The Nuestra Señora de la Cristiandad Pilgrimage in Argentina (Peregrinación a Luján)

Liturgical arts are flourishing everywhere and Argentina, a Catholic land, is no exception. Some readers have expressed interest in the annual Nuestra Señora de la Cristiandad (Our Lady of Christendom) pilgrimage in South America. This is the largest annual event of Traditional Catholics in Argentina, a penitential three-day pilgrimage in the medieval footprint under the patronage of Our Lady of Luján, St. Joseph, and St. Michael the Archangel. For 14 years dedicated Traditional Catholics have been organizing this wonderful pilgrimage to the spiritual heart of Argentina.

The sponsoring organization is known as Nuestra Señora de la Cristiandad (Our Lady of Christendom), an independent group of lay Catholics who seek to contribute to the restoration of the spirit of Christendom. They place their trust in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the foundation of Christian life. Indeed, all authentic renewal of the Church and society begins with the Mass, with Christ Himself, and the pilgrimage pays special attention to giving glory to Christ through the liturgical arts, thus enhancing the spiritual experience of all who participate. 

Indeed, the objective of the pilgrimage is the sanctification of the soul through graces of pilgrimage, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The pilgrims offer their prayers, sacrifices and mortifications during the three days, walking 100 km to the basilica. They especially entrust to Our Lady their beloved country and the Holy Father, a native of Argentina, remembering both his health and his public intentions. A video of the pilgrimage can be seen here

The pilgrimage is a joyous penitential act that is held every August in the spirit of the annual Chartres Pilgrimage in France. Indeed, the pilgrimage took its inspiration from French Catholics whose annual 100 km walk from Paris to Chartres is similarly the largest annual event of Traditional Catholics in France. In Argentina, the pilgrims walk to the Basilica of Our Lady of Luján, the most celebrated pilgrimage site in Argentina. On the way, those who walk the pilgrimage camp two nights in tents. Mass is celebrated outdoors on the second day. The final Mass on the last day is celebrated in the Basilica of Luján (although sadly this Mass has not been allowed to take place in the basilica for three years now - not including 2020, the year the pilgrimage was cancelled). 

At the basilica the faithful pay homage to Our Lady of Luján, Patroness of Argentina, asking for prayers and blessings.  The basilica is large and beautiful and looks like a cathedral. In fact, it is often mistaken for one. The basilica was built between 1890-1935 and is in many ways the spiritual heart of the nation. For over 100 years pilgrims have been flocking here with their prayers and petitions, in a spirit of pilgrimage and true metanoia (a change in one's life due to conversion).  

A link to the images from this year's pilgrimage can be seen here. This magnificent event is growing each year as word gets out and more and more people hear about it. It draws many youth and eligible singles seeking a spouse from across Argentina and even beyond, with some pilgrims coming from various countries such as Brazil. 

Readers are encouraged to support this initiative and help spread the word. These grassroots pilgrimage initiatives spring from the deep roots of faith and a thirst for more. They are of the mind of the Church and that is why they have historically flourished over the centuries. There is great hope in Argentina, and much work to be done to renew the Catholic populace. To quote Tolkien, "from the ashes a fire shall be woken." 

God bless and reward the many dedicated organizers, volunteers, chaplains, first-aid staff, and all who work so hard to make this great pilgrimage a successful annual event. Through the intercession of Our Lady of Luján may the prayers of the pilgrims be answered, and we pray together for the freedom and exultation of Holy Mother the Church and Her sacred rites of immemorial tradition. 

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