France: Pentecost Pilgrimage 2023 (2) – Sunday May 28
After the first day, which often seems endless, the pilgrims left early the next day to reach the second camping area where the Pontifical Mass of Pentecost was celebrated at 6 p.m. After discussing the past history of the Chartres pilgrimage in the first article, this one retraces its recent history.
The Pilgrimages of Tradition Association was founded in 1991. Composed of a team of volunteers and a permanent secretary, its mission is to offer thousand-year-old pilgrimages in an authentic spirit, in particular with regard to the sense of the pilgrim approach and spiritual guidance.
Thus, each year, the association offers a pilgrimage to Chartres during the Pentecost weekend, and every two years a pilgrimage on the Way of Santiago de Compostela.
To do this, the association has chosen to entrust most of its chaplaincy to the Society of Saint Pius X.
After the 1988 consecrations by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, the Chartres Pilgrimage which had been taking place since 1982, experienced a split. Traditional Pilgrimages chose to start its pilgrimage from Chartres Cathedral rather than ending it there. It was a gamble.
The idea was not to go back centuries to take refuge in the venerable shrine, but the reverse: to start from this relic, this ancient shrine, this proven faith. Renewing ourself in Mary so that she may lead us to God and so that we may bear witness to Him before our neighbor is the meaning of this pilgrimage.
This is in perfect harmony with the feast of Pentecost, during which the pilgrimage takes place every year, and which commemorates the day when the Apostles received the Holy Ghost before being sent out by the world to preach the good news.
The spiritual dossier this year was titled: “The Beatitudes, The Courage of Holiness, The Audacity of Christianity.” It explains:
Even before writing his Confessions, St. Augustine commented on these Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount. He sees in this discourse of Our Lord the perfect model of Christian life. This is what he said three times: “If any one will piously and soberly consider the Sermon which our Lord Jesus Christ spoke on the mount, as we read it in the Gospel according to Matthew, I think that he will find in it, so far as regards the highest morals, a perfect standard of the Christian life.
For three days, from Chartres to Paris, thousands of pilgrims walked and prayed while meditating on this true spiritual itinerary. Following more than a hundred priests, religious, and seminarians, 4,000 pilgrims from all regions of France, from all over Europe, set out from Chartres.
(Source : Les Pèlerinages de Tradition – FSSPX. Actualités)
Illustration : Jean Lorber et Maxence Malherbe