A pilgrimage is an intentional action by a faithful person to encounter God and experience the joy of life’s journey from here to heaven.
ABOUT PILGRIMAGE …
Catholics get their passion for pilgrimage through Jewish roots. Healthy Jews completed the journey from their home to Jerusalem at least once a year to make their offering at the Temple. The Passover Feast was a common time for pilgrimage.
Today Catholics make pilgrimages to many places in the world. The most popular places are Rome and the Holy Land. But these are not the only places where a Catholic can make a pilgrimage.
The really good news is about pilgrimages is that they don’t have to require long periods of time or cost a lot of money. Every Catholic can integrate the “pilgrim’s spirit” into his or her daily faith.
THE SECRET …
The secret to pilgrimage has more to do with “prayer” than “place.” Almost any place that enables you to get out of your normal, comfort zones and lends itself to quiet prayer and reflection can be the site of a pilgrimage. Obviously, it’s more interesting and fun to visit the Holy Land or Rome, but the real focus on a pilgrimage is a personal encounter with God. The world is full of places where a faithful believer can escape the bonds of routine life to experience Him.
The Catholic Church teaches in the Catechism:
Pilgrimages evoke our earthly journey toward heaven and are traditionally very special occasions for renewal in prayer. For pilgrims seeking living water, shrines are special places for living the forms of Christian prayer “in Church.”
LOOKING FORWARD …
From time to time, we’ll suggest short, low cost pilgrimages on the Catholic Roads website. We’ll also write short articles about our own pilgrimages so our readers better understand what’s really available to them. You don’t have to have a lot of extra time or money to make pilgrimage a regular part of your life.
Check out the short video (below) by Steve Ray. It offers wonderful insights into the importance of pilgrimage to Catholics everywhere!