What is this pilgrimage Marie Reine de la Paix?
Set between the feasts of the Transfiguration and the Assumption, the pilgrimage Marie-Reine-de-la-Paix leaves the Montreal cathedral every year on August 6 and arrives at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Cape in Trois-Rivières on the feast the Assumption, 15 August.
Founded 30 years ago, the pilgrimage has brought many benefits, including the increase in Quebec of the proposed routes. Fascinated by their experience, former pilgrims have begun journeys starting from Joliette, Nicolet, Sherbrooke, Granby, Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec and elsewhere. They all converge on the Sanctuaire du Cap where they make a remarkable entry, one that we do not see every day, hundreds of pilgrims coming from across the province!
For what, for whom did I walk?
We followed Highway 139 along the river during these hot summer days, the refreshing breeze from there was like the breath of the Spirit on all the intentions that I carried for MVA (Missionary and Vocation Animation) for my congregation and those who had entrusted me with their intentions here in Cartierville, for my family whom I visited, and for my new apostolate at the Mission of Our Lady of Africa as well as for my friends. One of my goals was to know the people who pray in Montreal, as I had come there after 50 years in English milieu, to help immigrants and refugees to integrate into the francophone population of the Archdiocese of Montreal. It was for me a great grace!
A beautiful mixture of walkers!
We walked nine days (from the Transfiguration on August 6 to the Assumption on August 15 during this year of MERCY) in preparation for the great Feast of Mary, God's Mother and ours, the Assumption. From Marie-Reine du Monde Cathedral in Montreal to the Sanctuary Notre-Dame du Cap at Trois-Rivières we walked about 160 km. We met many wonderful people who welcomed us either at home or in churches, schools, community centers. At the beginning we were 23 pilgrims; a Colombian family of six joined us for the last two days. Old and new Canadians from Haiti, Mauritius, Italy, a Cameroonian of French origin ... We were like the city itself: a great mixture!
Walk and prayer
We walked praying silently, contemplating the sunrise on the St. Lawrence River, singing lauds, reciting the rosary while contemplating the joyful, sorrowful, glorious, luminous mysteries on those days when we walked longer or the mercy chaplet as we entered more deeply into the great mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ and our merciful Father in the Holy Spirit who has fashioned us, the 23 pilgrims into a lovely family during this novena. We began by forgiving ourselves the first few days, then forgiving others and finally received the wonderful forgiveness of the Father.
A wonderful welcome
At each stop, the families gave us cold bottled water, hot and cold beverages with snacks and fruits. What beautiful encounters and exchanges we had. For each family we sang "shalom" to say our thank you! The "goodbyes" were frequent and lengthy, often younger people followed us for awhile. One afternoon four girls aged 13 and 14 came with us to the boundary of their locality before returning home.
Sister Céline Alie, Montréal, Canada