L’incroyable retentissement du pèlerinage de Chrétienté

By Rémi Fontaine for The Beige Salon:

Despite the Motu Proprio Traditionis custodes and the new restrictive threats that followed, the growth of Pilgrimage Christianity continued on a scale never before known. The vintages of 2022 and especially 2023 will remain historic by their impressive and surprising numbers in the socio-political and religious context of the time:

– 2022 with more than 12,000 pilgrims despite an unprecedented storm and at the end of two years of unfortunate interruption due to covid: the new “liturgical pass” (coercive measures of Bishop Roche with his responsible anticipating the rescript of February 21, 2023) did not have the constraining and dissuasive effect of the very totalitarian sanitary pass And vaccine ! With 10% more registrations than 2019.

– 2023 with the closing of registrations (16,000) fifteen days before D-Day for security reasons, and an increase of 33% compared to the previous year!

Such an influx of pilgrims (which also applies to a lesser extent to the pilgrimage from Chartres to Paris organized at the same time by the Society of Saint Pius X) gives food for thought and should challenge our hierarchy. Can’t we judge the tree by its fruits? Conversions and vocations cannot be counted there. “It’s a bit like the GR 20 for Catholics, everyone who signs up for it knows they won’t be disappointed”, comments with humor Father Danziec. Average age not far from twenty years! There are those who, like Obélix, fell very young into the cauldron of this magic potion and were almost born with it, children and even grandchildren of the first pilgrims: the third Chartres generation! There are those who “addicted”have started again for several years, regularly or intermittently, single or with families, coming from all geographical backgrounds and all sensibilities of the Catholic sphere, “traditional” or not (40% are not accustomed to the traditional rite). But above all there are“first-time pilgrims” who are doing it for the first time. They are renewed in number every year since the beginning in an increasing way, Catholics and even non-Cathos, atheists, agnostics or other religions, attracted by the reputation of a pilgrimage whose influence and Catholic impact is now planetary, despite the embarrassed discretion of the hierarchy.

They come by word of mouth from missionary benevolence, sometimes also aided by the politically and religiously incorrect organs of our present cultural world, which spread this good news a bit like the ancients. samizdats in the USSR. Even if the big media can less and less hide this disturbing event, as 2023 particularly testifies. Catholic Forum And Christian family :

“He had been told several times that it was THE pilgrimage to make. So this year, Bérénice decided to take the plunge: “My brother did the Chartres pele last year and he thought it was amazing. In my high school a lot of young people go there, so I wanted to test…” »

This youth with its own grace refers metaphorically to the eternal youth of the pilgrimage and to Tradition which is the youth of God, according to the precious word of Dom Gérard. Wanting to hang their mount on a Star to travel high, these young pilgrims “traditionalists” of Chartres are certainly camping on ruins – the ruins of post-conciliar and post-sixty-eight demolition! – but their canvas village is a bearer of hope because they widen the space of their tent as appropriate…

The revival of the Route de Chartres at Pentecost is more intense but also much more communal and religious, like the contemporary revival of the Route Saint-Jacques which (re)mobilizes every year “backgammons” everywhere and of all kinds. Coming there to seek what the present world no longer gives them, they follow in the footsteps of their penitent ancestors. “And their steps are still borrowed in its old dust! », as says the evocative scout song of this edifying spiritual rope in space and time. Cardinal Pie was right: “I dare to predict it: Chartres will become, more than ever, the center of devotion to Mary in the West, people will flock there, as in the past, from all over the world. » They are today 1500 to come there thus from abroad for Pentecost with about twenty delegations and twenty-eight chapters alone: ​​neighboring countries of old Europe but also distant like America, Australia and Europe. africa… Across borders, Christianity stretches out its hands in a fraternal communion which certainly does not owe its influence solely to Latin!

The French model is such that, like the Polish example on which he himself found flagrant inspiration, “our national Czestochowa” begins to spread to other countries, notably in Argentina (in Lujan), in the United States (in Oklahoma with its “American Chartres”) and in Spain (from Oviedo to Covadonga). Although far too many of our bishops and perhaps even our current pope may think of it, we, sons of the Church, are legitimately part of a whole and the relevance of our respectful but tenacious resistance, however tenuous, resounds everywhere and on everyone.

There is of course, for all these campers of the Eternal, the call of “Latin Mass”a thirst for the sacred, for verticality, for coherence and high standards, in short for transcendence: the traditional liturgy of vetus ordo in which “hide from reunions with their identities”. There is also the call of Christianity which no longer exists but where we come from and which survives in oasis, as Benedict XVI called them. This Christianity could well here and elsewhere resuscitate itself, resuscitate physically and mystically, much better and more vitally than in anachronistic amusement parks like Le Puy du Fou, in other words in static reserves supervised by “jailers” of Tradition, if we are to believe the spirit of Traditionis custodes that saddens us and makes us cry ! But this does not explain everything. Resorting to the sources of Tradition and Christianity is not enough.

Like a prophetic parable

More than two years before this unfortunate Motu proprio, there had been the fire of Notre-Dame de Paris (April 15, 2019), which had already made us cry like a prophetic parable for our time of deconstruction and even of Creation, would have said Péguy. This collapsed arrow was a finger raised to God. But the lesson will not have been sufficiently listened to. France with its Catholics and beyond had mourned its suddenly rediscovered roots, while the archbishop of the capital recalled that“a culture without worship becomes an inculture”. A religious heritage specifically needs to be transmitted, updatedso as not to become a national reserve which keeps more or less (ir)respectfully the works of the past for tourists passing through… in what must be called another culture, not to say a lack of culture.

The problem with liturgical reform is that it has tried too much to consider our liturgical patrimony, theusus antiquior of the Roman rite, like a heap of pieces that one can reassemble at one’s creative whim, like certain “restorers” would have liked or would like to do with the beautiful Lady of stones in peril. Now, no more than a cathedral is a heap of stones or a person (even embryonic) is a heap of cells, the mass is not a heap of reconstituted pieces, however archaeological their origins. By attacking milestones, landmarks rooted in Christian atavism, the reformers of the calendar thus acted like the revolutionaries who mutilated the masterpieces of the cathedrals. Cathedral, human person, catholic mass analogically obey an organic logic, rest on a historical continuity, a harmony, a cornerstone which sends us back to the Word made flesh. “If we removed this stone, this cathedral would collapse. She would be an empty shell, a jewel case, a lifeless skeleton, a soulless body.warned Bishop Michel Aupetit.

What Pentecost pilgrims come to seek in these places of worship and culture that are Notre-Dame de Paris (temporarily in Saint-Sulpice) and Notre-Dame de Chartres is both a cult and a culture, a culture animated by a cult, a cult with its appropriate culture transmitted by tradition according to the virtue of religion. A culture that refuses to refer to its tradition loses its soul along with its orientation, running the risk of becoming a culture of death, a violent decivilization, according to a famous new swearword. This is what made it possible to understand and reveal for a moment the fire of Notre-Dame de Paris. And that’s what Traditionis custodes will not prevent us from thinking despite its desired which go against the luminous teaching of Benedict XVI. When the wise point to the sky… It would be wrong to stop at the only finger lifted from the cathedral, however slender and serrated he was, without seeing with him the direction he points out, stretching out towards the Triune God and Love. It would also be wrong to consider these young pilgrims, eager for catechetical formation and full of joy, as backward and nostalgic backwards, indietrists » (according to the neologism of Pope Francis) supposedly looking backwards, stopping only at the perennial piety they seek and manifest, however ancient it may be, without considering to Whom it is addressed with certain efficiency… The fruit of a Christian culture has a First Cause that cannot be dissociated and despised with impunity. “Sine dominico, non possumus. »

The call of Chartres? It is the call of Life, the Way and the Truth according to the mystery of the Incarnation and Redemption, that these pilgrims of Hope come to hear, in accordance with the traditional Magisterium of the Church and her social doctrine. :

“Our attachment to the Mass of always and to the immutable doctrine ofEchurch is total and it is radical because it is the best service, the greatest sign of love that we can render to the world and toEchurch ! » (Father Matthieu Raffray this Pentecost Sunday at Courtils).

A cultural material which is no longer informed, determined, organically animated from within by a cult worthy of the name becomes, little by little, like a corpse that one can certainly study, dissect, like a dead language or a civilization. old and that we can also tragically forget. Those who come to Chartres feel confusedly that it is appropriate to show themselves worthy of such a heritage that they risk losing forever in smoke, like Notre-Dame de Paris, whereas this finger which points them to Heaven could save as he did for their ancestors. In imitation of Saint Jean-Marie Vianney for the child who had shown him the way to Ars then threatened with spiritual indigence: — Our Lady of Holy Hope, convert us! Let’s not forget that it was through the intercession of Notre-Dame de Paris that the Charlier brothers were converted, in a personal journey from the modern world and even from Freemasonry to Christian civilisation!

From the beginning, the organizers of the Pilgrimage of Christianity tirelessly stretched and steered the three sails of a singular and providential Marian vessel which has its anchors in Heaven through its prayer and penance. These three veils are called Tradition, Christianity and Mission. But it is not only these three sails together that make the ship advance off the coast of the possible reconquest: it is manifestly the Holy Spirit who breathes on them, like opportune mediations. It is the Holy Spirit who keeps us going! “You do not see what is born”Louis Veuillot was already saying to those who thought they saw too quickly what dies…

Remi Fontaine