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What is Pilgrimage-AO1 Georgina Thomas

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What is Pilgrimage- AO1 Georgina Thomas A pilgrimage is a journey to a holy place. The holy places that Christians choose to visit on pilgrimage can include; where a saint lived, where a relic of a saint is kept, where a vision occurred or where Jesus lived. To travel to holy places (such as Rome or Lourdes) is in itself considered a part of the pilgrimage. Originally pilgrims would have walked and maybe met with other groups on the way. Some choose to make the journey alone or as a group, e.g. - the HCPT takes sick children to Lourdes as part of the charity. In fact many of the pilgrims who go to Lourdes are seriously ill or severely handicapped, has become a place where in numerous cases the sick have been restored to health. Between Easter and December each year two 'jumbulances' travel from Britain to Lourdes weekly. These are large ambulances, capable of carrying twenty-four passengers, including a doctor, three or four nurses, a chaplain, other helpers and about a dozen sick pilgrims. The ambulances pick up their sick passengers and then take them to Lourdes. The help given by the ambulance team is voluntary, and a trust also pays for the accommodation of the pilgrims at a chalet called 'Across' in Lourdes. ...read more.


This procession symbolises the march of men, together with Christ, towards God the Father. Every evening, the candlelit procession winds its way from the Grotto, to the churchyard of the Basilica of the Rosary, everyone carries a candle. The flickering light symbolises harmony with Christ "the light of the world". There is much singing and praising in all different languages. The Stations of the Cross are much like ones seen in ordinary churches but in Lourdes they are large extravagant bronze statues, pilgrims make their way around the stations in large groups. Another practice of Lourdes is saying the Rosary; the official prayer of Lourdes. Mary held a rosary when she appeared to Bernadette. The helping of the sick in Lourdes is very important; HCPT helps sick children, those with social needs. People say three Hail Mary's, at the statue of Mary on the Domain in hope of returning again to Lourdes. A part of going on pilgrimage is to have fun; there are plenty of outdoor activities, parties, picnics to make new friends. This aspect is good for the sick and handicapped who make new friends and give the motivation to make the most of their lives Rome became another destination of pilgrims seeking to visit what was said to be the tomb of Peter and Paul. ...read more.


Another attraction is the 'Scala Sancta' or Holy stairs, this is one of the most important pilgrim attractions, it is a marble staircase that Jesus was said to descend into Jerusalem, to stand in front of Pontius Pilate. Pilgrims are allowed to ascend these stairs on their knees, praying. After looking at both Lourdes and Rome as places of pilgrimage, they are similar in the way that they both have statues of the saint or leader in that particular place, other than this, Rome and Lourdes as places of pilgrimage are very different. A lot of pilgrims go to Lourdes with HCPT, but this is not an option when going to Rome. In Lourdes, activities are done in groups, such as procession around the Stations of the Cross and the outdoor activities, where as in Rome pilgrims are left alone, to concentrate on their own thoughts rather than worrying what others are doing around them. In Lourdes activities and attractions are mostly outdoors, on the other hand in Rome a lot of the sights are indoors, such as the statue of St Peter and the Vatican museums. Both Lourdes and Rome are beneficial and common places of pilgrimage, but remain very opposite in styles of worship. Lourdes is very open and communal whereas Rome is more secluded and things aren't done in big groups. ...read more.

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