Every Pentecost, thousands of Catholics come together at the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris.
After hearing Mass, they set out on foot, exiting the city and walking through the countryside.
While the pilgrims walk, they sing, pray, listen, meditate, and confess. They engage in conversation. They drink in the peaceful silence of field and forest.
They will travel thus for the next three days, covering a distance of sixty-two miles. Halfway through the route, they will attend the special Pentecost Mass—in the Latin rite—celebrated in a field.
They are going to Notre Dame de Chartres, where they will venerate the veil of the Blessed Mother.
The Chartres Pilgrimage was once part of the longer Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage, originating in the 12th century. For a few hundred years, the Chartres pilgrimage was a busy and popular route. When the Protestant Revolution reared its head, however, the route—and all other pilgrimages—suffered a rapid and steady decrease in devoted pilgrims.
Over the next 400 years, wars and religious upheaval continued to discourage pilgrims. By the 20th century, the Chartres pilgrimage had almost died out.
The pilgrimage, however, was saved. In 1982, it was revived by a devoted group of devout Catholics. Since then, its attendance has grown exponentially—sometimes, even non-Catholics walk with the pilgrims!
When the pilgrims catch sight of the cathedral’s ornate spires after three days in the field, they say they are filled with a sense of coming home. Even if we are unable to join them physically in this experience, we can unite ourselves to that moment in prayer. Throughout your day, the Chartres Cathedral Stained Glass Windows Candle will remind you of that lovely Marian cathedral as it burns brightly. Evoking a sense of home and peace, this candle brings the detailed stained glass depictions to life. Get yours today at The Catholic Company!