Why a Pilgrimage?
“Christians see life itself in terms of a journey, coming from God and returning to God. Christ is journeying towards us.” -J.P. Sonnen
Pilgrimage – The Journey of Life
A pilgrimage is a symbol in action, an essential part of life and living. It represents the journey of the Christian life from earth to heaven. The people of God are sometimes described as a pilgrim Church.
The image of walking is frequently used by the saints. For pilgrims, it could be said: “All is walking.” This walk is a journey to the bosom of the Father. Each step is closer to God – and by proxy, one’s neighbor. Walking involves an image of the Church, on pilgrimage.
During the glory of European civilization, medieval pilgrimages were very popular. It was not like going on an ordinary holiday. Pilgrimages often took years. Journeys were long and arduous and some never made it home. Pilgrims usually traveled in groups and would stay in monasteries or religious guesthouses on the way.
Pilgrims undertook these journeys to holy places because it was important for them in their faith. If they had committed sins they believed that by going on a pilgrimage they could show God how contrite they were. Sometimes they were sent on such journeys as a penance for the temporal remission of their sins. Sometimes they went in search of healing of a physical condition.
Pilgrimage – A Modern Revival
It is a strange phenomenon of the late twentieth century that pilgrimage should again become immensely popular. Today many millions of people make pilgrimages all across the world. In fact, the movement is growing.
The particular emphasis of pilgrimage stems from the desire to be rejuvenated and confirmed in the Faith. It is a blessed experience for those privileged to journey.
Popular destinations include the Holy Land, with special emphasis on the Incarnation of Christ – this is the belief central to the Christian faith that at a definite date in history, in a certain place, God himself was born incarnate of a woman into a human family. He walked among men and worked His miracles. Pilgrims flock by the millions to venerate these holy sites and to walk where Christ himself trod.
Millions of others flock to places such as Rome, where the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul lived, died and were buried. Or to Santiago, where the Apostle James was martyred and buried. Pilgrim sites abound. At OC-Travel we design the best Catholic pilgrimage for you. We hope you will find the right fit and join us.
Every pilgrim group is a reminder of Nazareth, a little family on a journey together in which we live and walk with the Holy Family of Nazareth. By visiting these religious sites together and by praying and experiencing the same mystical ethos, we identify Christ at work in our lives, and we share as partakers in His blessed divinity.
We hope you will join us…and then join us again!