Pilgrimage is an important part of spiritual life for many Christians. Christians see life itself as a journey, coming from God and returning to God. The pilgrim seeks to separate himself from the everyday concerns of the world, and to spend time in the presence of God as he travels to a place of special meaning. A Pilgrimage is a symbol that is acted out.1. A journey to a sacred place or shrine.2. A long journey or search, especially one of exalted purpose or moral significance.
Here are some of the best-known places visit on pilgrimage:
Holy Lands (Israel / Palestine)Many visit the places where Jesus lived, especially during the Christian festivals (Bethlehem at Christmas, Jerusalem at Easter)
Jerusalem : Ascend the Mount of Olives to marvel at the spectacular view of the Holy City of Jerusalem. Walk down the hill the Church of Peter Noster and the Chapel of Ascension. On to the church of Dominus Flevit and the Church of All Nations in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus endured his agony.Descend across the Valley of Kidron.
St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, Italy : St. Peter, disciple of Jesus, was martyred and believed to be buried here. It is the centre of the Roman Catholic church, and home of the Pope.
Lourdes, France : In 1858, a young girl called Bernadette Soubivous had a vision of Jesus' mother, Mary. The spring waters that flow from the fountains are believed tobring miraculous healing from God.
Santiago de Compostela, Spain : Saint James, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus, is believed to be buried here.
Canterbury : Thomas Becket , Archbishop of Canterbury, was martyred here.
Walsingham, England : In 1061 Richeldis de Faverches had a vision of Jesus' mother Mary, and built a replica of the humble house where Jesus was born. An Augustine Priorywas built there, and today there are Roman Catholic and Anglican shrines.
Iona, Scotland : In 530 AD St. Columba travelled from Ireland and landed at Iona to convert the people to Christianity. He started a monastery here.
Knock, Ireland : On 21st August 1879 a group of people standing outside the church saw a heavenly vision there.
St. David's, Wales : Dewi Sant (St. David) lived here and helped spread the Christian faith in Wales.