What is the point of a Pilgrimage?

30 Jan
Categories: Blog,

What is the point of a pilgrimage?

Pilgrimage is a part of many of the great religions of the world, for in religion humanity seeks the answers to the questions above.

In Christianity, there are few acts of devotion as rich in history, traditions or spirituality. This is true to such a degree that the image of the pilgrimage has become a metaphorical image of life itself. We are all on a journey heavenward.

Pilgrimage in Scripture

The idea of a pilgrimage has an incredibly strong foundation in both the Old and New Testaments. The spiritual importance of pilgrimage is manifested often in physical journeys and trials — from Abraham’s journey of faith all the way to the missionary journeys of St. Paul.

Pilgrimage in History

From the 11th century or so, indulgences became intertwined with pilgrimages. There was an indulgence reserved for the Crusaders departing to the Holy Land with arms to protect pilgrims.

With the passing of the centuries, other places of pilgrimage become important. Around the world, especially in countries of ancient Christian tradition, sanctuaries were built in memory of a supernatural apparition, miraculous event or other spiritual or historical relevance to the lives of saints. People have traveled to them for a variety of reasons.

Fruits of a Pilgrimage

A pilgrimage is a trip different than usual. It is not only for admiring masterpieces of art, although many places of pilgrimage are full of history and beauty.

To experience something different from other trips, the pilgrim must be different and live differently in the simplicity of faith. Otherwise, the pilgrimage does not contribute to real change. The pilgrim moves within the geography of faith, along the path on which are scattered traces of holiness, in places where God’s grace has been shown with particular splendor and produced abundant fruits of conversion and holiness.

One goes on a pilgrimage to ask God for help needed to live more generously your own Christian vocation once back in your home. Therefore, the pilgrimage is not, and never should be, just “a journey to a place of religious interest.” Alone or with others, it is a physical component of the path of one’s heart toward God.

~ Deborah Castellano Lubov

Source : https://www.osv.com/OSVNewsweekly/Article/TabId/535/ArtMID/13567/ArticleID/21661/What-Is-the-Point-of-a-Pilgrimage.aspx

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