|British Pilgrims at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Pillar|
Two thousand seventeen (2017) is an exceptional year. First of all we have the great joy and honour of being gratified by the presence of his Eminence, Cardinal Burke. Secondly, this year we can thank Our Lord for numerous anniversaries. The first one being of course the first century of the apparitions of Fatima, the second being the tenth anniversary of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, and last but not least, 2017 is the thirty-fifth anniversary of our pilgrimage.
The apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima have a particular link with our pilgrimage. At Fatima the Virgin asked all of human kind to pray and to do penance for the conversion of Russia. She condemned communism while warning us about the misfortunes to come of the twentieth century. In nineteen-eighty-three, during the launch of the first Chartres Pilgrimage under the pontificate of John-Paul II, our founders wanted for us to be an echo to the famous polish pilgrimage of Częstochowa and therefore amplify the catholic resistance to communism.
Our choice for the Traditional Liturgy, as one of the founding acts of this pilgrimage, was not done for a certain liturgical beauty or a sense of nostalgia or for conservatism but for faith. The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, published by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007, 10 years ago, wanted to pacify the Church with herself. We are therefore, forever grateful to Pope Benedict XVI who acted courageously and published this document which is in itself an act of faith, charity and justice. Today, 10 years have gone by since the Motu Proprio, and the Chartres Pilgrimage has become a providential event for generations of pilgrims because of the holiness of this liturgy, this extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, “the first act of the new evangelisation” to quote his Eminence Cardinal Burke.
One last anniversary, in 1997, 20 years ago, His Holiness John-Paul II was here in France, on the grave of his beloved friend, Professor Lejeune, “We are, said the Pope, in front of a great Christian of the twentieth century,…a man for whom the fight for life became an apostolate.” Jérôme Lejeune is a modern example of this fight for christianity and Catholic teaching. Our priority today is the fight for the importance of life against abortion and euthanasia, for family against the fake “same sex marriage”, and against the gender theory. For 35 years, pilgrims from Chartres have been in the heart of this fight for christianity, vocation of our pilgrimage.
Lastly, a few words on Notre Dame de Chrétienté : The growing numbers and new regulations make the pilgrimage harder to organise every year. Next Year, God willing, we will have to change and improve our organisation, find solutions to keep and develop the Chartres Pilgrimage which we love because of its traditions and its spirituality. We will give you more details and ask for your help very soon. Be sure to follow us on our website.
Have a safe journey back. Come back next year in 2018. The theme will be “Saint Joseph, pilgrim and servant.”
Notre Dame de la Sainte Espérance, convertissez nous !
Jean de Tauriers,
Président de Notre Dame de Chrétienté