Welcome to the 32nd Chartres Pilgrimage! Briefly, we walk from Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris, to Notre-Dame Cathedral, Chartres, involving 70 miles in three days. This involves long hours of walking, early morning starts, arriving at the campsite late in the evenings and requires a reasonable level of fitness.
The British Pilgrimage starts on Friday 6 June 2014 with the Holy Mass in Westminster Cathedral Crypt at 7.00am and the coach leaves for Calais at 7.30am. Each day on the Pilgrimage the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be celebrated and we will also meditate on the Holy Rosary. Also, confession and spiritual guidance will be available throughout the day. On Tuesday 10 June 2014, there is Mass in the Crypt of Chartres Cathedral before the coach takes us back to England via the Eurotunnel arriving at Westminster Cathedral at 8.00pm.
What is the Chartres Pilgrimage ?
Chartres is at the centre of the religious history of France. Since Roman times, when the “Virgo Paritura” was venerated here, to the present day, the shrine has not ceased to attract pilgrims from the most distinguished (all the kings of France) to the most humble.
The Chartres pilgrimage is a very old tradition in France, and has been given new vigour by the association Notre-Dame de Chrétienté‚ which has organised it for over 30 years. The president of the Association is Jean de Tauriers and the Chaplain is Abbé Coiffet.
The pilgrimage is a walk of prayer and penance, and has both an individual and a social character. Encouraged by several Popes, and numerous bishops, over 8,000 pilgrims take part, with about 750 coming from 20 foreign countries. All are united in prayer to Our Lady during a three-day walk of 70 miles, making this the largest pilgrimage of its kind in Western Europe, both in the distance covered and in the number of pilgrims. Each day, Mass is celebrated in the most beautiful way, according to the Roman Missal of Pope John XXIII. The liturgy is the traditional Latin one: magnificent instrument of prayer, stressing the universal character of the Mass.
The spirit of the Pentecost Pilgrimage
The pilgrimage is organised in a dynamic spirit, as a reaction to the materialism of our times. We place ourselves within the traditional doctrine taught by the Church. Wishing to work for the Social Reign of Our Lord, we want our Faith to overflow into our personal lives, our family lives, our working lives, and into the very life of our country. Following Huysmans, Psichari, Peguy and other illustrious converts, the Chartres pilgrims walk for Christendom, “that sunny side of a civilisation where the Kingship of Christ spreads over the lives and works of men, over the families and over the nations, searching obstinately amidst the cultures and earthly battles, for an uncompromising balance between nature and grace, wishing, by heroism and holiness, to trace already on earth the avenues of the Kingdom.”
A call to conversion, a public act of reparation to the Sacred Heart, this pilgrimage is a homage to Christ the King and to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The pilgrims walk in ‘chapters’. The Chapter of Our Lady of Walsingham (older adults) is led by Francis Carey and Jamie Bogle. The Chaplains, Fr Edwards and Fr Byrne, will accompany us all along the walk, hearing confessions, providing meditations, prayers and teaching the Catholic Faith. Our Juventutem (Youth) Chapter is under the patronage of Saint Alban. The Juventutem Chaplain is Fr Redman. There may be a Family Chapter of the Immaculate Heart of Mary if there is demand. The Family Chapter walks a slightly truncated route and can accomodate younger children (6 and above).
THEME FOR THE YEAR 2014 :”In the Beginning, God Created Heaven and Earth…”
The 32nd Chartres Pilgrimage begins a new chapter starting at the beginning of the Bible, the beginning of Creation. Each day will have its own Patron Saint and subtheme for meditation.
CONSECRATION TO OUR LADY
It is highly recommended that pilgrims consecrate (or reconsecrate) themselves totally to Our Lady after the manner of St Louis de Montfort at the campsite at Gas before the Blessed Sacrament exposed on Pentecost. The preparation for this takes 33 days and, therefore, you should start this on 4 May 2014, Feast of the Holy Martyrs of England and Wales, (to finish on the day we leave England for the Pilgrimage). Previous pilgrims wishing to renew their Consecration should start on 16 May 2014. Details can be found on the Website.