The above link is to the Mass at the Cathedral Notre Dame in Chartres France. It begins with some commentary and proceeds with the finish of the 72 mile pilgrimage (3 day) from the Cathedral Notre Dame in Paris to Chartres. In 2011 Yolanda and I had the privilege of participating in this pilgrimage. It was the greatest spiritual experience of my life. This video is 2 hours and 46 minutes so it takes some time to watch. When Yolanda and I attended more than 500 priests processed into the Cathedral. Mass was offered by the Cardinal. The pilgrimage is a penitential offering for the restoration of tradition. It dates back hundreds of years. St. Joan of Arc participated. It was interrupted briefly during World Wars I and II then was permanently cancelled after the Second Vatican Council.
Around 1980 a very small group of traditional Catholics revived the pilgrimage. During the early years they were denied entrance into the Cathedral due to hostility toward the Traditional Latin Mass. Over the years it has grown to the point that over 15,000 Catholics from all over the world participate each year. Today far more priests participate than the total number of participants in the early days. Now the Cardinal offers the Mass in the Cathedral.
It is an experience that no one in America can even imagine. France is very secular but traditional Catholicism is quite strong there and during the pilgrimage it is like the roots of Christendom spring from the ground and you get an indication of what has been lost and what will again be found in the near future. I can’t wait to go again.
This link will only be up for a few days but it should then be transferred to Youtube as happened with the 2015 Mass. I will try to link to Youtube after this comes down. You may note that thousands of faithful receive Holy Communion – all of them kneeling and receiving on the tongue from a priest while a paten is held under their chin to protect the Host from falling to the ground (no Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, not even deacons; no Communion in the Hand; no Hosts being passed around in Dixie cups as is seen at Papal Masses during World Youth Day).
These pilgrims are exhausted. They have spent the past 3 days mostly fasting while walking 72 miles over rough terrain and sleeping in tents. Despite this there is definite reverence for the Eucharist. They know why they are there. We have so much to learn from them.
While these 15,000+ Catholics go from Paris to Chartres a group of 10,000 members of the Society of St. Pius X go on pilgrimage in the opposite direction from Chartres to Paris. The two contingents 25,000 strong pass each other about midway. The towns people turn out to cheer and welcome the groups on. It is something that has to be seen to be believed. It is like we have gone back in time and the whole world is Catholic.
– John Stevens