Puy du Fou is a historical theme park in Les Epesses in the heart of the Vendée region of Western France, where the largest Catholic uprising against the French Revolution took place. The park brings more than two million visitors every year, making it the second most popular theme park in France after Disneyland Paris.
The history of France is brilliantly brought to life as hundreds of actors vividly portray the time of the Romans, Vikings, Middle Ages, Musketeers, Vendée fighters against the French Revolution, and much more. All of the actors and actresses (even the children) come from the local villages and are volunteers.
The park’s evening show takes place from June to August on the old Puy du Fou lake, displaying a fantastic combination of symphony, water, and fire.
Do not miss the chance to visit this extraordinary park during spectacle season and participate in the 65-mile SSPX walk from Chartres to Paris!
Youth pilgrims must be between 18 and 35 years of age and provide a letter of recommendation from an SSPX priest.
Youth Pilgrimage Chaplain: Fr. Leo Anthony Haynos
Fr. Leo Anthony Haynos, from Paxico, Kansas, comes from a family of religious. Two of his uncles are priests: Fr. James Haynos with the Society of St. Pius X, and Fr. Matthew, a Benedictine priest and professor at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary. One of his aunts is a Carmelite nun and his cousin, Fr. Joseph Haynos, is an SSPX priest. These family vocations, along with a strong Catholic family life and an education at St. Mary’s Academy, planted the seed of vocation for Fr. Haynos.
After his ordination in 2012 by Bishop Tissier de Mallerais, Fr. Haynos was assigned to St. Thomas More Church & Priory in Sanford, Florida, visiting the mission chapels in Miami and Davie on the weekends. After three years, he was appointed Prior of St. Mary’s Assumption Church & Priory in St. Louis, Missouri, where he stayed until 2018. Currently, Father is Pastor and Retreat Master at Our Lady of Sorrows in Phoenix, Arizona. In addition to overseeing the faithful who attend the chapel, he manages, organizes, and preaches the 10+ Ignatian, Marian, Virtues, and Marriage retreats held yearly.
Day 1. Thursday, May 30: USA – Paris
Take your transatlantic flight to Paris, France.
Day 2. Friday, May 31: Paris – Puy du Fou
Upon arrival in Paris, transfer by private bus to Angers, located in the Vendée region of western France, which was the epicenter of the largest Catholic uprising against the French Revolution. Dinner and overnight in Angers. (D)
Day 3. Saturday, June 1: Puy du Fou
Today, enjoy a full day at Puy du Fou, a historical theme park in Les Epesses in the heart of the Vendée region. Located in the extensive grounds of the ruined 16th-century castle of Le Puy du Fou, it was founded in 1977 and has become a multi-attraction theme park vividly portraying the history of France, including the exemplary fight of the Vendéans against the armies of the French Revolution. Overnight in Angers. (BB)
Day 4. Sunday, June 2: Puy du Fou
This morning, return to Puy du Fou for another full day. Enjoy a series of action-packed shows – involving hundreds of actors, horsemen, swordsmen and volunteers – and discover the park’s various historic reconstructions, from Roman times to the Belle Epoque of the 19th century. Return to Angers for overnight. (BB)
Day 5. Monday, June 3: Angers: Excursion to Saint-Laurent-sur-Sevre
Today, travel to Saint-Laurent-sur-Sevre to pay homage to St. Louis de Montfort. The saint died here in 1716 while on his last mission. His crypt in the Basilica that bears his name is a focal point of devotion. He wrote True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and The Secret of the Rosary. These profound works have touched millions and are some of the defining writings on Marian devotion. Return to Angers to visit the Château d’Angers, a vast medieval fortress, surrounded by 17 towers, that was built by the young King St. Louis IX on the border of his kingdom in the 13th century. The château houses the famous Apocalypse tapestry, one of the major medieval tapestry works. Dinner and overnight in Angers. (BB, D)
Day 6. Tuesday, June 4: Angers – Chinon – Tours
Travel today to Chinon, to visit its Chateau on the banks of the Vienne River. Built by King Henry II of England in the 12th century, it is also the site where St. Joan of Arc persuaded the Dauphin of France (later King Charles VII) that it was possible to change the fortunes in favor of the French during the Hundred Years War. This meeting with St. Joan is considered the turning point in the fortunes of France in medieval times: it resulted in the Dauphin retaking Orléans and subsequently removing the English from France. Continue to Tours, to visit St. Martin Basilica, built in the 19th and 20th centuries above the remains of the pilgrimage church destroyed during the French Revolution. Continue on to visit the miraculous Oratory of the Holy Face. Finally visit the Cathedral of St. Gatien, founding bishop of the See of Tours. Dinner and overnight in Tours. (BB, D)
Day 7. Wednesday, June 5: Tours – Paris
Early this morning travel to Paris. Upon arrival, enjoy a panoramic view of this breathtaking city, before visiting the Shrine of the Miraculous Medal. Pray before the incorrupt body of St. Catherine Labouré, to whom Our Lady appeared in 1830 and displayed a vision of the miraculous medal. The body of St. Louise de Marillac and the heart of St. Vincent de Paul, founders of the Daughters of Charity, also rest in this church. Nearby is the Chapel of St. Vincent de Paul, which houses a wax figure of the saint containing his relics. Tonight, enjoy a river cruise along the Seine River before dinner. Dinner and overnight in Paris. (BB, D)
Day 8. Thursday, June 6: Paris
This morning, visit Notre Dame, an icon of Paris, a magnificent example of Gothic architecture. It has been the site of several coronations, and during the French Revolution was desecrated and rechristened as the Temple of Reason. The remains of Our Lord’s Crown of Thorns are now kept in a magnificent reliquary at the treasury and are shown on the First Friday of each month and every Friday during Lent. Rest of the day at leisure. Dinner and overnight in Paris. (BB, D)
Day 9. Friday, June 7: Paris – Chartres
Travel this morning to Chartres. Upon arrival, visit its magnificent Cathedral. Pray before its greatest treasure: the Veil of Our Lady, miraculously preserved during a fire in 1194. Admire the glorious collection of over 150 stained glass windows, illustrating biblical passages and daily life in the 13th century. Dinner and overnight in Chartres. Dinner and overnight in Chartres. (BB, D)
Day 10. Saturday, June 8: Pilgrimage Chartres to Paris
Join thousands of SSPX pilgrims walking from Chartres to Paris. Breakfast is at the hotel. For lunch, bread and water will be provided. For dinner, hot soup, bread, and water. Overnight will be in tents along the way (provided); pilgrims must bring their own sleeping bag, a ground tarp, a soup bowl, and a cup/mug for your coffee/milk. (BB)
Day 11. Sunday, June 9: Pilgrimage Chartres to Paris
Continue on the walking pilgrimage. Breakfast is bread with coffee or milk. Overnight will be in tents along the way. Meals as described on previous day.
Day 12. Monday, June 10: Pilgrimage Chartres to Paris
Walk the last leg of the pilgrimage to Paris. Meals as described above. After the final ceremonies, transfer to your Paris hotel for dinner and overnight. (D)
Day 13. Tuesday, June 11: Paris – USA
Transfer to Paris’ international airport for your homebound flight. (BB)
(BB) Buffet breakfast; (D) Dinner
* In case of unforeseen events, this itinerary is subject to change.
For more information or to register, please contact Regina Pilgrimages.