Christian Pilgrimages SURGE!

In France, tens of thousands of pilgrims from all over the world are taking part in a 60-mile, 3-day walk from the city of Paris to the Chartres Cathedral, and the numbers that are attending this annual rite are record-breaking. What’s happening in France is par for the course of a massive surge in pilgrimages all around Europe.

– Since 1983, traditional Catholics have gathered annually in France for a three-day, 60-mile pilgrimage from Paris to Chartres, celebrating the pre-Vatican II Latin liturgy.

– Notable attendees like Candace Owens and Marion Marechal highlight the event’s growing significance.

– These pilgrimages reflect a reimagining of the world about the restoration of Paradise through Christ’s transformative life, death, and resurrection.

Since 1983, the Catholic faithful from around the world have gathered in the nation of France to take part in an annual three-day 60-mile walking pilgrimage from Paris to the city of Chartres. This is an event that draws primarily traditional Catholics to celebrate together the pre-Vatican II traditional Latin liturgy. What’s so fascinating is that the number of attendees has been skyrocketing. Since Covid, estimated numbers of pilgrims have reached the tens of thousands. This year alone the estimated attendance was anywhere from 20,000-40,000.

The pilgrimage begins in one of the many cathedrals in Paris. where tens of thousands of particularly young Catholics gather together in prayer and worship in preparation for the journey ahead. Then, the tens of thousands begin their three-day journey towards the sacred city of Chartres. The journey is bookmarked by a solemn mass each of the days they are on their journey, with thousands united in worship and a solemn mass. Worshippers by the thousands gather together at the sacred Chartres Cathedral in celebration of the ancient Latin mass.

Several notable figures were spotted on the pilgrimage, such as Candace Owens, who was just recently received into the Catholic Church. Marion Marechal, the niece of Marine Le Pen and a rising star in France’s nationalist populist politics was also seen at this event. The Chartres pilgrimage is par for the course in what’s happening all over Europe and around the world.

We are seeing a massive surge in Christian pilgrimages. There have been several reports detailing a very noticeable increase in pilgrimage-based tourism throughout the Holy Land Europe and Russia. Israeli tourism alone has more than tripled over the last ten years, with the vast majority of tourists being Christians. According to some figures, Christians account for nearly 60% of all Israeli tourism. Just among Coptic Christians alone living in Egypt, their pilgrimages to Israel have doubled in the last few years.

Studies show that today there are over 6,000 active Christian holy sites throughout western Europe that draw more than 66 million visitors a year. A vast majority of these pilgrims are coming from supposedly secular Western Europe. When the relics of St. Nicholas of Myra came to Russia a few years back, it was estimated that over 2.5 million Russians came out to venerate the relics. Organizers for the display of the relics estimated that anywhere from 18,000 to 48,000 pilgrims visited Christ the Savior Cathedral, where the relics were housed, every day.

They observed that the line could stretch as far as two miles. The average time for standing in the line was about nine hours. Russian President Vladimir Putin was one of the first to venerate these sacred relics, demonstrating Russia’s revitalization of Orthodox Christian civilization. What’s happening at Chartres Cathedral is reflective of how the entire world is changing through these pilgrimages. The medieval cathedral was built to rightly reorient the entire cosmos towards God.

What’s so amazing is that each cathedral is the entire cosmos embodied in stone and light. Cathedrals deliberately sought to rightly order the entire cosmos back to God in and through Christ. For example, worship took place in churches that were constructed facing east, such that the ascent of human words and song parallels the rising of the sun in the morning, with both cathedral and creation praising God together in anticipation of the new creation. Liturgy is cosmology in its fullest expression, and that is precisely what is being reawakened in these pilgrimages.

What’s happening in and through these cathedrals is that we are collectively reimagining the world about the restoration of Paradise in the transformative life, death, and resurrection of Christ. That’s precisely what these cathedrals are for, and as we can see with this massive surge in numbers, their purpose is being reinvigorated like never before. It is here, in the Cosmic Cathedral, where the imagination, the desires, and the dispositions of the human person are shaped and guided and lead to encounter the Kingdom of God revealed in the Incarnation and extended out into the entire world through the sacramental life of the church, drawing the entire cosmos up into inner Trinitarian life, and into a divine communion, in which all things are eternally perfected in God.

Copyright, 2024.

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