BRITTANY & THE LOIRE VALLEY
June 8-19, 2022
From our beginning base in the ancient walled city of St. Malo, we will visit two UNESCO World Heritage properties, Chartres Cathedral and Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey, both built on sacred Celtic sites. The ancient links between Wales, Ireland, and Brittany will be seen as we visit the cathedral at Dol, located on the early Celtic monastic site established by St. Samson of Wales, as well as Landevennec Abbey, known in the Middle Ages as the "Irish" monastery. Journeying south in Brittany, we will stop to pray at the simple chapel of Saint Michel des Brasparts, a Celtic site located in the beautiful Armorica Regional Natural Park. We will visit and stay near the impressive megalithic monument of Carnac and take a boat ride to the island of Gavrinis, where we will have a guided tour of an important "passage grave" dating to 3,500 BC. The gulf where the island is situated is thought to have been the landing place of the Celtic monk Columbanus, who went on to found monasteries throughout Europe. Then we will travel eastward to the beautiful Loire River Valley to explore sites such as Marmoutier, Candes St. Martin, and Tours, all associated with St. Martin, whose enthusiasm for the monastic way of the Desert Fathers and Mothers was carried to the Celtic lands, becoming a distinctive of Celtic Christianity. We will conclude the pilgrimage with a two-night stay at the Benedictine Liguge Abbey, located on the site of St. Martin's first monastery. Surrounded by the quiet and beauty of the abbey (including an outstanding collection of religious enamel artworks created by the monks), there will be ample time to reflect on the gifts of the pilgrimage before returning to Paris and embarking on journeys home.