Friday – Sunday, September 27 – 29, 2024

The pilgrimage, now in its 29th year, is an journey of the faithful to Our Lady’s Shrine of the Martyrs in upstate New York, at Auriesville. Here, Jesuit Father Isaac Jogues and Companions were martyred, beginning with lay-brother René Goupîl and several Native American Converts in 1642, and later layman John de LaLande and Jogues himself in 1646.

Since 1996, pilgrims walk near and along the paths the saints followed as captives of the Iroquois. Their journey was hundreds of miles over 28 days under torture. Our journey, modeled on the ancient annual Pentecost Pilgrimage to Notre-Dame de Chartres, France, is 62 miles over 3 days and, though penitential, is full of joy. Our purpose is to honor Christ Our King publicly, to pray for the restoration of His Kingship in the family and civil society, and to make reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

There are different ways to participate for walkers, non-walkers, and even from home. Each way allows pilgrims to gain a plenary indulgence.

A Walking Retreat

Most pilgrims choose this option.

After an early Mass and communal breakfast in camp, pilgrims set out on foot from “The Lake of the Blessed Sacrament” at Lake George Village, NY towards their goal: The Shrine of the North American Martyrs in Auriesville.

Pilgrims cover an average of 20 miles a day in three days. Pilgrims form “brigades” of 30-45 members, accompanied by a chaplain. Along the way, they sing, pray, confess, hear meditations, receive spiritual counsel, rest intermittently, and take a ride in one of the accompanying vans when needed. At the end of each day all the brigades enjoy a communal supper and more fellowship.

Students from Thomas More College describe their experience walking the Pilgrimage.

The Modified Pilgrimage

Popular with seniors and families with young children, the modified pilgrimage takes place mainly in camp. The daily schedule conforms to the needs of family & senior life.

Pilgrims of the modified events are organized into distinct brigades with their own chaplains. They pray holy Mass together, confess, avail themselves of spiritual counsel, and sing the Hours. There is also catechism for children and lots of fellowship. Many participants choose to step off with the main column of pilgrims in the mornings and to walk out to meet them on the road and return with them in the evenings.

The Pilgrim Choir

Those who sing can join the St. Cecilia’s Brigade. Accompanied by a chaplain, these Pilgrims chant daily Mass, pray the Divine Office throughout the day together, learn and practice all of the music the Pilgrimage requires, confess, receive meditations and spiritual counsel, and do a minimal amount of walking.

The Pilgrim Organizers

These pilgrims provide for the many material and other needs of the pilgrims, so pilgrims can concentrate on prayer, penance, and fellowship.

Organizers prepare for holy Mass and the sacraments, help leaders to reform brigades months in advance and to guide them along the way, shuttle arriving pilgrims to check-in at the step-off location, provide pilgrims basic first-aid, supply all the water the pilgrims need each day, transport weary pilgrims in vans, haul baggage from camp to camp, supplement the pilgrim’s personal food supply with hardy soups, fresh bread, jam & fruits. And more.

Sponsor a Pilgrim

It is an ancient practice of the Church for fellow Christians to sponsor pilgrims — to help afford the costs of transportation and lodgings, to forego income, and the like.

         It is up to individual pilgrims to seek their own sponsors.

The Pilgrimage fees (which cover multiple expenses) are as low as possible, yet they still present a burden to some pilgrims. Some sponsors pay some or all of the fee, can submit their intentions when they do, and in return receive the benefit of the prayers, works, and sufferings of the pilgrims. Organizers provide the alms for palms webform to facilitate paying the fee, which also can qualify as a tax-deductible gift of the sponsor.

Join with Prayer from Home

Those who are not able to attend the Pilgrimage but still wish to join spiritually may participate by offering up their prayers, works, and sufferings from home.