“Le Grand Pardon” 2018 will go down in history

2018-06-11

The Grand Pardon in Chaumont, France.As established by Pope Sixtus IV in 1476, and ever since, the Church has been granting a lifelong plenary indulgence to anyone who goes to Saint-Jean Baptiste Basilica, in the city of Chaumont, France, on the feast of Saint John the Baptist... under one condition: the feast must land on a Sunday, which is the case this year.


Although the Festival of Le Grand Pardon is celebrated approximately every 5 years, the one celebrated in 2018 will go down in history.  

For the very first time in the history of our local Church and of Montreal (Ville Marie) – at the heart of the future Archdiocese of Montreal – an archbishop (Most Rev. Christian Lépine) will go on pilgrimage to the Champagne region in France.

What is so important about this area? "It is where the places of birth and baptism of all three of our heroes are located," answered Father Marcel Lessard, Secretary of the Archbishop of Montreal, Most Reverend Christian Lépine, and whose office walls are adorned with historical documents that would be the envy of the greatest Quebec historians.  

Father Lessard's eyes lit up before the slew of books strewn across his desk: "Our Archbishop will be going on a week-long pilgrimage in preparation for the Grand Pardon. He will visit the cathedrals and churches where our founders were baptized: Jeanne Mance (Langres), Marguerite Bourgeoys (Troyes) and Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve (Neuville sur Vannes).  

This pilgrimage will be an historic event, particularly with regard to Sieur de Maisonneuve, for as a layperson, he has often been left out of such pilgrimages in the past.  

Can you imagine? These three individuals were born and raised only a few kilometres apart, and ended up meeting each other here, in New France, at the other end of the world! All three of them from the Champagne region! It is quite special when you think about it."  

Archbishop Lépine will begin his pilgrimage on June 16 in Troyes, the birthplace of Marguerite Bourgeois. He will concelebrate Mass with the Bishop of Troyes, Bishop Stenger, at Saint-Pierre-de-Troyes Cathedral, and deliver the homily. Then, he will travel to Neuville sur Vannes, the birthplace of Sieur de Maisonneuve, where he will celebrate Mass. He will end his pilgrimage in Langres, the birthplace of Jeanne Mance, where he will have the privilege of spending some time in silence in the house where the Venerable was born.  

Archbishop Lépine will then spend two days in Chaumont, for Le Grand Pardon festivities. Bishop Joseph de Metz-Noblat, Bishop of Langres, has invited the Archbishop of Montreal to concelebrate the Solemn Mass for Saint John the Baptist and to deliver the homily.  

To learn about the origins of Le Grand Pardon of Chaumont and consult the 2018 program (In French)

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