Pilgrimage. Many Roman Catholic Christians feel that going on a pilgrimage makes them feel more aware of God.

Authors Avatar
Weronika Marciniak


The Oxford English Dictionary defines a pilgrimage as being 'a journey to a sacred place for religious reasons.' Many Roman Catholic Christians feel that going on a pilgrimage makes them feel more aware of God. They have time to deepen their understanding of God by experiencing the places connected with the life of his son, Jesus Christ and time to talk to Him about the things they are concerned about. This may be to fulfil a vow made to God to participate in the pilgrimage, knowing that He will answer their prayers. The prayers may ask God to physically cure someone of a disability or sickness or to spiritually heal a person, to forgive them, to help them overcome a problem so that they can return home feeling inspired and determined to change. Through their prayers, pilgrims may also want to thank God for blessing them with the opportunity to spend their time being closer with God in spiritual surroundings. I will now look at two places of pilgrimage Lourdes, France and Rome, Italy to explore the possible reasons as to why some Roman Catholics do decide to go on pilgrimage.

Lourdes stands at the foot of the Pyrenees and is perhaps the most commonly visited of the destinations of pilgrimage. Each year over five million people visit Lourdes, many of whom are sick or disabled. There are many reasons as to why people go there, one of the most obvious ones is what actually happened there.

On the 11th of February 1858, fourteen-year-old Bernadette Soubirous found herself wandering the riverbank to a place called Massabielle. It was here that she saw the lady dressed in white, wearing a blue sash and a yellow rose on each foot. Today stands a marble statue of the Lady, set in the niche above the cave. It is of the exact description given to the Sculptor by Bernadette. The reason people had believed Bernadette was when during the sixteenth apparition Mary appeared to Bernadette and told her, "Que soy era immaculada conceptiou" meaning "I am the Immaculate Conception,' chosen at birth to be free from sin. Due to Bernadette having a very basic education, she clearly would not have known the phrase, so when she quoted the term said, to the Priest, he at once believed her vision of Mary.

The Grotto was only an ordinary place where pigs feed until the Virgin Mary had appeared to Bernadette. Considering that the Grotto has connections to Mary makes it an important place for a Roman Catholic Christian to go to. It is a place of quiet for those that go there to think and pray. The Crypt, the Rosary Church and the large Basilica of the Immaculate Conception were built high above the grotto where Bernadette's vision took place. As they enter the grotto, it is common for pilgrims to touch or kiss the walls. This is to pay homage to Mary who appeared there. Masses are celebrated at Lourdes to allow more time for prayer and reflection. Normally, visitors light candles there, which are symbolic of our belief that Jesus is the light of the world, through the burning candle we can feel the presence of God.
Join now!

Lourdes is a momentous place to pray for the sick. Candles aid in prayer when asking for the help of others suffering. Prayer should be important to Roman Catholics as Jesus also prayed at times of need, for example when he "went up a hill to pray and spent the whole night praying to God" (Luke 6:12).

An important part of pilgrimage is following the procession of the Blessed Sacrament. The Blessed Sacrament is the wafer of unleavened bread consecrated in the Mass and is the Body of Christ. It is placed in a monstrance and ...

This is a preview of the whole essay