Pilgrimage

(for Christians)

What is PILGRIMAGE?

A pilgrim travels to pray and worship. Life is like a pilgrimage from birth to death. A religious pilgrimage helps people with their spiritual life. Different religions go on pilgrimages to different places.
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How does it help a believer?

  • Helps their search for God, feel closer to him on pilgrimage.
  • Awareness of passing away of life on earth, how it is limited. Sense of prioritising.
  • Make an effort -> disciplined spiritual life. Taking action. Making a sacrifice (comfort) and offering a prayer.

LOCATION

Connection with figures and events in the faith. SPECIAL HOLINESS 9used and prayed in for centuries). Treated with respect. Some of this rubs off on them during their stay. Belief of 'special blessing' by God to the place. Dwells there in a deeper way than everyday life.


For Christians such places are: Bethlehem; Nazareth; Jerusalem; Rome; Loudres; Santiago de Compostela; Walsingham; Cantebury

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Bethlehem

Traditional site of Jesus' birth. Boasts the Church of the Nativity, built by Constantine, 1st Christian Roman Emperor. Various Churches have altars in it. Golden Star shows traditional site of Jesus' birth. Pilgrims pray here.
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Jerusalem

Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Shrine is there, built early Christian period. Constantine built 2 churches in the spot - persuaded by St Helena - one a domed building housing a tomb cut out of rock; the other the traditional site of Calvary where Jesus was crucified. Destroyed by invaders then rebuilt under one roof by Crusaders. Controlled by 6 churches now, mostly Orthodox, then Catholics.
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Walsingham

'England's Nazareth'. A Middle Ages replica of the Virginia Mary's home in Nazareth built there. 1061, Lady of the Manor had a vision of Virgin's home in Nazareth and was instructed to build a copy. Hard to build, one day it moved 200 yards away and built itself. Popular because the Holy Land was blocked by Muslim conquest therefore people visited it as 'England's Nazareth'. 2 Attractions: Statue of Our Lady of Walsingham and phial said to contain milk from Mary's breasts.

Pilgrims would take their shoes off to walk the last mile to the shrine at the Slipper Chapel (Houghton St Giles). Red Mount Chapel, built to house pilgrims at King's Lynn 1485. Shrine destroyed by protestant mobs, during King Henry 8th reign.

When Rev. A. Hope Patten became vicar in 1921of Little Walsingham. Made a copy of the statue made from image that had survived. Ten years later a copy of the shrine was made. Still has crowds of pilgrims visiting since then. Orthodox have a small chapel. Roman Catholics have a small shrine.

Pilgrim find it restful when they go there and there are claims of healings and thanksgiving plaques.