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The Virgin Joan, Mother of the Christian State  (and Scourge of Feminists!)
Author POSTED: Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Returning to Chartres

75 Americans to form U.S. Contingent on 70-mile Pentecost Pilgrimage in France


U.S. Chapter of Our Lady of Guadalupe,

Chartres Pilgrimage 2009
The following letter from a dear, young friend was obviously not intended for publication. In fact, when its author discovers I’ve taken this liberty, it is quite possible I’ll receive another, less positive communication. But there is an old adage which says that it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission, and I’m confident my friend will recognize in this decision to publish her short note my firm conviction that it would be selfish to do otherwise, given that the sentiments expressed herein will surely offer hope to many Catholics who are rightly concerned that the Faith is dying in the hearts of the young. If this is so, and I believe it is, let us rejoice in the many notable and happy exceptions: 

Dear Mr. Matt:

It is with much regret that I can not physically participate in this year’s Chartres Pilgrimage.  I will miss it dearly.  But I want to at least help out my fellow young pilgrims in what ways I can.

I am sending you this check to help out those young, spirited pilgrims who, as always, are bound to forget extra money for the noon meals or admission into a church or museum here and there….I know from the previous three years on the Chartres Pilgrimage and Remnant Tour  that there is always someone in need.

I will be remembering all of you in my prayers while you travel and I can only ask that you say a prayer for me that I have a holy and happy marriage. I am getting married on May 29, 2010, which is the reason why I am not on the glorious path to Chartres one more time this year.

God has called me to be a different soldier in His army now, and I hope to uphold my position well.  But I will never forget Chartres, the glorious lessons it taught me, or the wonderful people I was blessed to walk with. I miss you and always will.  Please pray for me. 

In Christ,

Therese Wilson

Bucyrus, Kansas

Dear Miss Wilson:

Your name will be at the very top of the prayer list.  I wish you every happiness in the world in your new wedded life, and will pray God and His Blessed Mother to watch over you always. It was indeed an honor to be “in the trenches” with you in the ongoing holy war for Catholic restoration and the Kingship of Christ. I know you’ll raise a platoon of little soldiers for Christ who will be as committed to His holy cause as is their mother. Maybe one or two of them will join us on the road to Chartres one day.  Keep the old Faith, my friend, and thank you most sincerely for remembering us in your prayers.

In Christo Rege,

Mr. Matt

A few days from now much of The Remnant’s team here in the States will again board an airplane bound for France. On Pentecost weekend, God willing, we will be walking with 15,000 traditional Catholics from all over the world on the grand Pentecost Pilgrimage of Notre-Dame de Chrétienté to Chartres for the nineteenth consecutive time. 

People often ask why we go back-- why we spend so much time and energy bringing young Catholics to France to walk a 70-mile pilgrimage. The answer? It seems to me that Miss Wilson’s letter has already answered that question.  But I have a different question: Where do they come from, these young people who, God knows how, have slipped through the cracks and managed to keep the Faith in a world waging total war against it?  Why have they survived when millions of their young counterparts have lost their way? Miss Wilson may have received assistance from Remnant readers on her first Pilgrimage, I don’t recall. But I know she paid her own freight for the last two and even agreed to help out with the organization. Like many young Catholics today, I think she may have been holding onto the Faith by her fingertips for a time. But gradually, bit by bit, the storm began to pass. Now, by God’s good grace, she’s  become a confident member of the Church Militant, gearing up for her greatest challenge yet: Catholic motherhood and the rearing of little soldiers of Christ.

And miracles don’t happen anymore?

No matter how tirelessly the forces of evil attempt to destroy the Faith, innocence, bodies and souls of young people today, a remnant of them will always survive.  And it’s through them and their children that the gates of Hell will fall short of prevailing against Christ’s Church. They are the future. They are the hope of the world. 

Miss Wilson will make it through. Like hundreds of other American pilgrims over the years who’ve stood awestruck beneath the towering spires and flying buttresses of Notre-Dame de Chartres, she has seen the old Faith come alive before her eyes.  In her memory and in her heart she can still see herself standing with that mud-covered pilgrim band of thousands, singing her heart out those hallowed words that mean everything to those who have managed, God alone knows how, to survive this spiritual holocaust—Credo in unum Deum, patrem omnipotentem…ex Maria virgine et homo factus est... et unam sanctam catholicam et apostolicam ecclesiam….

Like all the American pilgrims at Chartres over the years, Miss Wilson will not forget how she felt the moment  she realized for the first time what it means to say: “I am a Catholic”.  And as she moves on in life, she wants other young Catholics to experience those life- and soul-changing three days—and so she contributes in her way to help send her spiritual brothers and sisters to France—so that they too will not only survive but learn to fight for what they believe and for who and what they are as children of God and heirs of Heaven. This is what Chartres is all about.

I ask readers to please keep John Rao, Chris Ferrara, Fr. McCambridge and 50 fellow Americans in their  prayers as we once more attempt to undertake this difficult 3-day pilgrimage across France.  The U.S. Chapter of Our Lady of Guadalupe will certainly remember all the readers and friends of The Remnant in their prayers. We will also do our best to honorably represent Catholic Americans on the road to Chartres. America is in such desperate straights, as we all know. Please be assured that we will remember our country in a special way, asking God to save America and give us all the grace needed to  survive whatever may be on the horizon.

The generous readers of this newspaper who sponsored 15 young American pilgrims this year on the Pilgrimage to Chartres will be remembered each and every day on the Pilgrimage, as promised.  Spiritually, we will all be united together on the Road to Chartres. Please pray for us, as we surely will pray for you.  I also ask readers to be patient as web updates will depend on Wi-Fi availability and usual difficulties. Telephone and email orders may be processed a little less efficiently during this time as our staff stateside will be limited.

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