Theme Based Visits

Come Discover What God Wants to Communicate

Customizing each mini-pilgrimage or spiritual accompaniment session is a hallmark of my work at Chartres. Before meeting visitors or groups at the cathedral, I always pray for the pilgrim(s), asking God to lead us in the ways that are most needed. I enjoy sharing my knowledge of and enthusiasm for both the inside and the outside of the cathedral.

Based on your goals, interests, and hopes, I will guide you to those images, places, and experiences that will make your time in Chartres meaningful and memorable.

Group preparing to pray the labyrinth with Jill leading them

Jill preparing a group for an after-hours labyrinth prayer walk

Below are a number of mini-pilgrimages I have led. They may help you imagine what would be most meaningful.  I’m eager to find inspiration by hearing about what interests you! Plan for at least two hours.

Labyrinth Prayer in the Chartres Cathedral: Mini-pilgrimages

What Difference Does Context Make? Situating the Chartres Labyrinth (History, Placement, Theological Considerations)

What Now? Discerning the Next Step: Labyrinth Walking, Reflection, and Prayer Responses

Light on the Labyrinth: Praying Near the Labyrinth Using imagery from the Stained Glass That Surrounds It

Labyrinth Prayer: General Evening Private Group Walks (After-hours, need to be arranged with the Office of the Rector of the Cathedral)

Notre Dame de la Belle Verrière by photographer Jill K H Geoffrion

Mary at Chartres: Mini-pilgrimages

Annunciation Images of the Cathedral     (La version française)
This visit can also include a time of Lectio Divina using the Annunciation Text

Mary Through The Centuries: Images From the last Nine Centuries To Inspire Our Prayer (This is available in the cathedral and/or as a visual contemplative presentation)

Notre Dame de la Belle Verrière: Encountering Mary With Eyes of Faith

The Veil of Mary: Wrapping Ourselves in God’s Love

Mary Windows: Twelfth-century Images (West windows & Notre Dame de la Belle Verrière) and The Life of Mary Window (Thirteenth-century)

The Visitation Images at Chartres: Praying with the Magnificat

The Cardinal Points of the Cathedral: Mary and Jesus At Every Turn

Mary as Jesus’ Follower and Disciple

The Life of Mary: A Thirteenth-century Stained Glass Window Pane by Pane, Story by Story (South Ambulatory)

Thirteenth-century Devotion to Mary: Two Windows. The Miracles of Mary Window and the Assumption of Mary Window (South Aisle)

Marian Imagery around The Chartres Labyrinth

Walking from Bercheres-les-Pierres to Chartres by Photographer Jill K H Geoffrion

Pilgrimages: Mini-pilgrimages While Walking In Prayer

Circumambulation Outside Chartres Cathedral: Grounding Ourselves and Taking the Next Step On Our Pilgrimage

Circumambulation of the Inside of the Cathedral: Orienting Ourselves in the Center of God’s Love

Praying For Healing As We Journey Through The Crypt (can include a Mass if a priest accompanies the group)

Walking Pilgrimage from the ancient quarry in Berchères-Les-Pierres to the Cathedral (6-8 kilometers: Following the route that the stones of the cathedral took).

Images of St. James and walking the Camino de Santiago

White prayer tapers at the Chartres Cathedral by photographer Jill K H Geoffrion

Spiritual Accompaniment: Minipilgrimges in the Cathedral punctuated by prayer pauses

Application of the Senses: Ignatian Exercises using the images from the Chartres Cathedral

Balancing Activity and Contemplation (North Porch)

Dreaming: God’s Use of Our Imagination

Grieving: Praying with Loss

Images of the Soul: comfort in the face of death and dying

Holy Week in Chartres: Death and Resurrection

New Horizons: Birthing the Future

Prayer (Extended) Focusing on Specific Needs Using Different Cathedral Locations

Woundedness and Healing

Contemplating Your Name by visiting images of related saints and biblical characters

Ecumenical prayer in the cathedral

God Creating Eve, Good Samaritan Window

Theological Themes and Biblical Stories: Mini-pilgrimages

Apostles’ Window: What Does It Mean to Love and Serve Christ?

Creation and Garden of Eden Sculptures of the North Porch

Good Samaritan Window: God’s Love as Creator and Redeemer

Mary Magdalene Window: Loving God Extravagantly

South Porch and Rose: The End of Time and The New Jerusalem

Typological Passion Window: What Difference Does Jesus’ Death Make?

Walking as Pilgrims: Following Jesus. The window of Jesus’s Death and Resurrection

Read one pilgrim’s experience of being in Chartres on a retreat led by Jill.  An excerpt from The Day Was Made For Walking. Searching for Meaning on the Camino de Santiago, by Noel Braun. (Australia: Sid Harta Publishers Pty Ltd.) 2014.

Be in touch with Jill for more information about guided visits with a Christian focus, doing on-site spiritual direction, or leadership availability for your pilgrimage group.