It was a strange-looking pilgrim who passed through the St. Michael's Gate of the shrine of Lourdes this past August.
It was a strange pilgrim who passed through the St. Michael’s Gate of the shrine of Lourdes on August 10, 2022. First of all, because he was wearing pants in a style dating from the 19th century and a shirt from the same period, with leather shoes and a beret. But above all because he was accompanied by a donkey (more precisely by a donkey named Cyndel, which means “path” in old Germanic).
A 19th-century-style pilgrimage
“I started my pilgrimage on May 10,” explains Céleste Grant. This hiking enthusiast, originally from Occitania (in southwestern France), covered more than 600 miles in 70 days in the company of his faithful donkey. “It wasn’t planned! On May 10, I left telling myself that I would do the Stevenson Trail, a name given to long-distance path #70, in reference to the route taken through the Cevennes, in the company of a donkey, by the Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson in the autumn of 1878,″ explains the young man to Aleteia. “A hike that lasts two weeks. I enjoyed walking with a donkey so much that I decided to continue my journey and walk to Lourdes. That’s how my journey lasted several months instead of 14 days.”