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Fr. Vernoy to Lead a 10-Day Pilgrimage in Northern France and its Catholic History

January 18, 2018

Fr. Marc Vernoy, who lived in Normandy for many years and who is now prior at St. Thomas More Priory in Florida, will be leading this pilgrimage through Normandy.

A 10-Day Pilgrimage to Northern France
May 21-30, 2018
with Fr. Marc Vernoy

Father will celebrate daily Mass and enrich the pilgrims with his extensive knowledge of the area:

Starting in the City of Lights 
 

The trip itinerary begins with Paris, the “City of Lights,” to pray before the incorrupt bodies of St. Catherine Labouré and St. Louise de Marillac, followed by a visit to the Chapel of St. Vincent de Paul to kneel before his relics. A visit to Paris is not complete without a stop at Notre Dame Cathedral, an icon of the city, and the Sainte Chapelle, built by St. Louis King of France to house Our Lord’s Crown of Thorns, and which boasts a unique display of astounding stained-glass windows. A cruise along the Seine River will give pilgrims the comfort of seeing Paris’ finest buildings while relaxing and gliding under one bridge to another. And free time in Paris will ensure an opportunity to visit one’s preferred site.

The pilgrimage continues to Lisieux, home of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, whom St. Pius X called “the greatest saint of modern times.” Pilgrims will tour her family home and pray before her relics in the Carmel and in her basilica, which also houses relics of her parents, the first canonized married couple in the Catholic Church. The group will go back in time as they stop at the Normandy Beaches, where the Allied forces landed in 1944. In Caen, there will be a visit to the Abbey of St. Stephen, a masterpiece of Norman-Romanesque architecture founded in 1063 by William the Conqueror. A stop in Bayeux will afford the opportunity to admire the beautiful Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England in 1066, and the Norman-Romanesque and Gothic Notre Dame Cathedral, consecrated in 1077.

A Miraculous Site 
 

In the seaside town of Avranches, the Church of St. Gervais houses the skull of St. Aubert, bishop of Avranches, who in 708 was instructed by St. Michael the Archangel to build a church on nearby Mont Saint-Michel. Encircled by the sea, Mont Saint-Michel is one of the most enchanting sights in France. A visit to the church, La Merveille, and the cloisters will give a glimpse of its medieval splendor. Pilgrims will also enjoy walking along the Grande Rue, the pilgrims’ route followed since the 12th century, now crowded with shops and restaurants.

The coastal town of Fecamp is home to the magnificent Gothic-style Benedictine Palace, once a major pilgrimage site when it housed Our Lord’s blood from the Holy Land. Pilgrims will then visit the ruins of Jumieges Abbey, one of the most famous abbeys in Normandy, founded in 654 AD by St. Philibert, and once home to 900 monks before it was destroyed during the French Revolution. In picturesque Honfleur, pilgrims will enjoy a visit to the Church of St. Catherine, France’s largest timber-built church.

The group will then travel along the charming French countryside to the city of Rouen, where St. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431. Pilgrims will visit the medieval Cathedral and the St. Joan of Arc Museum, housed in a magnificent 15th-century archbishop’s palace, adjacent to the cathedral, where both of her trials took place. The pilgrimage ends in Paris, with an overnight and an early flight home the next day.

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