Page 1, 5th July 1946

5th July 1946
Page 1
Page 1, 5th July 1946 — THE CROSS ARRIVES IN FRANCE

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People: Gerald Vann


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By Our Special Correspondent

While passengers on the night service Dieppe steamer on Sunday last were reading the headline, " Atomic bomb bursts tonight," 32 pilgrims from this country were gathered around the hand-made oak cross which we are carrying on foot to Vezelay, praying for peace in the world.

At Dieppe great crowds thrunge.d the quayside to welcome the arrival on French soil of the Cross

and its bearers. Here a religious and civic deputation read addresses of welcome, explaining the object of the pilgrimage.

From the qilaysttle to Dieppe's principal churches thousands of people lined the route along which the Cross passed in procession borne on the shoulders of three pilgrims. Hundreds of Dieppe youths, Scouts, Guides, orphan children of fathers lost at sea, and young Catholic students neatly and colourfully uniformed, joined with arms outstretched in the recitation of the Rosary. hymns. the Credo and the pilgrims' hymn, Vexilla Regis. The day ended and a new one commenced around the Cross with the celebration of midnight Mass.

One of the pilgrims' chaplains celebrated High Mass, and preached the crusade for peace in the hearts of men to an enraptured congregation.

From village to village and from town to town the Way of the Cross is being accomplished. The pilgrims are joined by a representative French contingent at each halting place which accompanies them to the next place. By to-day, Friday, just one-third of the 419 kilometres will have been covered.


Front a C.H. Reporter

After hearing Mass at five o'clock in St. Dominic's, Haverstock Hill, on Sunday morning,

the 32 British pilgrims set off for Newhaven and Dieppe to begin their 261 miles' walk to Vezclay. They had spent the night housed by kindly parishioners The evening before the Cross had been blessed. Fr. Gerald Vann, O.P., preached. He spoke of the plan of the pilgrimage. Prayer, penance and love, so that peace might come to the world again and its surface be renewed. He read a letter from Cardinal Griffin, who said that throughout the days of pilgrimage his prayers and Masses would follow the men, joining with them in supplication for peace and justice in the world. Messages and blessings from the Archbishops of Liverpool. Edinburgh and Glasgow and from Bishop Bright were also received and the pilgrims were greatly consoled by this episcopal favour.

The men were representative of this generation. Some wore campaign medals which indicated other pilgrimages for rasher different intentions. et surprisingly large number wore battledress of every possible type. There was a middle-aged man in the olive green of Canada, an Englishman. Another wore the peat-coloured uniform of the P.O.W. A lanky young man, with an R.A.F. moustache, wore a battle blouse and abbreviated shorts. Another, a cool, white linen jacket, expensive slacks and smooth brown shoes.

There were all kinds. From Dundee one stocky, cheerful Scot appeared in the top hair of a fireman's combat jacket and in dark green ,kilts. From Manchester a student in battered flannel trousers and equally worn suede.

There was a civil servant and an expublican, a miner and a flight-sergeant (R.A.F.), a student and a labourer, a doctor and an engineer, two young priests of the Order of Preachers, an electrician, a representative of a Catholic society for men, and a teacher, a student-at-law, a funeral undertaker, and an undergraduate.

They met before the service in the church and held a council of action. They sat in a circle with Fr. Vann and the two priests who arc their fellowpilgrims. They discussed rations, sleeping quarters plates, spoons for the

The Crusade Poster

journey, flags, and money. They spoke of plans and each man contributed practical comments.

They left the priory just about dawn. It is hoped that Fr. Vann's sermon will be available in print so that as many Catholics as possible may enter into the spirit of the pilgrimage. The cross followed them to Victoria on a hired van which bate the inscription bric-a-brac It is now being carried on the road to Vezelay.

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