Pilgrimage to the Martyrs Shrine - September
Saturday September 25 marked the annual
pilgrimage of the Canadian District of the Society of St.
Pius X to the Martyrs Shrine in Midland, Ontario, around 100
miles north of Toronto. This Pilgrimage began with over 10
years ago, headed by the District Superior of that time, Fr.
Jacques Emily. As with all pilgrimages, it has been performed
in the spirit of penance and reparation. The special intentions
for the year 2004 was for the Society of St. Pius X, especially
the District of Canada, and for vocations. The pilgrimage
has been performed on the last Saturday in September, as that
is the Saturday which usually falls the closest to the feast
of the Canadian Martyrs (actual date their feast is Sept.
26). This pilgrimage has always been started by the celebration
of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at a field about 6 miles
from Midland, called St. Ignace II, where Saints Jean de Brebeuf
and Gabriel Lallemant were Martyred. A walk to the Martyrs
Shrine followed. It is here that large relics of these saints
in ornate reliquaries rest, along with the major relics of
St. Charles Garnier. The pilgrimage would then conclude with
the Stations of the Cross at the large outdoor Stations of
The highlight of the 2004 pilgrimage was
that Fr. Yves LeRoux and Fr. James Doran came from St. Thomas
Aquinas Seminary with 36 Seminarians and 2 brothers. In addition,
a record number of faithful attended, which brought the attendance
of this year's pilgrimage to around 300.
This Pilgrimage has been received by the
Jesuit Fathers who operate the Martyrs Shrine with mixed reactions.
Mass has always been offered at St. Ignace II. In 2003, the
Society of St. Pius X offered Mass at St. Ignace II and then
concluded the pilgrimage with Mass on the Shrine grounds.
In 2004, the Society was forbidden to offer Mass at either
location. Providentially, there was a campground immediately
next to St. Ignace II which belonged to the United Church
Centre, who welcomed the SSPX, so Mass was offered in a field
next to St. Ignace II. Fr. Stephen Somerville was the celebrant
for the Solemn High Mass.
We pray to these martyrs, Saints Jean de
Brebeuf, Isaac Jogues, Gabriel Lallemant, Rene Goupil, Jean
de la Lande, Charles Garnier, Anthony Daniel, and Noel Chabanel,
and ask them to intercede for us, for the Society of St. Pius
X, especially for the District of Canada and for vocations.
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