A pilgrimage to Saint-Anne-d’Auray

On Sunday the 12th of September, the pilgrimage of bikers took place in Sainte-Anne-d’Auray in Brittany, France. That same day, Father Gwénaël, Rector of the Basilica of Saint Anne, welcomed the new chaplains and the new Daughters of Jesus engaged in this pilgrimage site.

 

 

From 10 am, beautiful, shining motorbikes arrived one by one on the square in front of the Basilica.

The Rector invited us to the fountain where Saint Anne first appeared to a peasant, Yvon Nicolazic, in 1623.

 

 

 

 

 

In procession

 

We then headed in procession towards the basilica: banners of Saint Anne, the bikers with their helmets to be placed in front of the altar, pilgrims, and parishioners.

A deacon who is himself a motorcyclist proclaimed the Gospel with fervour. The Rector followed, challenging us in his homily with the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Saint Mark, chapter 8, “Who do say I am?” …Who am I for you? If you are here, it is because you are Christians, and you believe.

 

A welcome

 

Before the offertory, Father Gwénaël invited the Sisters to come into the choir and introduced each one. “Thank you to your Provincial and her council who have responded to my call by agreeing to strengthen the community. Welcome to Sr Marie Andrée Le Mouël, new to the community, and to Sr Simone Roselier and Sr Agnès Miquel who will work part-time at the shrine.”

He then called the two new chaplains, Father Bruno from Burkina Faso, and Father Thierry who will be in charge of youth ministry. “I thank you for having accepted to come and strengthen the team. Receive the chaplain’s cross.”

 

Blessing of the bikers

 

At the end of the Eucharistic celebration, we were invited to go out onto the square where the Rector, assisted by Fathers Bruno and Thierry, blessed each biker and his motorbike. It was a moving moment, full of contemplation, smiles, and sometimes tears.

 

 

 

Sr Agnès Miquel, dj, Pontivy, France

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