The annual pilgrimage is under way and all who take part deserve our prayers.
Walking c. 75 miles in 3 days is one thing, having to kip down under canvas every night is another.
By comparison, Fatima was a dawdle, even though I had to push a priest in a wheelchair every day, up hill and down cova, and, even undertake the Stations of the Cross.
Very good for the soul - and the blood pressure.
The organisers have this to say about the event:-
The pilgrims walk in "chapters" (groups of 20 to 50 people), under the patronage of a saint (Our Lady of Walsingham and St. Alban for the British Chapters), and are led by laymen who, with the help of chaplains (Frs. Martin Edwards, Mark Withoos, Bede Rowe, Alex Redman, Bruno Witchalls and Gerard Byrne), organise the chapter hymns, meditations, rosary and prayers. The pilgrims live in a spirit of Christ's presence: friendship and prayer sustaining each pilgrim on his spiritual journey
|Our Lady of Cardigan, the equal of Walsingham, |
but never recognised as such
Here is the Chartres 2013 programme:-
Friday, 17 May 2013
07:00 Mass at Westminster Cathedral Crypt, London SW1
07:30 Coaches pick up Outside Cathedral (Ambrosden Avenue)
11:10 Coach boards ferry at Dover
18:00 Coach arrives at Hotel outside Paris
Saturday, 18 May 2013 (Vigil of Pentecost)
05:30 Coach to Notre Dame Cathedral
07:00 Mass in Notre Dame Cathedral (to be confirmed)
08:30(est.) Leave Notre Dame towards Chartres
13:00 Lunch at Bievrés (Les Damoiseaux)?
20:00 Arrive at Ferté-Choisel for dinner and bed
Sunday, 19 May 2013 (Pentecost Sunday)
06:15 Prayers of Departure
07:00 First Chapters leave campsite
13:00 Solemn Mass of Pentecost & Lunch at Sonchamps (les Courlis)
21:00 Dinner and Bed at Gas (Benediction and All Night Exposition)
Monday, 20 May 2013 (Pentecost Monday)
06:30 Prayers of Departure
10:30 Lunch at Gasville Oiseme
15:30 Solemn Mass in Chartres Cathedral
20:00 Dinner in Chartres
Tuesday, 21 May 2013 (Pentecost Tuesday)
10:00 Mass in Cathedral Crypt (to be confirmed)
12:00 Depart Chartres by coach for London
18:20 Board Eurotunnel
20:00 Arrive London
Phew! It's tiring just reading all of that.
Of course, the SSPX also do a Chartres Pilgrimage although, to avoid confusion, they walk from Chartes to Paris whereas the 'others' do it vice versa.
Each year, the SSPX hold a Mass outside Sacre Coeur in Paris at the end of the march.
And it has become the custom for some of them to infiltrate into the church itself and position themselves on the tower ao that, at the moment of Consecration, they may let loose the flags of The Sacred Heart.
This, of course, is frowned upon by the church authorities and all sorts of searches and frisking takes place to ensure that such high spirited piety takes place.
I am pleased to say that, most years, the authorities are foiled (or follied) by the sheer ingenuity of the pilgrims.
A few years ago three or four of the group who happened to be Japanese, wrapped the flags around their bodies and then, laden with cameras, they approached the tower.
They were waved in as being typical Japanese tourists only for the banners to be revealed at the Consecration. Bravo!