Why you should go on a pilgrimage—more than once

By Zac Davis, 11 July 2022
Diocese of Parramatta pilgrims are seen on route to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico during the Diocese of Parramatta pilgrimage to World Youth Day 2019 in Panama. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.


So many significant moments in my spiritual life are tied to sights, smells, sounds and emotions felt on a pilgrimage: The deep sigh after walking all the way up from the train stop to the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. My jaw dropping when I turned the corner and saw St. Peter’s Square. Squatting and praying at the Sea of Galilee shortly after my grandmother passed away.

There are a billion reasons why you might go on a pilgrimage: to get away or to come home; to find yourself or to find God. Although Jesus lived his life in a relatively small geographical radius, Christians—since Constantine’s mother, Helena, made her own trip to Jerusalem—have always made pilgrimages.

They’ve gone to tombs of martyrs, sites of Marian apparitions, as well as the place that Jesus walked. Pope Francis has said that going on pilgrimage is “one of the people of God’s most eloquent expressions of faith.”

Why? And why should Catholics today try to go on one as often as possible?

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This column was originally published by Catholic News Service.

Zac Davis is an associate editor and the senior director for audience engagement and analytics at America. He also co-hosts the podcast, Jesuitical

With thanks to America and Zac Davis, where this article originally appeared.


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