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  Home > Where to find us ? > Sanctuaries > Paray-le-Monial > Sessions at Paray-le-Monial
Sessions at Paray-le-Monial
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More than 20,000 participants come to the international sessions which are organised by the Emmanuel Community each summer."
Sessions at Paray-le-Monial

The charism of the sessions
The history and the development of the Emmanuel Community is closely linked to Paray-le-Monial as a place of pilgrimage. The first sessions which the community organised in 1975 brought together hundreds of people even though the spirituality of the Heart of Jesus was considered marginal, anachronistic and all but forgotten at that period in time. This was at least the case in France. Year after year, the number of participants increased. The sessions multiplied and the international dimension grew.

Today, more than 300,000 pilgrims a year come to sessions and retreats at Paray-le-Monial. The charism of Paray is especially strong during the summer sessions. Every participant, whether he comes alone or with family experiences the charism of mercy.

Prayer, attentive listening to the Word of God and a strong fraternal experience are some things participants discover in order to live a holy life. A new enthusiasm helps to equip them to participate in the dynamic of the « New Evangelisation ». Participants stem from all walks of life and come from all over the world to where they receive the same graces.

Each session has the same daily rhythm whether the theme be Families, Music and Liturgy, Renewal of Christian Life, Christians in society, or Youth.

Lauds is followed by a teaching given by a priest, layperson or bishop. This is always a testimony of faith.

A beautifully sung Mass takes place at eleven o'clock and the afternoon consists of small groups for sharing and prayer. Afterwards there are workshops on many different subjects such as : education, family, partnership, work, vocations, prayer schools, deepening one’s faith, and training in evangelisation). A time of silent adoration before the exposed Blessed Sacrament follows and then Vespers takes place in the Basilica. In the evening people gather together for a prayer vigil which includes singing and testimonies.


What is the secret of Paray-le-Monial ?

Above all it is an experience of God’s love and most importantly that He is a not a God who is far away, frightening or full of vengeance. He is a God who is humble, gentle and close to us. When we contemplate the open Heart of Jesus, we understand the great love God has for all mankind. We experience reconciliation with Him through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. At the same time we are reconciled with ourselves and those around us.
Many people who receive the strength to forgive others in Paray have understood that they have been forgiven by God. The grace of reconciliation is not only personal. It also has a social dimension. Popes Paul VI and John Paul II have consistently reminded us since Vatican II of the importance of forgiveness as the source of building a Civilisation of Love. We then become witnesses of this. It is this love which stems from the Heart of Jesus and the fire of the Spirit that pilgrims receive in Paray-le-Monial. It has become apparent that the City of the Sacred Heart has become a place where a deep grace of the Church may be experienced. This grace renews the Church and is necessary for missions. New strength may be drawn from the Heart of Jesus in order to live in today’s world as a Christian.

“Come unto me all ye who are heavy laden and I will give you rest”, says Jesus, “learn from me for I am gentle and humble of heart, and your souls will find rest”. (Matt. 11 :28-29

Download the flyer for the sessions

To obtain information about the international sessions in Paray-le-Monial :

Two programs of 26 minutes – 25 euros (DVD or VHS secam or pal).

To order, contact

Sessions for 2011 at Paray-le-Monial

  • Retreat for everybody: 01 - 06 July
  • Session for 25-35 year-olds:  09 - 14 July
  • Session for families and for the whole "family and adoration" : 16 - 21 July
  • Session for families and for everybody: 23 - 28 July 
  • Workshop for single people: 23 - 28 July
  • Session for families and for everybody: 30 July - 4 August 
  • ession for families and for everybody: 6 - 11 August
  • International Youth Forum : 11 - 15 August 
  • WYD at Madrid: 11 - 21 August

To register for a Session,

Sessions at paray-le-monial
Retreats at paray-le-monial
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