So how was day two for my pilgrim readers? I am confident that your efforts will further help and inspire the walking pilgrims whose journey it has to be said is physically more arduous than those pilgrimaging at home!
With the great feast of Pentecost having dawned pilgrims have the added help of the Holy Spirit just as at the first Pentecost.
And so to today!
Day Three, the final day!
‘THE MISSIONARY FAMILY’ under the Patronage of St Joan of Arc whose 600th Anniversary of her birth is celebrated this year
Joan of Arc or "The Maid of Orléans"(1412-1431) is a national heroine of France as well as a Roman Catholic Saint. A peasant girl born in what is now eastern France, who after divine guidance led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Year's War which paved the way for the coronation of Charles VII She was captured by the Burgundians, transferred to the English in exchange for money, put on trial for charges of "insubordination and heterodoxy," and burned at the stake as a heretic when she was only 19 years old.
Twenty-five years after the execution, an Inquisitorial court authorized by Pope Callixtus III examined the trial, pronounced her innocent and declared her a martyr. Joan of Arc was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920.
A biography can be read at
So let us begin with a prayer. I like this one (Joan is my confirmation saint)
PRAYER TO ST. JOAN OF ARC
Composed by Linda Fowler, July, 2000
Dear and Glorious St. Joan of Arc, friend and sister in Christ. I come before you this day to thank you for the graces you have obtained for me and my family and to ask your continued intercession with Our Lady to Jesus for us. Help me to fight the battles God sends me daily with the same courage and dedication you had. My battles may be smaller and different than the ones you were called to but I need the grace to surrender my will to God's daily.
As you wore a physical armour, help me to put on the spiritual armour that St. Paul called us to wear in order to stay in the state of grace always. Be with me at my last hour so that my entry into eternity will be with faith in the divine Mercy of God no matter what form of death He wills for me. Help me to keep my eyes focused on Jesus Crucified and Mary Immaculate. Grant me the signal grace I need at that hour and grant me the honour and privilege to stand next to you in the heavenly court with my family, St Joseph and all the saints and angels as we surround the thrones of Jesus and Mary through all eternity and worship the most Holy and Triune God. St. Joan, virgin and martyr, pray for me. Amen
I have a problem getting to Mass today. I have resolved instead to go to Eucharistic adoration in a local church from 7-8am Many of the Chartres pilgrims will have been at Eucharistic adoration during the night. Brave souls weak from walking, postponing their sleep, to adore.
Remember the most tired pilgrims in your prayers today. Pray too for those who had to take the bus because of some difficulty. For those who do this after having walked the distance in previous years it is an act of humility. Pray ever harder through the day as the spires of Chartres come into view more clearly.
The magnificent medieval cathedral of Our Lady at Chartres, considered one of the finest examples of the French High Gothic style. Rejoice on their arrival, for it is yours too! There they will celebrate Solemn High Mass. Not all the pilgrims will be able to get inside the cathedral. Some will have to participate via large outdoor screens.Please remember in your prayers those who, after all their efforts, will not be able to enter the cathedral.
Unite your prayers to theirs and, perhaps, as the pilgrims take their first shower and get a good night’s sleep we may continue praying that the graces they received will permeate our lives and the life of the whole Church.God bless any pilgrims who have joined me these last three days. I’d love to hear any comments about your pilgrimages!