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Wednesday, 3 June 2009

The other Chartres pilgrimage

I don't know what the figures are (can anyone help?) but a hefty proportion of the French people who actually go to Mass regularly go to the traditional Mass. Many of these belong to the Society of St Pius X. So at the weekend of Pentecost, the only real argument for sturdy young pilgrims is whether you go to the Paris-Chartres pilgrimage with the traditional Mass or the Chartres-Paris pilgrimage with the traditional Mass.

I picked up on the latter via my stats. Someone kindly posted my stuff on the Paris-Chartres Pilgrimage in the Fish Eaters forum and it drew the reply "Anyone got some pics of the real pilgrimage? :laughing".

Well the Ignis Ardens forum has lots of great photos (scroll down and also go to page 2). Here's one of the Anglo-American chapter - there's ecumenism for you!

I expect there will be more photos over the next couple of days - keep an eye out on the blog of Ignis Ardens.

The SSPX pilgrimage normally ends at Montmartre in front of the hugely significant Church of the Sacré Coeur, erected to expiate the crimes of the communards who had, among other things, executed Mgr Georges Darboy, the Archbishop of Paris. Unfortunately this year, the Green party and the Socialists in Paris combined to vote to deny the SSPX access to the Place Louis Michel at the foot of the basilica. One of the reasons given: "This Christian sect preaches the return of Christ the King." I reckon they'd plead guilty to that!

OK, so what happens if Pope Benedict succeeds in his desire for unity and gets the SSPX into a, err, (trying hard not to offend anyone here) canonically recognised status? The modern type of ecumenist would say that there should be one grand united pilgrimage. Then we can argue for the next century or so which way the pilgrimage should go, or alternate from one year to the next with splinter pilgrimages going off to Lisieux or the Vendée or something.

Better, surely, to recognise that both pilgrimages now have their own established traditions and should continue in different directions. After all, the Holy Father himself recently commended "unity in diversity". A good idea would be to select somewhere about half way along and have archery and fencing contests followed by songs and wine-tasting. Here is a particularly appropriate song which is regarded by some in the modern French Church as too "political" because in it, young people sing out that they are "Catholic and French forever!"



The verses below do not coincide with those in the video but the chorus does.
O Marie, ô Mère chérie,
Garde au coeur des Français la foi des anciens jours;
Entends, du haut du ciel, le cri de la patrie:
Catholiques et Français toujours;
Entends, du haut du ciel, le cri de la patrie:
Catholiques et Français, toujours (bis)


Devant l'image de Marie,
Tombe à genoux, peuple chrétien!
Et que ta bannière chérie
S'incline à son nom trois fois saint.

Comme à Bernadette ravie,
Parle à nos coeurs en ce beau jour:
Ranime en nous, Vierge Marie,
La foi, l'espérance et l'amour!

De la France puissante égide,
Ton peuple ne veut pas mourir;
Écrase un ennemi perfide,
Empêche la foi de périr.

Console-toi, Vierge Marie,
La France revient à son Dieu;
Viens, souris à notre patrie,
D'être chrétienne elle a fait voeu!

Ton nom a volé, sur les nues
Jusqu'aux confins de l'univers,
Jusqu'aux terres presque inconnues.
Ta gloire a traversé les mers!

Ton image, auguste et sacrée
Partout brille sur les autels,
Et de Lourdes, l'immaculée
Sera le salut des mortels.

Dans ton onde miraculeuse,
L'infirme trouve la santé;
Du pécheur l'âme malheureuse
Y recouvre la sainteté.

Rends la couronne à notre Père,
Confonds les méchants et leurs voeux;
Fais que le successeur de Pierre
Connaisse enfin des jours heureux.

La France veut rester fidèle
A l'Église, au Pontife-Roi:
Elle est à toi, veille sur elle;
Garde-lui son Christ et sa foi.
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