For three days we walked in procession from the cathedral of Notre Dame Paris to the cathedral of Notre Dame Chartres. Both our beginning and our destination were dedicated to our Blessed Mother who accompanied and assisted us on our journey. St. Thomas Aquinas, under whose patronage we walked on the first day, tells us: "As mariners are guided into port by the shining of a star, so Christians are guided to heaven by Mary"... and so were we guided to Chartres!
Our pilgrimage began on Friday evening at the Irish College where we were welcomed by the Chaplain Fr. Dwayne Gavin, from the Diocese of Meath. The holy Mass was celebrated by Fr. Jambon, who was walking with an American Chapter (Our Lady of Guadalupe). We were also joined by an Irish nun, resident in Paris, Sr. Teresa (a sister of St. Joseph of Cluny) who assured us of her prayers as we began our pilgrimage.
Our pilgrimage began in Notre Dame, at 7:30am with the holy Mass. We walked with Bretagne, and were right at the top of the pilgrimage, the 14 chapter out of 204. Our theme for the first day was "God and the Creation of Man", our meditations explored the mystery of God, the mystery of Man, and the gift of Grace. Our patron Saint was the 'Doctor Angelicus' St. Thomas Aquinas. On Pentecost Sunday our patron Saint was St. Francis of Assisi. The theme for the day was "Creation for the adoration of God" and the meditations included: the divine order and beauty of creation, man's duty towards creation, and faith and reason. On Monday our Patron was St. Thomas More, the great defender of marriage and religious freedom. Our theme, "Society as the image of Divine Order"was reflected in the meditations: authority and obedience, there is a divine law above civil law, and prayer and action.
The official pilgrimage ended with a most beautiful Mass in Notre Dame Chartres and the Irish pilgrimage ended the following morning with 9:30 Mass in the crypt with the New Zealand Chapter.
All of the homilies from the pilgrimage as well as some other videos can be found here
For pilgrims who may have misplaced or lost items along the way you can contact the pilgrimage organisers, Notre Dame de Chrétíenté. All relevant information can be found on the Lost Property page.
A new chapter has been formed for those not able to be physically present during the three days of the pilgrimage. This non-walking chapter is aptly named the Guardian Angles Chapter. I would encourage you to follow the above link where you will find information about joining this new chapter in 2015.
Finally, thank you to all those who prayed for us and with us during the pilgrimage. Thank you to the whole chapter who walked in such a prayerful manner, it was a pleasure to walk to Chartres with you and we look forward to having you with us next year!
Gloire honneur au Christ-Roi!