We deeply thank reader M. Holmström for the detailed report of the Swedish pilgrimage, and for sending us the beautiful pictures by D. Nygård.
Our best wishes for the revival of the Latin liturgical tradition in the land of Saint Bridget.
On September 7-8, 2012, the Society of Cardinal Dante (Kardinal Dante-sällskapet) organized its first pilgrimage from Skänninge to Vadstena in the footsteps of Saint Bridget of Sweden for the sake of reviving Catholic Tradition in Sweden.
Meeting God's friends along the way
Before Protestantism, Skänninge and especially Vadstena were two of Sweden's most important Catholic villages. Although this was the first pilgrimage of the Society, almost 60 people participated. The pilgrims were mainly young people and young families. There was also a group flying in from Croatia only to participate in this historical event.
The pilgrimage started out in Skänninge, where the participants had assembled from many parts of the country, with a Missa Cantata celebrated in honor of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
After Mass, the participants gathered for lunch in the nearby inn. When the meal was finished the aim was set on Vadstena and the walk began!
Through the beautiful landscape of Östergötland, the pilgrims walked and sang and prayed the rosary together and also stopped to view the ruins of one of the two old Dominican convents which, after the Reformation, sadly disappeared. Many new contacts and friends were made during the walk, strengthening the bonds of the group.
After five long hours of walking, the goal was in sight and the pilgrims were lucky enough to get to the former abbey church before closure and had the opportunity to pray together before the relics of Saint Bridget.
Although the walk was over 20 kilometers the mood remained joyful and the long walk seemed to effect the youngest children the least! After a wonderful and well deserved dinner at a local restaurant the pilgrims headed to a local hostel.
On Saturday morning, the adventure culminated in two important events. Already at 7 AM, a small group of persons had gathered in the former abbey church to witness the conversion and, by the permission of the Swedish Bishop, the confirmation of one of the pilgrims, a young man who chose as his Patron the Patron Saint of Stockholm and its Catholic Cathedral Saint Erik.
After the confirmation the preparations for Mass were set and at 9 AM the Mass of the Nativity of Mary was celebrated. The pilgrims then gathered close to the relics once more to sing the Litany of Saint Bridget.
Finally a nice brunch was served and the pilgrims went on to say their goodbyes and went home strengthened in faith and Catholic Tradition.
The plans are now in full operation for the second pilgrimage taking place in May 2013.
Facts: The Association to the Memory of Cardinal Dante is intended as a network of Swedish friends of the Institute of Christ the King. We also wish to honour the memory of the great Cardinal and Papal Master of Ceremonies, as well as contribute to a revival of the traditional Roman liturgy in Sweden. Since November 2011 there is a priest from the Institute residing in Stockholm.