Rorate Caeli

More “Francis Effect”: Record-breaking participation in upcoming Chartres pilgrimage forces organizers to close registration

Le Forum Catholique reports:

Notre-Dame de Chrétienté, the association that organizes a large pilgrimage to Chartres every year at Pentecost, has recorded a participation rate in 2023 that has never been equaled in the past. No less than 16,000 pilgrims are preparing to travel from Paris to Chartres on May 27, 28 and 29.

Neither the motu proprio Traditionis custodes, nor even the rescript published on February 21, 2023 restricting the use of the Tridentine rite to which Notre-Dame de Chrétienté is attached, are holding back the faithful. On the contrary, pilgrims walking from Notre-Dame de Paris to Notre-Dame de Chartes at Pentecost 2023 have never been so numerous.

"Never before seen!" says Odile Téqui, head of communications for Notre-Dame de Chrétienté. The association, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, is attracting more and more pilgrims. If for the last seven years, the ranks have grown by 10% each year, as explained last year by Jean de Tauriers, the president of the association, 2023 shows an increase of 33%, forcing the organizers to close registrations a fortnight before the pilgrimage. 16,000 pilgrims are preparing to join Chartres on May 27, 28 and 29, compared to 12,000 last year.

If the number of priests and religious (300 people) and foreign pilgrims (1,400 from 21 different countries) remains stable, it is mainly adults (10,000) and families that will swell the column of pilgrims, whose average age this year is 20.5 years. And this is without counting the chapter of "Guardian Angels", pilgrims who are not walkers and who are spiritually united to the pilgrimage, who increase from 5,000 to 6,000 this year.

"A totally historic participation", notes Odile Téqui. "The traditional liturgy seems to respond to a thirst -- perhaps increased in recent times -- for transcendence, for a consistent catechism, for calm and depth. The new converts or reconverts who come to the pilgrimage also testify to the joyful and welcoming reality they find there," she confided to Aleteia.

Another source reported a grand total of 25,000 participants from 28 countries, but I have not yet been able to verify this number. There will also be 4,000 pilgrims with the SSPX on their march, which happens at the same time but goes in the opposite direction (see here).