Saturday, May 27, 2023

Historical Images of the Chartres Pilgrimage, from Sharon Kabel

Since today is the first day of the Chartres pilgrimage, we are very pleased to share with our readers some more of the fascinating research work of Mrs Sharon Kabel, who has put together this wonderful collection of historical documentations of past pilgrimages, going back nearly 100 years. (I am sure our readers have already heard that this year, for the first time ever, the number of people enrolled was so high that the organizers had to close registrations.) Félicitations à tous les pélérins!

From Sharon: To start off, here’s a photo from the 1948 pilgrimage. (from The Catholic World in Pictures, 18 June 1948:
We can thank the poet Charles Peguy for reviving the pilgrimage in the 1910s (not in 1935, as the clipping says... Peguy was long dead by then.) The 1955 pilgrimage allegedly had 14,000 pilgrims and two Masses at the end! (from The Catholic Standard and Times, Volume 60, Number 35, 27 May 1955,
1933 - over 5,000 pilgrims. (Catholic News Service - Newsfeeds, 15 May 1933,
I leave American newspapers behind, and turn to the website of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Here’s an announcement for the 1955 pilgrimage in the publication Cité chrétienne. (Cité chrétienne: bulletin trimestriel des chrétiens: anciens résidents de la Cité Universitaire. 1955-05-01.
1953, in the publication Vie et bonté: France Croix-Rouge: organe officiel de la Croix-Rouge française. page 29.
Do you want to hear what a Chartres pilgrimage sounded like, over 60 years ago? The French National Library has audio clips!!! (And what a cool user interface!!) Listen here:
PELERINAGE DE CHARTRES : pélerinage des étudiants vécu minute par minute. 1958.
I like seeing other ways that society referenced the Chartres pilgrimage. Here is a pilgrimage puzzle in a children’s magazine (1952) (Âmes vaillantes, 1952-07-13. Page 7.
The Chartres pilgrimage covered in Elle magazine in 1952! (Elle: l’hebdomadaire de la femme, 1952-03-17. Page 29.
La Presse, 1951-05-12. What a beautiful shot of the countryside too! (
Here is a huge list of pilgrimage options in France in the summer of 1949! (Figaro, 1949-07-01. Page 1.
Love love LOVE these photos from the 1947 Chartres pilgrimage! (France-Illustration, 1947-06-14:
A beautiful headline, photos, and write-up from Marianne in 1936 (09-16,
Jumping back in time, here’s a newspaper clipping from 1884 about a Chartres pilgrimage! (Le Gaulois, 1884-06-04.
My penultimate finding is an 1855 manual for pilgrims to Chartres! (Manuel du pèlerin à Notre-Dame de Chartres, par l’abbé Bulteau. 1855. Impr. de Malo et Levasseur, Tournai.
The blessing of a pilgrim’s bag and staff, from a 13th century Pontifical of the Use of Paris. (Pontificale Parisiense. Shelfmark: BU Méd. Montpellier, H 399.

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