Friday, June 26, 2009

Pilgrimage to Chartres: Tradition Blooms

I just discovered this very fine video that captures the spirit and dedication of Catholics from around the world as they make the annual pilgrimage from Notre Dame in Paris, France to the cathedral in Chartres. I cried during part of it because I was so touched, so moved by so many Catholics who set aside their lives in order to make this very special pilgrimage.

To be with 10,000 - 15,000 Catholics who are committed to the Traditional Latin Mass would be amazing.

And yet most of the pilgrims were young people. Young people in their twenties made up about 70% of the group. My heart is lifted by this. It tells me that young people hunger for something beyond their reach, that they somehow understand that focus on self is not the path to true spirituality, but instead embracing the sacred unknown holds the key.

Chartres is considered one of the most beautiful cathedral in the world, dedication to the Virgin Mary. It's history is impressive, with Charlemagne presenting the chemise or veil of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a relic for preservation to be kept within it. During this video, Dr. John Rao, Associate Professor of History, St. John’s University, New York, narrates the story of this past year's pilgrimage. A three day, 72-mile pilgrimage from Paris to Chartres, Dr. Rao talks about the essence of a pilgrimage, and the people who participated. It is amazing.

Here is the story, with the video and transcript on PBS's site. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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