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Lourdes and Lough Derg are two examples of Christian pilgrimages

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Pilgrimage coursework Ao1 The word pilgrimage means a journey to a sacred place or shrine. Pilgrimages can take place all over the world and in all religions. Each religion having a different ways they show their faith. Lourdes and Lough Derg are two examples of Christian pilgrimages I am choosing to focus on. Lourdes is in France and is one of the most famous places of pilgrimage for Christians. It is entirely devoted to Mary. Mary appeared to St. Bernadette eighteen times in the grotto. A shrine has been made for Our Lady and a statue stands where she appeared to St. Bernadette. Millions of people visit Lourdes each year to pray for the Sanctuary of Our Lady. ...read more.


There is a statue where they pray in front of. Candles are lit for own intentions and for others they are called votive candles. The lighting of the candles is held in a procession it is held at night in the main church. Hymns are sung while candles are held by the participants. It signifies although many people speak different languages they are united in belief. The candles remind of Jesus as the light of the world. Many people wash or bathe in holy water for healing. Small bottles can be taken home with them. There are stations of the cross in life size figures so children or people with learning disabilities understand them more easily. ...read more.


When pilgrims go to Lough Derg they fast they are only allowed one meal a day which consists of dry toast and black tea or water. The people who participate in the pilgrimage must go barefooted around the stone remains of monks cells during the two day pilgrimage all of this must be done in silence. During the first night they must keep a vigil this means staying up all night with continuous prayer. The pilgrimage is very harsh. You must have a healthy body to take part in the pilgrimage walking softly is to show that they are finding God in the quite. Walking bare footed is a symbol of desiring to do penance. The fasting reminds of the life that St. Patrick lead. It reminds us of Jesus resisting temptation in the desert. There are praying individually and in groups. There are four masses in the pilgrimage. ...read more.

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