the Bald took half of the shroud for the establishment of his monastery in Compiegne in France, while the monks on the Inde received the top of the skull and the arm relic of the holy Kornelius (+253). With the increasing veneration of the holy one, in the 11th century the name was also changed to Kornelimünster. From now on there were two bright lights in the life of the abbey: the annual Octave Day around 16 September (the name celebration of the holy Kornelius) and the pilgrimage every seven years.
The tradition of the Octave was also continued after the abolition of the Imperial Abbey in 1802. It was the citizens of the parish of Kornelimünster who kept it alive.
The last pilgrimage during which the relics were in possession of the Benedictine Abbey took place in 1790. Four years later they had to be brought to safety to protect them from the troops. Kornelimünster owes it to the Bishop of the first Diocese of Aachen that the relics were given to the new parish of St. Kornelius. The parish therefore became the bearer of the pilgrimage instead of the monastery.
In the 19th century the pilgrimages gradually began again. In 1916 the pilgrimage did not take place because of the First World War. In 1937 the relics of Kornelimünster were displayed from the gallery of the St. Kornelius Church before the turmoil of the Second World War interrupted the tradition. After the war, the tradition of the pilgrimage was taken up again and continues to this day in the same seven-year cycle as the Aachen pilgrimage.