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SATURDAY 14th MAY 2005

Under the patronage of the Arch-Angel Gabriel

Charter leaders should plan as soon as possible to introduce the angel sent by God to announce to Mary that she had been chosen to be the Mother of God. This is also an opportunity to talk about the rarely covered subject of angels.

Pilgrimage Send Off

The Annunciation
The Start of the Pilgrimage

The Angel Gabriel entered into the life of Mary, a simple young girl who was extraordinarily and excellently pure. The young Mary is terrified by the salutation and Gods plan for her as announced through the voice of His angel. Mary replies Fiat, Let it be, a reply that was to change the course of the History of Salvation.
Taking the first Joyful Mystery, we can consider at the beginning of the pilgrimage the Message from the angel. Do we want to be part of Gods plan? Do we want the transformation that never finishes to work in us? What do we reply .. Let it be or Some other time ?

Presentation of the Pilgrimage
Once there is sufficient calm

This presentation made by the chapter leader is one of the most important moments in the pilgrimage. It is at this moment that the chapter should be reminded of the major rules covering the conduct of the pilgrimage and the deeper sense of what is the personal and community sense of a pilgrimage.
This should include :
How the pilgrimage operates, what the three-day walk entails
The spirit of walking and penitence
Presentation of the theme that will form the subject matter of the different instructions over the three days
Practical points, what can and cannot be done, what is expected of a pilgrim
Explain what may not be obvious, why the use of Latin etc
These above points should be covered again at various times over the three days.

Chapter leaders should pay attention that that these guiding principals should be communicated clearly with both precision and charity. If need be they can ask a priest to help them.
This year meditations may also refer to the theme covered in the Sermons at the beginning of the pilgrimage so as pilgrims may better understand the importance of the personal and interior dispositions necessary to undertake this pilgrimage. That each and everyone can ask Our Lady in his or her heart to be able to say Let it be for all that we should discover and put right in ourselves and then be able to sing the Magnificat, my soul magnifies the Lord.

Between the morning halt and Mass.

Presentation of the Holy Sacrifice.
It is good here to remind ourselves what is the Mass, the non-bloody renewal of the Holy Sacrifice of the Cross. Attention should be paid to explaining carefully certain aspects of the rite, particularly those points that might be surprising to some (Latin, kneeling, the priest facing God as opposed to facing the congregation, Communion on the tongue .). Draw attention to the beauty of the liturgy, the sense of mystery, of the sacred, of the transcendental and the direct connection with the Doctrine of the Church.
These explications can be taken up again during the pilgrimage, if need be by a priest or a seminarian. Our liturgical choices are far from being a simple right to be different or an optional preference, our convictions must be present in what we say.

Sermon at Mass

The Visitation

The dignity of Our Lady surpasses all dignity, she who carried in her womb the Salvation of the World. Yet she did not hesitate to take the road to visit her cousin and bring her assistance. We all have a road to take and to travel, the road of life, the road of our vocation, and today the road of our pilgrimage. Let us pray for the discernment to know what God has planned for us and to be able to follow it. The plan, renouncing our sins, the Cross. Our help, Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners.
Our Lady sang the first ever Magnificat, a wonderful hymn of thanksgiving. Let us be able, the sinners that we are, to recognise all the wonderful things God has done for us.

It is a good idea at the start of the walk, to take up again the points covered above, emphasising what is more relevant to the pilgrims of a particular chapter, this will lead into the points to be covered afterwards.

Beginning of the Afternoon

The Birth of Christ, the adoration of the Magi, the Flight into Egypt.
Jesus came into the world, unnoticed, unknown, rejected and poor. His own people received Him not ( John 1.11). However those who truly search God find Him and they are filled with joy. They find Him by the simplicity of their souls (the shepherds), by their humble and faithful searching for the Truth (The Magi), they find him in the sacrifice of their lives (the Holy Innocents). This is the price we pay to find true joy, true peace, the fruits of charity.
The angels announced His coming in the night of Christmas : Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace to men of Goodwill (Luke 2.14)
Those who refuse Jesus, The True Light (John 1.9), are capable of worse, including the killing of innocent children and voting laws against the natural order. You can here refer to abundant examples in current affairs.

During the afternoon :

Sacramental Confession
The afternoon should continue by allowing pilgrims to approach the sacrament of penance. This theme should be revisited over the three days, with the assistance of priests, religious and seminarians. Experience has shown that often the deciding moment for the pilgrim does not take place on the very first day. It is worthwhile talking about the immense benefit of a good confession, our sins are wiped away, we are brought back to God, we grow in Love of God. Talk also about how to prepare for a good confession (What happens ? What should I say ? How to list out my sins ?.)

End of the Afternoon :

The Wedding Feast of Cana,
Do whatever He tells you (John 2.5)
The Intercession of Our Lady
Our Lord knows all that is happening in the world. He brings His presence. At the Wedding Feast of Cana, Our Lady presents simply the needs of the guests. She intercedes for us, her strength surpasses that of all living beings. The message of Mary is remarkably simple. Without awaiting the declaration of Jesus, Mary, united with His Will, gives this recommendation: Do all whatever He tells you. In our own lives, in the lives of our families and the life of our countries, everything would be so much simpler if we knew how to recognise Our Lord and turn our back on the Pride that leads us to our loss.
The day that we are invaded by sadness, by despair, the day we think that we have nothing, let us go to Mary. She knows how to present what we are lacking to Jesus, even those things that we do not know that we are lacking, its then that miracles happen.


' Stabat mater .
Under the patronage of Saint Louis-Marie Grignon de Montfort and Saint Maximilan Kolbe

Chapter leaders should give as soon as is possible a brief summary of the lives of these two great saints who illustrate particularly well the apostolate of the reign of Christ through Mary. They should refer again to their lives in the meditations for the day and show the points in common between these two great figures of the Church, this despite the great difference in the times and conditions they lived in.

From the moment the walk starts it is important to place ourselves in the style and the theme of the pilgrimage, a march of prayer and penitence. A morning prayer does this naturally. This prayer should include an offering for the day, a request to God for the graces that are necessary (grace of a first conversion? or a second conversion from lukewarmness to apostolic zeal ?) and of course including an invocation of the protection of Our Lady and the saints that we venerate. It is appropriate to announce to the pilgrims the programme of the day and to give them all useful information.

The morning departure

Our Lady during the Passion, her meeting with Our Lord on the Way of the Cross.

Our Lady follows from a distance every step of the Passion of her divine Son, she lives in her heart His agony, the scourging, the crowning with thorns, the Way of the Cross. Not for a moment does she try to avoid the sufferings and trials that are the price of our redemption. Her participation makes her the perfect co-redemptrice: she helps in the great work of the remission of our sins.
Our Lady, it is I who mortally wounded your Son. Have pity on me, have pity for my treachery and help me to be part myself of the work of Redemption, in offering my sacrifices for the forgiveness and atonement of my sins and of the sins of the whole world.

Mid Morning :

Our lady at the foot of the Cross, Behold your Mother
Our Lady was standing at the foot of the Cross. Jesus said to Saint John, the disciple He loved, Behold your Mother, and from that hour the disciple took her to his own home (John 19,27). The Blessed Virgin Mary is our Mother, we should consider her as such and follow her example. Soon we will be assisting at Mass where there will be the non-bloody renewal of the sacrifice of the Cross. Let us ask Our Lady, who is waiting for us there, that she makes us a part of the Passion of her Son and that she helps us to say Let it be.

Sermon at Mass

Pentecost, Our Lady and the Church

Our Lady and the apostles are together in the Upper Room. The Holy Spirit descends on them and brings about a radical transformation in them, he covers them with his gifts. Our Blessed Lady, Mother of the Church, is directly part of the Church, in both Its moments of development and Its moments of difficulty.
Our Lady, come to the help of the Church when It faces the dangers that menace It, the challenges that lie ahead with the New Evangelisation.

Beginning of the Afternoon.

The Assumption and the Crowning of Our lady Queen of Heaven

Our Lady resembles very much her divine Son. Her Assumption into Heaven of her body, free from corruption (this dogma was proclaimed 55 years ago by Pope Pius XII). In Heaven the angels and the saints rejoice, Our Lady is crowned Queen. What a glorious and extraordinary sight. How much we would like to follow her ! We can join her, and through her reach Jesus Himself. We need prayer and the sacraments. Have we not a soul of prayer ? This would be a great pilgrimage if we were to make this resolution for a true interior life nourished by prayer, if our days were full of spontaneous prayer.. Prayer, and in particular, closeness to Mary, gives our Christian lives its full dynamism, she is the breath of the soul.

[From this part of the pilgrimage on, we contemplate Our Lady in her deeds and in her messages through the history of Christianity]

Middle of the Afternoon

The great Victories of Christianity made possible by the Rosary.
Le Puy (1429), Lepanto (1571), Vienna (1683), Czestouchowa (1655), Fatima (1917)
Our lady looks over the Church, she looks over the peoples who live the Christian Faith. She comes to their aide of those who implore her in their distress. A few European countries had the courage to combat the danger that was Islam in the 16th Century. Pope Saint Pius V recommended the rosary as a weapon.
There is nothing new under the sun. Can we recognise the dangers that are all around us ? Do we know how to use the rosary with Faith and as a weapon and ?

End of the afternoon.

Consecration to Our Lady
The preceding meditations have shown Mary, our mother, our queen, in various of the principal mysteries of Life. Have we a total filial confidence in her ? Do we really believe that with her we risk nothing and that we can have everything ? Do we really try to live each day with her, in her, through her and for her ? What are we going to do to bring her totally into our lives ?
Saint Louis-Marie Grignon de Montfort (1673 1716), and later on Saint Maximilien Kolbe in the 20th century proposed that we concretise this abandon into the arms of Mary by the act of a consecration to Our Lady. Are we able, have we the Faith to use this very simple and timeless ceremony ?

[ As in every year, during the day, and more especially during this meditation, we talk about the evening ceremony of Benediction, and Individual Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for those who have prepared for it. We wish this year to put a particular emphasis on this consecration to Our Lady so that even more pilgrims join those who are already at the feet of Our Lady beside the Blessed Sacrament exposed on the altar.

MONDAY 16th MAY 2005

Under the patronage of Saint Bernard

Chapter leaders are to give as early on as possible a summary of the life of Saint Bernard, Doctor of the Church, last of the fathers of the Church, a great reformer, an ardent preacher for the Crusades and who wrote lovingly and with a great and tender devotion of the wonders of Our Lady. They can refer back to Saint Bernard during the meditations of the day.

We remind ourselves of the main moments from Saturday and Sunday. Today Monday, we complete our journey with the perspective of our return to everyday life. Today is therefore a good day to talk about resolutions and personal commitment. Its a good idea to consider the ways to we can make the best use of the gifts received. The objective of this day is to make, in the sight of God, concrete, practical resolutions that will make of our pilgrimage, not a short quick grass fire of a few days, but a burning furnace that will last and will transform the world. As Pope John Paul II, quoting from Saint Catherine of Sienna, reminded the young people gathered in Rome for the World Youth Days of 2000,
If you were what you are supposed to be you would set the world on fire.
As with the day before, right from the start of the march, the Morning Prayer will put your chapters in the spirit of the pilgrimage.

At the start of the March :

The prayer of Louis XIII and the Consecration of France (1638)
The French King, Louis XIII, afraid that he would not have descendants to look after France, consecrated his kingdom to Our Lady. This act of humble submission, this political act, was to be repeated every year on the 15th August. France has been given to Mary. One of the great concerns of our times is the progressive islamisation of France, a country de-christianised and too weak to resist for it has publicly turned its back on God, Christ and Mary. The country has given its self over totally to self gratifying and empty materialism. Let us entrust the future of our countries to Mary. Let us present at the feet of Our Lady, our personal and our public projects, our commitments, the resolutions that we should not fail to make on this the last day of our pilgrimage.

Middle of the Morning :

Lourdes, The Immaculate Conception (1854)
It was 150 years ago, Pope Blessed Pius IX, proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. As if to confirm the solemnly defined dogma, barely four years later, in 1858, Our Lady appeared to Saint Bernadette. I am the Immaculate Conception.
What was Tradition is henceforth confirmed as an article of Faith. Our Lady was born preserved from Original Sin. What whiteness, what beauty, what an example for all of us ! What a model she is especially for women in these days, so often transformed into marketing tools, a source of temptation, and so often dreadfully unhappy.

End of Morning
Rue du Bac (1830), Fatima, la Salette, Pontmain,
Messages from Our Lady on a personal level
Prayer and Penitence have been the principal recommendations repeated by Our Lady on each one of her visits. The conversion of the world, of our countries, all began with our own personal conversion. It is up to each one of us to pray faithfully, fervently and with perseverance, to do penance, to study, work, act in all things with zeal and charity.

Beginning of the Afternoon

Fatima, la Salette, Pontmain, the island of Bouchard, Wigratzbad,
The messages of Our Lady on the political level

If the World is in such a sorry state it is also because it is dominated by unseen powers, by deceitful and twisted ideologies that are destroying relentlessly Christian values and the laws of nature. Satan is pulling the strings and is now more than ever the Prince of this World. Remind ourselves of authenticated and recognised apparitions. Faced with the events of our times, Our Lady did not wish to remain neutral in a sort of political correctness. She will be with us if we really want to work for social and political good. The situation is not irreversible. Evil destroys itself. A long term combat, fought vigilantly and intelligently, can build up once again, bit by bit, islands of Christendom, and who knows, with the help of God, who is All Powerful, re-establish a new Christendom, first by country, then by continent, then the entire world. In the End my Immaculate Heart will triumph.

Sermon at Mass

Our Lady for the Triumph of Christendom

The Apocalypse of Saint John (chapter 12) describes in images the great and dreadful combat between the Woman and Satan. This is the combat that we find taking place in our souls, in our families and in our countries, it is the combat that we must fight.
This is our mission when we return from our pilgrimage.

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