Who are the pilgrims? We are penitents of all ages and walks of life, tracing the footsteps of the French & Huron martyrs of New France, confessing and praying to God to restore his likeness by grace in our hearts, hearths, and homelands. Pilgrims walk in ‘brigades’, which are dedicated to a patron saint, or to Our Blessed Lady under one of her admirable titles.
A brigade consists of between 25 and 40 pilgrims. Each brigade is led by a layman or woman, a “brigadier”, and a corps of officers.
New-comer pilgrims are customarily assigned to a brigade, or may join a brigade with the brigadier’s permission.
No sinner is turned away from pilgrimage who wishes to do penance and pray as Christians have ever since first drawn by Christ while he yet walked among men (cf. Lk. xv, 32).
The outward journey of pilgrimage to a holy place indicates the interior journey, into the ‘desert of the heart’ of each pilgrim, to encounter and to convert to The Holy Trinity dwelling there.
Walking, singing, confessing, praying holy Mass, and living among fellow pilgrims also seeking Christ is the sum & purpose of pilgrimage in general, and of the annual Pilgrimage for Restoration.
Pilgrims bear holy images in homage to God and to honor his saints, but carry no signs as in demonstration of any other kind. No pilgrim represents an apostolate or conducts apostolate at the Pilgrimage for Restoration.
Brigades are formed under the patronage of saints such as, Joan of Arc, Isaac Jogues, The Holy Family, The Immaculate Heart of Mary, King Fernando & Queen Isabella of Spain, Joseph of Nazareth, Our Lady of La Salette, Holy Seers of Fatima, Benedict of Nursia, Michael The Archangel, Philip Neri, et al.
The Company of St. René Goupîl (CSRG) is a unique brigade founded by the late Bob Murray of Troy, NY and friends to give care and assistance to pilgrims in need along The Way to Ossernenon (Auriesville), as their blessed Patron had done for fellow captives in late summer of 1642. See this post on the website, and the CSRG blogsite.
Saints & martyrs of New France, patrons of Pilgrimage
Joseph Chihwatenha – read about “The Forgotten Martyr“, whom his spiritual father, St. Jean de Brèbeuf hailed as the “Pillar of the Church in North America”.
Eustace Ahatsistari – read about this noble Huron who persevered in love of Christ even to death through most horrendous torture.
St. René Goupîl – Read the account of St. René’s martyrdom, in a letter of St. Isaac Jogues.