Pilgrimage Report #2 from Germany and the Low Countries: Maastricht and Aachen

October 05, 2018
Source: District of the USA
The interior of Aachen Cathedral

The US District Superior, Fr. Wegner, continues his travels with 43 faithful throughout his native land, sharing its Catholic heritage:

En route to morning Mass at the SSPX chapel of Our Lady of the Angels in Maastricht, Holland, Fr. Wegner asked the pilgrims to contemplate this paragraph from the Universal Prayer of Pope Clement XI:

"To Thee I desire to consecrate all my thoughts, words, actions, and sufferings; that henceforward I may think of Thee, speak of Thee, refer all my actions to Thy greater glory, and suffer willingly whatever Thou shalt appoint."

Father reminded the pilgrims that this prayer is one that could be said every morning as a way to consecrate the day ahead.

The morning Mass was the votive of the Holy Guardian Angels, and Father’s brief sermon focused on that subject.

“Your guardian angel sees and hears everything you do and say.  If you do good, then your guardian angel will support you, but if you do bad, then your guardian angel will turn against you. Live so that your guardian angel will be pleased – then God will bless you.”

After Mass the pilgrims visited the Basilica of Our Lady, home to an 11th century statue of Our Lady, Star of the Sea.  The Romanesque minor basilica is built on the site of an ancient chapel.  After the French Revolution, the church was used as a military barracks and many treasures were lost.  The 15th century wooden statue of Our Lady under the title “Star of the Sea,” is housed in a Gothic chapel near the basilica’s entrance.

The pilgrims then walked to the Basilica of St. Servatius, built in honor of the 4th century Armenian missionary and foe of Arianism. The basilica’s treasury holds a relic of the skull of the saint, who was related through St. Anne to Our Lord and John the Baptist.

In the afternoon, the pilgrims traveled to Aachen, Germany, to the Aachen Cathedral.  Consecrated on the feast of the Epiphany in 895, it is the oldest cathedral in northern Europe.  The pilgrims visited the cathedral treasury and marveled at the history within. This ancient site of pilgrimage is the burial site of the Emperor Charlemagne, and 32 Holy Roman Emperors were crowned there.  Every seven years, the holy relics collected by Charlemagne are brought forth in honor:

  • The dress worn by the Blessed Virgin Mary when she gave birth to her Divine Son
  • The swaddling clothes of the Infant Jesus
  • The loin cloth worn by Our Lord on the Cross
  • The cloth on which the head of St. John the Baptist was placed after his decapitation

One of the pilgrims, Sean from Georgia, was fortunate enough to see the relics previously: “On my last visit to Aachen, the four relics were carried in procession through the city streets.  I hope to make it back in 3 years for the anniversary.”  The next exposition of these relics is scheduled to take place in 2021.

During the day, the pilgrims received news that the church in Bruges where they had planned to celebrate Mass declined to receive them. Mr. Luis De la Serna, owner of Regina Pilgrimages, seemed unflapped, “We will be fine.  We run into this from time to time, but God always takes care of us.  We will have our Mass.”

Basilica of Our Lady
Basilica of St. Servatius
Aachen Cathedral