samedi, juillet 26, 2008

Le pardon de Saint Anne

"Pardon is a typically Breton form of pilgrimage and one of the most traditional demonstrations of popular Catholicism in Brittany. Of very ancient origin, probably dating back to the conversion of the country by the Celtic monks.

As its name indicates a Pardon is a penitential ceremony. The faithful go on a pilgrimage either to the tomb of a saint or a place dedicated to a saint. The locations may be associated with miraculous appearances, as in Querrien, or holy relics. Penitents travel as a group in parishes, fraternities or other corporate bodies, bringing banners, crosses and other insignia in procession, each group competing with the others for grandeur.
The dispersal of the pilgrims until meeting at the appointed place, like the procession, symbolises the desire to obtain intercession from the celebrated saint by offering the effort of the journey as an act of faith. This reflects the Christian view that the human condition on this earth is a journey towards the Kingdom of heaven or the new promised land. Following this logic, the pilgrims are invited to confess their sins to their priests before taking part in the mass, which is often followed by solemn vespers. Once they are granted absolution, the groups engage in communal festivities to express the joy of Christian redemption. This can take the form of a village fair or even resemble a funfair.
The leader of the Pardon, typically a high ranking ecclesiastic, has the title of "pardonnor". If relics are involved, he will normally carry them during part of the procession. For most of the pilgrimage, however, this honour falls to those who were considered to be worthiest by it by the various social groups represented." ( From wikipedia)

The Pardon of Saint Anne is one of the most important, since the Mother of Mary is the Patron Saint of Brittany.

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