Newsletter of the District of Asia

 September-October 2000

AUGUST 5-19, 2000

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Day 4: Tuesday, August 8, Feast of St. Jean Marie Vianney, the Curé of Ars, Confessor

Rome: St Paul Outside the Walls.
Statue of St Paul the Apostle of Nations

Masses at the hotel at 5:30 am and 6:00 am, confessions.  After breakfast the tour buses took us to St. Paul Outside the Walls.  The entire Asian delegation processed in disciplined order into the basilica, two by two, with our 16 beautiful banners held high, singing Christus Vincit, Christus Regnat, Christus Imperat

Arrival of the Asian Pilgrims

The Asian Pilgrims in the courtyard of St Paul's Basilica

It is hard to describe the incredible feeling that filled our hearts and overflowed in tears of joy and pride and thankfulness for our Holy Faith.  We then knelt at the “Confession”, recited some prayers and processed out amidst the clapping of hundreds of people that where in awe at what they were witnessing. 

At the 'Confession' of St Paul's Basilica

The Asian Pilgrims leaving the St Paul's Basilica

It was the first time that Traditional Catholics in Europe saw representatives of Catholic Tradition coming from these 10 Asian countries where the SSPX is at work. 

The Official start of the Pilgrimage of Tradition: the Veni Creator

We then met the other pilgrims from all over the world: a mere 5000 or so! At a precise signal, all the pilgrims knelt down for the singing of the Veni Creator which marked the official beginning of this historical pilgrimage.  Led by the four bishops of the SSPX, the entire group processed into St. Paul’s and recited the rosary and sung hymns in honor of Our Divine Lord and Our Blessed Lady.

Part of the pilgrims inside St Paul's, view from the back

Solemn Exit Procession with the Second General Assistant,
Fr. Paul Aulagnier, carrying the Cross

Lunch followed on the grounds and then by bus, we were off to St. Peter’s Basilica.  We met near Castel Sant’ Angelo, more than 5000 of us Traditional Roman Catholics.  For those of us who are used to small Mass Centers of 20-30 people, it was so encouraging, uplifting, strengthening!  We are not alone!  After about an hour in the very hot and humid sun, led by the bishops and 250 members of the clergy and over 100 religious Sisters of so many Traditional Communities, we marched by fours in procession to the Basilica of St. Peter’s. 

Via Della Conciliazione,
Start of the Procession to enter St Peter's Basilica:
Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the SSPX,
with his Two General Assistants,
and the Superior of South America and of Asia, immediately behind

The Traditional clergy marching towards the Vatican

Crossing the Holy Door

It took one solid hour for everyone to enter.  The Litanies of the Saints were sung three times.  And there we were, Catholics from all over the world who supported the position of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, with his bishops, priests, seminarians, brothers, sisters of the Society of St Pius X, in the Basilica of St Peter’s!  We filled the main aisle of this beautiful Basilica, throne of Christendom! 

The Four Bishops of the SSPX at the 'Confession' of St Peter

There, we recited the rosary, in the language of Rome, source of unity for the Catholic Church, in Latin, in front of the Confession of St. Peter. 

The 5500 Pilgrims filling the Main Aisle of St Peter's Basilica

Bishop Fellay, surrounded by his three other fellow bishops, gave a powerful sermon in French; we prayed for the Holy Father, and then Bishop Williamson took the Processional Cross and the clergy walked back to the tomb of St. Pius X where lies his incorrupt body. 

Bishop Richard Williamson carrying the Cross to the tomb of Pope St Pius X

Tomb of St Pius X (the body is incorrupt)

Fr Schmidberger said a few strong words, quoting from Archbishop Lefebvre’s 1974 Declaration, and we all left in procession. 

Fr. Franz Scmidberger, at the Tomb of St Pius X,
recalling Archbishop Lefebvre's Declaration of November 21, 1974

Fr. du Chalard had promised the Committee of the Jubilee that we would be out by 4.20 pm.  We were all out by 4.17 pm!

After a nice Chinese dinner in Rome, we went back to the hotel.  What a day! Thanks be to God!

Part of the SSPX clergy and other priests at the fountain in St Peter's plaza

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