Mother Mary Procession Along The Seine, Assumption Day In France

By | August 15, 2017

August the 15th is Assumption Day and a national holiday in France.  I will be joining the Mother Mary procession along the Seine.

It is a special day of celebration for Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians, who call it  the Dormition of Mary.

Assumption is my favourite Marian holiday, that is also the anniversary of my formal conversion into Catholicism.

It is also the date that I found myself mysteriously brought to the Assumption Eve celebration in Rocamadour  years ago that started to crystallise many spiritual events in my life that lead to my conversion.

Families all over the France gather together for a celebratory meal.  If they are not already on vacation, they usually will turn it into a long weekend, making the streets of Paris the quietest ones in the year.

On the eve of the this fete, Notre Dame cathedral has  a traditional procession for the faithful on bateau mouches plying up and down the Seine.

Invitations are from the diocese, but go quickly as you might guess.  With the lighted monuments along the Seine, the procession is beautiful to watch from the banks.

Processions honoring the Virgin Mary take place all over France today.  Along the coastal cities there will be flotillas on the sea to honor Our Lady.

In the countryside as well, there will be processions to local shrines.   My favorite takes place In the medieval walled city of Rocamadour,  perched high on the edge of a steep cliff.

You can read about my very mysterious journey here:

A renown Marian shrine as famous and as visited as Lourdes.   La Vierge Noir de Rocamadour has drawn pilgrims  and Kings from all over the world.

Torch lights and glittering candles follow the statue of Notre Dame de Rocamadour as the  candlelit procession winds down through narrow streets as it has continuously done for over a thousand years.

Clutching my candle and chanting  Ave Maria, I always felt transported back to another dimension and era long before my time.  Mystical experiences such as these leave lasting imprints in our minds .

I could not be back in Rocamadour this year, but instead will meet in front of Notre Dame this afternoon as I usually do, and walk in procession through L’ile de la Cité  and L’ile St. Louis, along the banks of Seine.

This year, I will be walking with an aching and painful heart from the loss of my son.  My own tears are certainly  known and shared  with  Holy Mary Theotokos, who loss her own son on the cross.

Singing and chanting from my heart gives me solace as I walk almost in a trance like meditated state as we slowly wind along our way.

I will nevertheless rejoice in remembrance of this special day.

Our hearts and soul are in as much need of spiritual nourishment as our body for food.   Be it on a mountain top, along the sea, or in the quiet of your garden, I hope you will find time for your own introspection, prayer and gratitude for the blessings you have today.

Note: This is a updated post of where I will be today praying for my home country scared with racial hatred and violence and world peace threatened anew.

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6 thoughts on “Mother Mary Procession Along The Seine, Assumption Day In France

  1. Ken Duncan

    Bravo! You cup continues to runneth over with Soulful Spirit for the thirsty….

    1. Cherry Post author

      Thank you Ken! The day of Assumption has much spiritual significance to me. It all started by an accidental discovery in the late 80’s, of Rocamadour on the eve of Assumption. With so many tourists and pilgrims for the procession, there was no hotel room available, so ended up sleeping in the car in the valley. Awakening to the tickling bells of Ave Maria and stumbling into a Mass in the chapel of the Vierge Noir, lead to a deepening and new horizons of my spiritual journey.
      Yesterday’s procession in Paris took 2 hours to wind around the ancient streets singing and chanting, with stops for prayers and supplications. For me, it was like being in a cloud of meditation, where I could lose a sense of time. The energy is loving and healing and one leaves with a spirit of renewal.


    I absolutely love this posting Cherry; I have fdw it to friends in N Orleans and L Charles–I know this holiday is celebrated in Tahiti; do you know if it is celebrated in Quebec?

    1. Cherry Post author

      Thank you Herbie! I do not know if Quebec celebrates the Assumption as a national holiday, but it is celebrated in most European countries here.
      Almost all villages here however small, have pilgrimages for La Vierge Marie. There is much honor and devotion for Her in France and is part of the culture.
      I failed to describe the meaning of Assumption for Catholics and Orthodox Christians throughout the world, but it is the Assumption or literally taken up of the most Blessed Virgin into heaven. A beautiful honor for the Theotokos that is the Mother of us all.

  3. Liz

    I,too, have a wonderful memory of walking in the procession in Rocamadour many years ago. It will stay with me forever!

    1. Cherry Post author

      Thank You Liz! It was a special treat to have had you join us at that time. Maison Marie, where we stayed is now only available for clergy I believe. It was such a beautiful place with a gorgeous view right next to the chapel. The energy there is so pure and healing, I long to return soon. I hope the morning glory seeds I planted in the garden took root and are blooming over the rocks.

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