Q. Is there any spiritual advantage to be derived from religious pilgrimages?
A. Yes; when they are performed in the spirit of true devotion.
Q. What can be the use of a pilgrimage to any particular place, since God is every where?
A. It is useful in this, that, though God is [pg. 279] everywhere, some places are better calculated to excite devotion than others; for example, the scenes of any of the great wonders or triumphs of Christianity, the Shrine of SS. Peter and Paul, the Crib of Bethlehem, or the thrice holy soil of Mount Olivet or Mount Calvary.
Q. What succor does devotion find in a pilgrimage to such places?
A. We pray with more fervor, and are humbled more sensibly, when we find ourselves as grievous sinners wandering among the monuments of redemption.
Q. Can we glorify God by doing, for his honor, what he has not commanded?
A. Certainly; David—2 Kings xxiii 15, 16, 17—whilst he burned with an ardent thirst, poured forth the fresh water as an offering to the Lord; and, by this act of mortification, which was not commanded, he glorified God. The Blessed Virgin surely glorified God by her voluntary chastity, which was not commanded —(St. Luke, chap, i.) St. Paul glorified God by the voluntary chastisement of his body—(1 Cor. ix.)
Q. Can you give us any Scriptural example of religious pilgrimages?
A. Elcana and Ann went every year to Silo to pray; and the Blessed Jesus and his Virgin Mother made a pilgrimage every year to Jerusalem pg280. to pray in the Temple. These surely are good and sufficient authorities.
Principal places of Catholic pilgrimage, in early days, in the Middle ages, and in modern times. Alphabetically Listed:
- Pilgrimages. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved July 24, 2019 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12085a.htm list
Aachen, Rhenish Prussia.—This celebrated city owes its fame as a centre of pilgrimage to the extraordinary list of precious relics which it contains. Of their authenticity there is no need here to speak, but they include among a host of others, the swaddling clothes of the child Jesus, the loin-cloth which Our Lord wore on the Cross, the cloth on which the Baptist’s head lay after his execution, and the Blessed Virgin’s cloak. These relics are exposed to public veneration every seven years. The number of pilgrims in 1881 was 158,968 (Champagnac, “Dict. des pèlerinages”, Paris, 1859, I, 78).
Alet, Limoux, France, contains a shrine of the Blessed Virgin dating traditionally from the twelfth century. The principal feast is celebrated on 8 September, when there is still a great concourse of pilgrims from the neighborhood of Toulouse. It is the centre of a confraternity of the Immaculate Heart of Mary founded for the conversion of sinners, the members of which exceed several thousands (Champagnac, II, 89).
Ambronay, Burgundy, France, an ancient shrine of the Blessed Virgin, dating back to the seventh century. It is still a center of pilgrimage.
Amorgos, or Morgo, in the Greek Archipelago, has a quaint picture of the Blessed Virgin painted on wood, which is reputed to have been profaned and broken at Cyprus and then miraculously rejoined in its present shrine. Near by is enacted the pretended miracle of the Urne, so celebrated in the Archipelago (Champagnac, I, 129).
Ancona, Italy.—The Cathedral of St. Cyriacuscontains a shrine of the Blessed Virgin which became famous only in 1796. On 25 June of that year, the eyes of the Madonna were seen filled with tears, which was later interpreted to have prefigured the calamities that fell on Pius VI and the Church in Italy owing to Napoleon. The picture was solemnly crowned by Pius VII on 13 May, 1814, under the title “Regina Sanctorum Omnium” (Champagnac, I, 133; Anon., “Pèlerinages aux sanct. de la mère de Dieu”, Paris, 1840).
Anges, Seine-et-Oise, France.—The present chapel only dates from 1808; but the pilgrimage is really ancient. In connection with the shrine is a spring of miraculous water (Champagnac, I, 146).
Arcachon, Gironde, France.—It is curious among the shrines of the Blessed Virgin as containing an alabaster statue of the thirteenth century. Pius IX granted to this statue the honour of coronation in 1870, since which time pilgrimages to it have greatly increased in number and in frequency.
Ardilliers, Saumur, France.—A chapel of the Blessed Virgin founded on the site of an ancient monastery. It has been visited by famous French pilgrims such as Anne of Austria, Louis XIII, Henrietta Maria, etc. The sacristy was built by Cesare, Duke of Vendôme, and in 1634 Cardinal Richelieu added a chapel (Champagnac, I, 169).
Argenteuil, Seine-et-Oise, France, is one of the places which boasts of possessing the Holy Coat of Jesus Christ. Its abbey was also well known as having had as abbess the famous Héloïse. Whatever may be thought of the authenticity of the relic, the antiquity of pilgrimages drawn to its veneration dates from its presentation to St. Louis in 1247. From the pilgrimage of Queen Blanche in 1255 till our own day there has been an almost uninterrupted flow of visitors. The present châsse was the gift of the Duchess of Guise in 1680 (Champagnac, I, 171-223).
Aubervilles, Seine, France, an ancient place of pilgrimage from Paris. It is mentioned in the Calendars of that diocese under the title of Notre-Dame-des-Vertus, and its feast was celebrated annually on the second Tuesday in May. An early list of miraculous cures performed under the invocation of this Madonna was printed at Paris in 1617 (Champagnac, I, 246).
Auriesville, Montgomery Co., New York, U. S. A., is the center of one of the great pilgrimages of the New World. It is the scene of martyrdom of three Jesuit missionaries by Mohawk Indians; but the chapel erected on the spot has been dedicated to Our Lady of Martyrs, presumably because the cause of the beatification of the three fathers is as yet uncompleted. 15 August is the chief day of pilgrimage; but the practice of visiting Auriesville increases yearly in frequency, and lasts intermittently throughout the whole summer (Wynne, “A Shrine in the Mohawk Valley”, New York, 1905; Gerard in “The Month”, March, 1874, 306).
Bailleul-le-Soc, Oise, France, possesses a chapel dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, dating from the reign of Louis XIV. It has received no episcopal authorization, and in fact was condemned by the Bishop of Beauvais, Mgr de Saint-Aignan, 24 February, 1716. This was in consequence of the pilgrimage which sprang up, of visiting a well of medicinal waters. Owing to its health-giving properties, it was called Saine-Fontaine, but, by the superstition of the people, who at once invented a legend to account for it, this was quickly changed to Sainte-Fontaine. It is still a place of veneration; and pilgrims go to drink the waters of the so-called holy well (Champagnac, I, 264).
Bétharram, Basses-Pyrénées, France, one of the oldest shrines in all France, the very name of which dates from the Saracenic occupation of the country. A legend puts back the foundation into the fourth century, but this is certainly several hundred years too early. In much more recent times a Calvary, with various stations, has been erected and has brought back the flow of pilgrims. The Basque population round about knows it as one of its most sacred centres (Champagnac, I, 302-11).
Boher, near Leith Abbey, King’s Co., Ireland, contains the relics of St. Manchan, probably the abbot who died in 664. The present shrine is of twelfth- century work and is very well preserved considering its great age and the various calamities through which it has passed. Pilgrimages to it are organized from time to time, but on no very considerable scale (Wall, “Shrines of British Saints”, 83-7).
Bonaria, Sardinia, is celebrated for its statue of Our Lady of Mercy. It is of Italian workmanship, probably about 1370, and came miraculously to Bomaria, floating on the waters. Every Saturday local pilgrimages were organized; but today it is rather as an object of devotion to the fisherfolk that the shrine is popular (Champagnac, I, 1130-1).
Boulogne, France, has the remains of a famous statue that has been a center of pilgrimage for many centuries. The early history of the shrine is lost in the legends of the seventh century. But whatever was the origin of its foundation there has always been a close connection between this particular shrine and the seafaring population on both sides of the Channel. In medieval France the pilgrimage to it was looked upon as so recognized a form of devotion that not a few judicial sentences are recorded as having been commuted into visits to Notre-Dame-de-Boulogne-sur-mer. Besides several French monarchs, Henry III visited the shrine in 1255, the Black Prince and John of Gaunt in 1360, and later Charles the Bold of Burgundy. So, too, in 1814 Louis XVIII gave thanks for his restoration before this same statue. The devotion of Our Lady of Boulogne has been in France and England increased by the official recognition of the Archconfraternity of Our Lady of Compassion, established at this shrine, the object of which is to pray for the return of the English people to the Faith (Champagnac, I, 342-62; Hales in “Academy”, 22 April, 1882, 287).
Bruges, Belgium, has its famous relic of the Holy Blood which is the center of much pilgrimage. This was brought from Palestine by Thierry of Alsace on his return from the Second Crusade. From 7 April, 1150, this relic has been venerated with much devotion. The annual pilgrimage, attended by the Flemish nobility in their quaint robes and thousands of pilgrims from other parts of Christendom, takes place on the Monday following the first Sunday in May, when the relic is carried in procession. But every Friday the relic is less solemnly exposed for the veneration of the faithful (Smith, “Bruges”, London, 1901, passim; cf. “Tablet”, LXXXIII, 817).
Buglose, Landes, France, was for long popular as a place of pilgrimage to a statue of the Blessed Virgin; but it is perhaps as much visited now as the birthplace of St. Vincent de Paul. The house where he was born and where he spent his boyhood is still shown (Champagnac, I, 374-90).
Canterbury, Kent, England, was in medieval times the most famous of English shrines. First as the birthplace of Saxon Christianity and as holding the tomb of St. Augustine; secondly as the scene of the martyrdom of St. Thomas Becket, it fitly represented the ecclesiastical center of England. But even from beyond the island, men and women trooped to the shrine of the “blissful martyr”, especially at the great pardons or jubilees of the feast every fifty years from 1220 to 1520; his death caused his own city to become, what Winchester had been till then, the spiritual center of England (Belloc, “The Old Road”, London, 1904, 43). The spell of his name in his defense of the spirituality lay so strongly on the country that Henry VIII had to make a personal attack on the dead saint before he could hope to arrogate himself full ecclesiastical authority. The poetry of Chaucer, the wealth of England, the crown jewels of France, and marble from ruins of ancient Carthage (a papal gift) had glorified the shrine of St. Thomas beyond compare; and the pilgrim signs (see below) which are continually being discovered all over England and even across the Channel (“Guide to Mediæval Room, British Museum”, London, 1907, 69-71) emphasize the popularity of this pilgrimage. The precise time of the year for visiting Canterbury seems difficult to determine (Belloc, ibid., 54), for Chaucer says spring, the Continental traditions imply winter, and the chief gatherings of which we have any record point to the summer. It was probably determined by the feasts of the saint and the seasons of the year. The place of the martyrdom has once more become a center of devotion mainly through the action of the Guild of Ransom (Wall, “Shrines”, 152-171; Belloc, op. cit.; Danks, “Canterbury”, London, 1910).
Carmel, Palestine, has been for centuries a sacred mountain, both for the Hebrew people and for Christians. The Mohammedans also regard it with devotion, and from the eighteenth century onward have joined with Christians and Jews in celebrating the feast of Elias in the mountain that bears his name.
Ceylon may be mentioned as possessing a curious place of pilgrimage, Adam Peak. On the summit of this mountain is a certain impression which the Mohammedans assert to be the footprint of Adam, the Brahmins that of Rama, the Buddhists that of Buddha, the Chinese that of Fu, and the Christians of India that of St. Thomas the Apostle (Champagnac, I, 446).
Chartres is in many respects the most wonderful sanctuary in Europe dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, as it boasts of an uninterrupted tradition from the times of the druids who dedicated there a statue of virgini parituræ. This wonder statue is said to have been still existing in 1793, but to have been destroyed during the Revolution. Moreover, to enhance the sacredness of the place a relic was preserved, presented by Charlemagne, viz., the chemise or veil of the Blessed Virgin. Whatever may be the history or authenticity of the relic itself, it certainly is of great antiquity and resembles the veils now worn by women in the East. A third source of devotion is the present stone image of the Blessed Virgin inaugurated with great pomp in 1857. The pilgrimages to this shrine at Chartres have naturally been frequent and of long continuance. Among others who have taken part in these visits of devotion were popes, kings of France and England, saints like Bernard of Clairvaux, Anselm of Canterbury, Thomas Becket, Vincent de Paul, and Francis de Sales, and the hapless Mary Queen of Scots. There is, moreover, an annual procession to the shrine on 15 March (Champagnac, I, 452-60; Northcote, “Sanct. of the Madonna”, London, 1868, IV, 169-77; Chabarmes, “Hist. de N.-D. de Chartres”, Chartres, 1873).
Chichester, Sussex, England, had in its cathedral the tomb of St. Richard, its renowned bishop. The throng of pilgrims to this shrine, made famous by the devotion of Edward I, was so great that the body was dismembered so as to make three separate stations. Even then, in 1478, Bishop Storey had to draw up stringent rules so that the crowd should approach in a more seemly manner. Each parish was to enter at the west door in the prescribed order, of which notice had to be given by the parish priests in their churches on the Sunday preceding the feast. Besides 3 April, another pilgrimage was made on Whit-Saturday (Wall, 126-31).
Cologne, Rhenish Germany, as a city of pilgrimage centres round the shrine of the Three Kings. The relics are reputed to have been brought by St. Helena to Constantinople, to have been transferred thence to Milan, and evidently in the twelfth century to have been carried in triumph by Frederick Barbarossa to Cologne. The present châsse is considered the most remarkable example extant of the medieval goldsmith’s art. Though of old reckoned as one of the four greater pilgrimages, it seems to have lost the power of attracting huge crowds out of devotion; though many, no doubt, are drawn to it by its splendor (Champagnac, I, 482).
Compostella, Spain, has long been famous as containing the shrine of St. James the Greater (q.v., where the authenticity of the relics etc. is discussed at some length). In some senses this was the most renowned medieval pilgrimage; and the custom of those who bore back with them from Galicia scallop shells as proofs of their journey gradually extended to every form of pilgrimage. The old feast-day of St. James (5 August) is still celebrated by the boys of London with their grottos of oyster shells. The earliest records of visits paid to this shrine date from the eighth century; and even in recent years the custom has been enthusiastically observed (cf. Rymer, “Fœdera”, London, 1710, XI, 371, 376, etc.).
Concepción, Chile, has a pilgrimage to a shrine of the Blessed Virgin that is perhaps unique, a rock-drawn figure of the Mother of God. It was discovered by a child in the eighteenth century and was for long popular among the Chilians.
Cordova, Spain, possesses a curious Madonna which was originally venerated at Villa Viciosa in Portugal. Because of the neglect into which it had fallen, a pious shepherd carried it off to Cordova, whence the Portuguese endeavored several times to recover it, being frustrated each time by a miraculous intervention (Champagnac, I, 525).
Cracow, Poland, is said to possess a miraculous statue of the Blessed Virgin brought to it by St. Hyacinth, to which in times past pilgrimages were often made (Acta SS., Aug., III, 317-41).
Croyland, Lincolnshire, England, was the centre of much pilgrimage at the shrine of St. Guthlac, due principally to the devotion of King Wiglaf of Mercia (Wall, 116-8).
Czenstochowa, Poland, is the most famous of Polish shrines dedicated to the Mother of God, where a picture painted on cypress wood and attributed to St. Luke is publicly venerated. This is reputed to be the richest sanctuary in the world. A copy of the picture has been set up in a chapel of St. Roch’s church by the Poles in Paris (Champagnac, I, 540).
Downpatrick, County Down, Ireland, is the most sacred city of Ireland in that the bodies of Ireland’s highest saints were there interred.
“In the town of Down, buried in
Bridget, Patrick, and the pious Columba.”
Nothing need be said here about the relics of these saints; it is sufficient merely to hint at the pilgrimages that made this a center of devotion (Wall, 31-2).
Drumlane, Ireland, was at one time celebrated as containing the relics of S. Moedoc in the famous Breac Moedoc. This shrine was in the custody of the local priest till 1846, when it was borrowed and sold to a Dublin jeweler, from whom in turn it was bought by Dr. Petrie. It is now in the museum of the Royal Irish Academy (Wall, 80-3).
Dumfermline, Fife, Scotland, was the resort of countless pilgrims, for in the abbey was the shrine of St. Margaret. She was long regarded as the most popular of Scottish saints and her tomb was the most revered in all that kingdom. Out of devotion to her, Dumfermline succeeded Iona as being the burial place of the kings (Wall, 48-50).
Durham, England, possessed many relics which drew to it the devotion of many visitors. But its two chief shrines were those of St. Cuthbert and St. Bede. The former was enclosed in a gorgeous reliquary, which was put in its finished state by John, Lord Nevill of Raby, in 1372. Some idea may be had of the number of pilgrims from the amount put by the poorer ones into the money-box that stood close by. The year 1385-6 yielded £63 17s. 8d. which would be equivalent in our money to £1277 13s. 4d. A dispute rages round the present relics of St. Cuthbert, and there is also some uncertainty about the body of St. Bede (Wall, 176-107, 110-6).
Edmundsbury, Suffolk, England, sheltered in its abbey church the shrine of St. Edmund, king and martyr. Many royal pilgrims from King Canute to Henry VI knelt and made offerings at the tomb of the saint; and the common people crowded there in great numbers because of the extraordinary miracles worked by the holy martyr (Wall, 216-23; Mackinlay, “St. Edmund King and Martyr”, London, 1893; Snead-Cox, “Life of Cardinal Vaughan”, London, 1910, II, 287-94).
Einsiedeln, Schwyz, Switzerland, has been a place of pilgrimage since Leo VIII in 954. The reason of this devotion is a miraculous statue of the Blessed Virgin brought by St. Meinrad from Zurich. The saint was murdered in 861 by robbers who coveted the rich offerings which already at that early date were left by the pilgrims. The principal days for visiting the shrine are 14 Sept. and 13 Oct.; it is calculated that the yearly number of pilgrims exceeds 150,000. Even Protestants from the surrounding cantons are known to have joined the throng of worshipers (Northcote, “Sanctuaries”, 122-32).
Ely, Cambridgeshire, England, was the center of a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Etheldreda. One of her hands is still preserved in a shrine in the (pre-Novatories) Catholic church dedicated to her in London (Wall, 55-6).
Ephesus, Asia Minor, is the center of two devotions, one to the mythical Seven Sleepers, the other to the Mother of God, who lived here some years under the care of St. John. Here also it was that the Divine maternity of Our Lady was proclaimed, by the Third Œcumenical Council, A.D. 491 (“Pélerinages aux sanct. de la mère de Dieu”, Paris, 1840, 119-32; Champagnac, I, 608- 19).
Evreux, Eure, France, has a splendid cathedral dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, but the pilgrimage to it dates only from modern times (Champagnac, I, 641).
Faviers, Seine-et-Oise, France, is the center of a pilgrimage to the church of St. Sulpice, where there are relics of the saint. St. Louis IX paid his homage at the shrine; and even now, from each parish of St. Sulpice (a common dedication among French churches) deputies come here annually on pilgrimage for the three Sundays following the feast which occurs on 27 August (Champagnac, I, 646-7).
Garaison, Tarbes, France, was the scene of an apparition of Our Lady of Good Counsel to a shepherdess of twelve years old, Aglèse de Sagasan, early in the sixteenth century. The sanctuary was dedicated afresh after the Revolution and is once more thronged with pilgrims. The chief festival is celebrated on 8 September (Champagnac, I, 95-9).
Genezzano, Italy, contains the miraculous picture of Our Lady of Good Counsel which is said to have been translated from Albania. It has, since its arrival 25 April, 1467, been visited by popes, cardinals, kings, and by countless throngs of pilgrims; and devotion to the shrine steadily increases (Northcote, “Sanctuaries”, 15-24).
Glastonbury, Somerset, England, has been a holy place for many centuries and round it cluster legends and memories, such as no other shrine in England can boast. The Apostles, St. Joseph of Arimathea, Sts. Patrick and David, and King Arthur begin the astonishing cycle which is continued by names like St. Dunstan, etc. The curious thorn which blossomed twice yearly, in May and at Christmastide, also proved an attraction for pilgrims, though the story of its miraculous origin does not seem to go back much before the sixteenth century. A proof of the devotion which the abbey inspired is seen in the “Pilgrim’s Inn,” a building of late fifteenth century work in the Perpendicular style yet standing in the town (Marson, “Glastonbury. The English Jerusalem”, Bath, 1909).
Grace, Lot-et-Garonne, France, used to be the seat of an ancient statue of the Blessed Virgin which entered the town in a miraculous fashion. It was enshrined in a little chapel perched on the bridge that spans the river Lot. Hence its old name, Nostro Damo del cap del Pount. Even now some pilgrimages are made to the restored shrine (Champagnac, I, 702-5).
Grottaferrata, Campagna, Italy, a famous monastery of the Greek Rite, takes its name (traditionally) from a picture of the Madonna found, protected by a grille, in a grotto. It is still venerated in the abbey church, and is the center of a local pilgrimage (Champagnac, I, 714-15).
Guadalupe, Estramadura, Spain, is celebrated for its wonder-working statue of the Blessed Virgin. But it has been outshone by another shrine of the same name in Mexico, which has considerably gained in importance as the center of pilgrimage. As a sanctuary the latter takes the place of one dedicated to an old pagan goddess who was there worshiped. The story of the origin of this shrine (see GUADALUPE, SHRINE OF) is astonishing.
Hal, Belgium, contains a wooden statue of the Blessed Virgin which is decorated with a golden crown. It has been described by Justus Lipsius in his “Diva Virgo Hallensis” (“Omnia Opera”, Antwerp, 1637, III, 687- 719); as a place of pilgrimage, it has been famous in all Europe and has received gifts from many noble pilgrims. The monstrance given by Henry VIII was lent for use during the Eucharistic Congress in London in 1909. The miracles recorded are certainly wonderful.
Holywell, North Wales, still draws large bodies of pilgrims by its wonderful cures. It has done so continuously for over a thousand years, remaining the one active example of what were once very common (Holy Wells, Chalmers, “Book of Days”, II, 6-8). The well is dedicated to St. Winefride and is said to mark the spot of her martyrdom in 634 (Maher, “Holywell in 1894” in “The Month”, February, 1895, 153).
Iona, Scotland, though not properly, until recently, a place of pilgrimage, can hardly be omitted with propriety from this list. The mention of it is sufficient to recall memories of its crowded tombs of kings, chieftains, prelates, which witness to the honor in which it was held as the Holy Island (Trenholme, “Story of Iona”, Edinburgh, 1909).
Jerusalem, Palestine, was in many ways the origin of all pilgrimages. It is the first spot to which the Christian turned with longing eyes. The earliest recorded pilgrimages go back to the third century with the mention of Bishop Alexander; then, in the fourth century came the great impulse given by the Empress Helena who was followed by the Bordeaux Pilgrims and the “Peregrinatio Silviæ” and others (cf. Acta SS., June, III, 176; Sept., III, 56). The action of St. Jerome and his aristocratic lady friends made the custom fashionable and the Latin colony was established by them which made it continuous (Gregory of Tours, “Hist. Franc.”, Paris, 1886, ed. by Omont, II, 68; V, 181; etc.). So too comes the visit of Arnulf, cited by St. Bede (“Eccl. Hist.”, V, xv, 263, ed. Giles, London, 1847) from the writings of Adamnan; of Cadoc the Welsh bishop mentioned below (cf. St. Andrews); of Probus sent by Gregory I to establish a hospice in Jerusalem (Acta SS., March, II, § 23, 150, 158a, etc.). There are also the legendary accounts of King Arthur’s pilgrimage, and that of Charlemagne (Paris, “Romania”, 1880, 1-60; 1902, 404, 616, 618). A few notices occur of the same custom in the tenth century (Beazley, II, 123), but there is a lull in these visits to Jerusalem till the eleventh century. Then, at once, a new stream begins to pour over to the East at times in small numbers, as Foulque of Nerra in 1011, Meingoz took with him only Simon the Hermit, and Ulric, later prior of Zell, was accompanied by one who could chant the psalms with him; at times also in huge forces as in 1026 under Richard II of Normandy, in 1033 a record number (Glaber, Paris, 1886, IV, 6, 106, ed. Prou), in 1035 another under Robert the Devil (ibid., 128), and most famous of all in 1065 that under Gunther, Bishop of Bamberg, with twelve thousand pilgrims (Lambert of Gersfield, “Mon. Germ. Hist.”, Hanover, 1844, V, 169). This could only lead to the Crusades which stamped the Holy Land on the memory and heart of Christendom. The number who took the Cross seems fabulous (cf. Girandus Cambrensis, “Itin. Cambriæ”, II, xiii, 147, in R. S., ed. Dimock, 1868); and many who could not go themselves left instructions for their hearts to be buried there (cf. Hovenden, “Annals”, ed. Stubbs, 1869, in R. S., II, 279; “Chron.de Froissart”, Bouchon, 1853, Paris, 1853, I, 47; cf. 35-7). So eager were men to take the Cross, that some even branded or cut its mark upon them (“Miracula s. Thomæ”, by Abbot Benedict, ed. Giles, 186) or “with a sharpe knyfe he share, A crosse upon his shoulder bare” (“Syr Isenbras” in Utterson, “Early Pop. Poetry”, London, 1817, I, 83). From the twelfth century onwards the flow is uninterrupted, Russians (Beazley, II, 156), Northerners (II, 174), Jews (218-74), etc. And the end is not yet (“Itinera hierosolymitana sæculi IV-VIII”, ed. Geyer in the “Corp. script. eccl. lat.”, 39, Vienna, 1898; Palestine Pilg. Text Soc., London, 1884 sqq.; “Deutsche Pilgerreisen nach dem heiligen Lande”, II, Innsbruck, 1900, etc.; Bréhier, “L’église et l’Orient au moyen-âge”, Paris, 1907, 10-15, 42-50).
Kavelaer, Guelders, is a daughter-shrine to the Madonna of Luxemburg, a copy of which was here enshrined in 1642 and continues to attract pilgrims (Champagnac, I, 875).
La Quercia, Viterbo, Italy, is celebrated for its quaint shrine. Within the walls of a church built by Bramante is a tabernacle of marble that enfolds the wonder-working image, painted of old by Batiste Juzzante and hung up for protection in an oak. A part of the oak still survives within the shrine, which boasts, as of old, its pilgrims (Mortier, “Notre Dame de la Quercia”, Florence, 1904).
La Salette, Dauphiney, France, is one of the places where the Blessed Virgin is said to have appeared in the middle of the nineteenth century. This is no place to discuss the authenticity of the apparition. As a place of pilgrimage it dates from 19 Sept., 1846, immediately after which crowds began to flock to the shrine. The annual number of visitors is computed to be about 30,000 (Northcote, “Sanctuaries”, 178-229).
La Sarte, Huy, Belgium, boasts a shrine of the Blessed Virgin that dominates the surrounding country. Perched on the top of a hill, past a long avenue of wayside chapels, is the statue found by chance in 1621. Year by year during May countless pilgrims organized in parishes climb the steep ascent in increasing numbers (Halflants, “Hist. de N.-D. de la Sarte”, Huy, 1871).
Laus, Hautes-Alpes, France, is one of the many seventeenth-century shrines of the Blessed Virgin. There is the familiar story of an apparition to a shepherdess with a command to found a church. So popular has this shrine become that the annual number of pilgrims is said to be close on 80,000. The chief pilgrimage times are Pentecost and throughout October (Northcote, “Sanctuaries”, 146-59).
Le Puy, Haute-Loire, France, boasts the earliest scene of any of the Blessed Virgin’s apparitions. The legend begins about the year 50. After the Crusades had commenced, Puy-Notre-Dame became famous as a sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin throughout all Christendom. Its great bishop, Adhemar of Montheil, was the first to take the Cross, and he journeyed to Jerusalem with Godfrey de Bouillon as legate of the Holy See. The “Salve Regina” is by some attributed to him, and was certainly often known as the “Anthem of Puy”. Numberless French kings, princes, and nobles have venerated this sanctuary; St. Louis IX presented it with a thorn from the Sacred Crown. The pilgrimages that we read of in connection with the shrine must have been veritable pageants, for the crowds, even as late as 1853, exceeded 300,000 in number (Northcote, “Sanctuaries”, 160-9).
Lichfield, Staffordshire, England, is one of the places of pilgrimage which has ceased to be a center of devotion; for the relics of St. Chad, cast out of their tomb by Protestant fanaticism, have now found a home in a Catholic church (the Birmingham cathedral), and it is to the new shrine that the pilgrims turn (Wall, 97-102).
Liesse, Picardy, France, was before the rise of Lourdes the most famous center in France of pilgrimage to the Blessed Virgin. The date of its foundation is pushed back to the twelfth century and the quaint story of its origin connects it with Christian captives during the Crusades. Its catalogue of pilgrims reads like an “Almanachde Gotha”; but the numberless unnamed pilgrims testify even more to its popularity. It is still held in honour (Champagnac, I, 918- 22).
Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England, in its splendid cathedral guarded the relics of its bishop, St. Hugh. At the entombment in 1200, two kings and sixteen bishops, at the translation in 1280, one king, two queens, and many prelates took part. The inflow of pilgrims was enormous every year till the great spoliation under Henry VIII (Wall, 130-40).
Loges, Seine-et-Oise, France, was a place much frequented by pilgrims because of the shrine of St. Fiacre, an Irish solitary. In 1615 it became, after a lapse of some three centuries, once more popular, for Louis XIII paid several visits there. Among other famous worshipers were James II and his queen from their place of exile at St.-Germain. The chief day of pilgrimage was the feast of St. Stephen, protomartyr (26 December). It was suppressed in 1744 (Champagnac, I, 934-5).
Loreto, Ancona, Italy, owing to the ridicule of one half of the world and the devotion of the other half, is too well-known to need more than a few words. Nor is the authenticity of the shrine to be here at all discussed. As a place of pilgrimage it will be sufficient to note that Dr. Stanley, an eyewitness, pronounced it to be “undoubtedly the most frequented shrine in Christendom” (Northcote, “Sanctuaries”, 65-106; Dolan in “The Month”, August, 1894, 545; cf. ibid., February, 1867, 178-83).
Lourdes, Pyrénées, France, as a center of pilgrimage is without rival in popularity throughout the world. A few statistics are all that shall be recorded here. From 1867 to 1903 inclusively 4271 pilgrimages passed to Lourdes numbering some 387,000 pilgrims; the last seven years of this period average 150 pilgrimages annually. Again within thirty-six years (1868 to 1904) 1643 bishops (including 63 cardinals) have visited the grotto; and the Southern Railway Company reckon that Lourdes station receives over a million travelers every year (Bertrin, “Lourdes”, tr. Gibbs, London, 1908; “The Month”, October, 1905, 359; February, 1907, 124).
Luxemburg possesses a shrine of the Blessed Virgin under the title of “Consoler of the Afflicted”. It was erected by the Jesuit Fathers and has become much frequented by pious pilgrims from all the country round. The patronal feast is the first Sunday of July, and on that day and the succeeding octave the chapel is crowded. Whole villages move up, headed by their parish priests; and the number of the faithful who frequent the sacraments here is sufficient justification for the numerous indulgences with which this sanctuary is enriched (Champagnac, I, 985-97).
Lyons, Rhône, France, boasts a well-known pilgrimage to Notre-Dame-de-Fourvières. This shrine is supposed to have taken the place of a statue of Mercury in the forum of Old Lugdunum. But the earliest chapel was utterly destroyed by the Calvinists in the sixteenth century and again during the Revolution. The present structure dates from the re-inauguration by Pius VII in person, 19 April, 1805. It is well to remember that Lyons was ruled by St. Irenæus who was famed for his devotion to the Mother of God (Champagnac, I, 997-1014).
Malacca, Malay Peninsula, was once possessed of a shrine set up by St. Francis Xavier, dedicated under the title Our Lady of the Mount. It was for some years after his death (and he was buried in this chapel, before the translation of his relics to Goa, cf. “The Tablet”, 31 Dec., 1910, p. 1055), a center of pilgrimage. When Malacca passed from Portuguese to Dutch rule, the exercise of the Catholic religion was forbidden, and the sanctuary became a ruin (Champagnac, I, 1023-5).
Mantua, Lombardy, Italy, has outside the city walls a beautiful church, S. Maria della Grazie, dedicated by the noble house of Gonzaga to the Mother of God. It enshrines a picture of the Madonna painted on wood and attributed to St. Luke. Pius II, Charles V, the Constable of Bourbon are among the many pilgrims who have visited this sanctuary. The chief season of pilgrimage is about the feast of the Assumption (15 August), when it is computed that over one hundred thousand faithful have some years attended the devotions (Champagnac, I, 1042).
Maria-Stein, near Basle, Switzerland, is the center of a pilgrimage. An old statue of the Blessed Virgin, no doubt the treasure of some unknown hermit, is famed for its miracles. To it is attached a Benedictine monastery—a daughter-house to Einsiedeln (Champagnac, I, 1044).
Mariazell, Styria, a quaint village, superbly situated but badly built, possesses a tenth- century statue of the Madonna. To it have come almost all the Habsburgs on pilgrimage, and Maria Theresa left there, after her visit, medallions of her husband and her children. From all the country round, from Carinthia, Bohemia, and the Tyrol, the faithful flock to the shrine during June and July. The Government used to decree the day on which the pilgrims from Vienna were to meet in the capital at the old Cathedral of St. Stephen and set out in ordered bands for their four days’ pilgrimage (Champagnac, I, 1045-7).
Marseilles, France, as a center of pilgrimage has a noble shrine, Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde. Its chapel, on a hill beyond the city, dominates the neighborhood, where is the statue, made by Channel in 1836 to take the place of an older one destroyed during the Revolution (Champagnac, I, 1062).
Mauriac, Cantal, France, is visited because of the thirteenth-century shrine dedicated to Notre-Dame-des-Miracles. The statue is of wood, quite black. The pilgrimage day is annually celebrated on 9 May (Champagnac, I, 1062).
Messina, Sicily, the luckless city of earthquake, has a celebrated shrine of the Blessed Virgin. It was peculiar among all shrines in that it was supposed to contain a letter written or rather dictated by the Mother of God, congratulating the people of Messina on their conversion to Christianity. During the destruction of the city in 1908, the picture was crushed in the fallen cathedral (Thurston in “The Tablet”, 23 Jan., 1908, 123-5).
Montaigu, Belgium, is perhaps the most celebrated of Belgian shrines raised to the honour of the Blessed Virgin. All the year round pilgrimages are made to the statue; and the number of offerings day by day is extraordinary.
Montmartre, Seine, France, has been for centuries a place of pilgrimage as a shrine of the Mother of God. St. Ignatius came here with his first nine companions to receive their vows on 15 Aug., 1534. But it is famous now rather as the center of devotion to the Sacred Heart, since the erection of the National Basilica there after the war of 1870 (Champagnac, I, 1125-46).
Montpellier, Herault, France, used to possess a famous statue of black wood—Notre-Dame-des-Tables. Hidden for long within a silver statue of the Blessed Virgin, life-size, it was screened from public view, till it was stolen by the Calvinists and has since disappeared from history. From 1189 the feast of the Miracles of Mary was celebrated with special Office at Montpellier on 1 Sept., and throughout an octave (Champagnac, I, 1147).
Mont St-Michel, Normandy, is the quaintest, most beautiful, and interesting of shrines. For long it was the center of a famous pilgrimage to the great archangel, whose power in times of war and distress was earnestly implored. Even today a few bands of peasants, and here and there a devout pilgrim, come amid the crowds of visitors to honor St. Michael as of old (Champagnac, I, 1151).
Montserrat, Spain, lifts itself above the surrounding country in the same way as it towers above other Spanish centers of pilgrimage to the Blessed Virgin. Its existence can be traced to the tenth century, but it was not a center of much devotion till the thirteenth. The present church was only consecrated on 2 Feb., 1562. It is still much sought after in pilgrimage (Champagnac, I, 1152-73).
Naples, Italy, is a city which has been for many centuries and for many reasons a center of pilgrimage. Two famous shrines there are the Madonna del Carmine and Santa Maria della Grotta (Northcote, “Sanctuaries”, 1007-21; see also SAINT JANUARIUS.)
Oostacker, Ghent, Belgium, is one of the famous daughter-shrines of Lourdes. Built in imitation of that sanctuary and having some of the Lourdes water in the pool of the grotto, it has almost rivaled its parent in the frequency of its cures. Its inauguration began with a body of 2000 pilgrims, 29 July, 1875, since which time there has been a continuous stream of devout visitors. One has only to walk out there from Ghent on an ordinary afternoon to see many worshipers, men, women, whole parishes with their curés, etc., kneeling before the shrine or chanting before the Blessed Sacrament in the church (Scheerlinck, “Lourdes en Flandre”, Ghent, 1876).
Oxford, England, contained one of the premier shrines of Britain, that of St. Frideswide. Certainly her relics were worthy of grateful veneration, especially to Oxford dwellers, for it is to her that the city and university alike appear to owe their existence. Her tomb (since restored at great pains, 1890) was the resort of many pilgrims. Few English kings cared to enter Oxford at all; but the whole university, twice a year, i.e. mid-Lent and Ascension Day, headed by the chancellor, came in solemn procession to offer their gifts. The Catholics of the city have of late years reorganized the pilgrimage on the saint’s feast-day, 19 Oct. (Wall, 63-71).
Padua, Italy, is the center of a pilgrimage to the relics of St. Anthony. In a vast choir behind the sanctuary of the church that bears his name is the treasury of St. Anthony; but his body reposes under the high altar. Devotion to this saint has increased so enormously of late years that no special days seem set apart for pilgrimages. They proceed continuously all the year round (Chérancé, “St. Anthony of Padua”, tr. London, 1900).
Pennant Melangell, Montgomery, Wales, to judge from the sculptured fragments of stone built into the walls of the church and lych gate, was evidently a place of note, where a shrine was built to St. Melangell, a noble Irish maiden. The whole structure as restored stands over eight feet high and originally stood in the Cell-y-Bedd, or Cell of the Grave, and was clearly a center of pilgrimage (Wall, 48).
Pontigny, Yvonne, France, was for many centuries a place of pilgrimage as containing the shrine of St. Edmund of Canterbury. Special facilities were allowed by the French king for English pilgrims. The Huguenots despoiled the shrine, but the relics were saved to be set up again in a massive châsse of eighteenth-century workmanship. In spite of the troubles in France the body remains in its old position, and is even carefully protected by the Government (Wall, 171-5).
Puche, Valencia, Spain, is the great Spanish sanctuary dedicated to Our Lady of Mercy, in honor of whom the famous Order of Mercy came into being through Spanish saints. The day of pilgrimage was the feast of Our Lady of Mercy, 24 Sept. (Champagnac, II, 488-92).
Quita, Ecuador, Our Lady of Good Success: Our Lady of Good Success was quite clear on what would be the demise of the Catholic Church—the general theme— a lax and perverse clergy. Certain members of the Catholic clergy would become as thieves stealing that Tabernacle light…thieves that would steal what is rightfully ours by virtue of our baptism in the Catholic Church—our Faith. They would rob us of Doctrine, Dogma and Tradition— ransacking the Church as it were leaving us in total darkness without even as much as the light of the Sanctuary Lamp (which signifies the presence of the Holy Eucharist– -Jesus Christ, Himself). [Prophesy if not Marian, FR Pereira nails it, nearly 400 hundre years earlier!!]
Rocamadour, Lot, France, was the center of much devotion as a shrine of the Blessed Virgin. Among its pilgrims may be named St. Dominic; and the heavy mass of from iron hanging outside the chapel witnesses to the legendary pilgrimage of Roland, whose good sword Durendal was deposited there till it was stolen with the other treasures by Henry II’s turbulent eldest son, Henry Court Mantel (Drane, “Hist. of St. Dominic”, London, 1891, 301-10; Laporte, “Guide du pèlerin à Rocamadour”, Rocamadour, 1862).
Rocheville, Toulouse, France.—The legend of the origin fixes the date of its apparition of the Blessed Virgin as 1315. Long famous, then long neglected, it has once more been restored. During the octave of the Nativity of Our Lady (8-15 Sept.) it is visited by quite a large body of devout pilgrims (Champagnac, II, 101).
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, contains a sanctuary dedicated to Our Lady of Travel. This statue is in a convent of nuns situated just outside the city, on the east of the bay. It is devoutly venerated by the pious people of Brazil, who invoke the protection of the Blessed Virgin on their journeys (Champagnac, II, 517-8).
Rome, Italy, has had almost as much influence on the rise of Christian pilgrimages as the Holy Land. The sacred city of the Christian world, where lay the bodies of the twin prince Apostles, attracted the love of every pious Christian. We have quoted the words of St. Chrysostom, who yearned to see the relics of St. Paul; and his desire has been expressed in action in every age of Christian time. The early records of every nation (of the histories of Eusebius, Zosimus, Socrates, Bede, etc. passim) give name after name of bishop, king, noble, priest, layman who have journeyed to visit as pilgrims the limina Apostolorum. Full to repletion as the city is with relics of Christian holiness, the “rock on which the Church is built” has been the chief attraction; and Bramante has well made it the center of his immortal temple. Thus St. Marcius came with his wife Martha and his two sons all the way from Persia in 269; St. Paternus from Alexandria in 253; St. Maurus from Africa in 284. Again Sts. Constantine and Victorian on their arrival at Rome went straight to the tomb of St. Peter, where soldiers caught them and put them to death. So also St. Zoe was found praying at the tomb of St. Peter and martyred. Even then in these early days the practice of pilgrimages was in full force, so that the danger of death did not deter men from it (Barnes, “St. Peter in Rome”, London, 1901, 146). Then to over leap the centuries we find records of the Saxon and Danish kings of England trooping Romewards, so that the very name of Rome has become a verb to express the idea of wandering (Low Lat., romerus; Old Fr., romieu; Sp., romero; Port., romeiro; A. S., romaign; M. E. romen; Modern, roam). And of the Irish, the same uninterrupted custom has held good till our own day (Ulster Archæolog. Jour., VII, 238-42). Of the other nations there is no need to speak. It is curious, however, to note that though the chief shrine of Rome was undoubtedly the tomb of the Apostles—to judge from all the extant records—yet the pilgrim sign (see below) which most commonly betokened a palmer from Rome was the “vernicle” or reproduction of St. Veronica’s veil. Thus Chaucer (Bell’s edition, London, 1861, 105) describes the pardoner:– “That strait was comen from the Court of Rome. A vernicle had he served upon his cappe” However, there was besides a medal with a reproduction of the heads of Sts. Peter and Paul and another with the crossed keys. These pilgrimages to Rome, of which only a few early instances have been given, have increased of late years, for the prisoner of the Vatican, who cannot go out to his children, has become, since 1870, identified with the City of the Seven Hills in a way that before was never for long experienced. Hence the pope is looked upon as embodying in his person the whole essence of Rome, so that today it is the pope who is the living tomb of St. Peter. All this has helped to increase the devotion and love of the Catholic world for its central city and has enormously multiplied the annual number of pilgrims. Within the city itself, mention must just be made of the celebrated pilgrimage to the seven churches, a devotion so dear to the heart of St. Philip (Capecelatro, “Life of St. Philip”, tr. Pope, London, 1894, I, 106, 238, etc.). His name recalls the great work he did for the pilgrims who came to Rome. He established his Congregation of the Trinità dei Pellegrini (ibid., I, 138-54), the whole work of which was to care for and look after the thronging crowds who came every year, more especially in the years of jubilee. Of course, many such hospices already existed. The English College had originally been a home for Saxon pilgrims; and there were and are many others. But St. Philip gave the movement a new impetus.
St. Albans, Hertford, England, was famous over Europe in the Middle Ages. This is the more curious as the sainted martyr was no priest or monk, but a simple layman. The number of royal pilgrims practically includes the whole list of English kings and queens, but especially devoted to the shrine were Henry III, Edward I, Edward II, Richard II. During the last century the broken pieces of the demolished shrine (to the number of two thousand fragments) were patiently fitted together, and now enable the present generation to picture the beauty it presented to the pilgrims who thronged around it (Wall, II, 35-43).
St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland.—Though more celebrated as a royal burgh and as the seat of Scotland’s most ancient university, its earlier renown came to it as a center of pilgrimage. Even as far back as the year 500 we find a notice of the pilgrimages made by the Welsh bishop, Cadoc. He went seven times to Rome, thrice to Jerusalem, and once to St. Andrews (Acta SS., Jan., III, 219).
St. David’s, Pembrokeshire, Wales, was so celebrated a place of pilgrimage that William I went there immediately after the conquest of England. The importance of this shrine and the reverence in which the relics of St. David were held may be gathered from the papal Decree that two pilgrimages here were equal to one to Rome (Wall, 91-5).
St. Anne d’Auray, Vannes, Brittany, a center of pilgrimage in one of the holiest cities of the Bretons, celebrated for its pardons in honour of St. Anne. The principal pilgrimages take place at Pentecost and on 26 July.
Ste Anne de Beaupré, Quebec, Canada, has become the most popular center of pilgrimage in all Canada within quite recent years. A review, or pious magazine, “Les Annales de la Bonne S. Anne”, has been founded to increase the devotion of the people; and the zeal of the Canadian clergy has been displayed in organizing parochial pilgrimages to the shrine. The Eucharistic Congress, held at Montreal in 1910, also did a great deal to spread abroad the fame of this sanctuary.
Sainte-Baume.—S. Maximin, Toulouse, France, is the center of a famous pilgrimage to the supposed relics of St. Mary Magdalene. The historical evidence against the authentication of the tombs is extraordinarily strong and has not been really seriously answered. The pilgrimages, however, continue; and devout worshipers visit the shrine, if not of, at least, dedicated to, St. Mary Magdalene. The arguments against the tradition have been marshaled and fully set out by Mgr Duchesne (“Fastes épiscopaux de l’ancienne Gaul”, Paris, 1894-1900) and appeared in English form in “The Tablet”, XCVI (1900), 88, 282, 323, 365, 403, 444.
St. Patrick’s Purgatory, Donegal, Ireland, has been the center of a pilgrimage from far remote days. The legends that describe its foundation are full of Dantesque episodes which have won for the shrine a place in European literature. It is noticed by the medieval chroniclers, found its way into Italian prose, was dramatized by Calderón, is referred to by Erasmus, and its existence seems implied in the remark of Hamlet, concerning the ghost from purgatory: “Yes by St. Patrick but there is, Horatio” (Act I, sc. V). Though suppressed even before the Reformation, and of course during the Penal Times, it is still extraordinarily popular with the Irish people, for whom it is a real penitential exercise. It seems the only pilgrimage of modern times conducted like those of the Middle Ages (Chambers, “Book of Days”, London, I, 725-8, Leslie in “The Tablet”, 1910).
Saragossa, Aragon, Spain, is celebrated for its famous shrine dedicated to the Blessed Virgin under the title Nuestra Señora del Pilar. Tradition asserts that the origin of this statue goes back to the time of St. James, when, in the lifetime of the Mother of God, it was set up by order of the Apostle. This was approved by Callistus III in 1456. It is glorious on account of the many miracles performed there, and is the most popular of all the shrines of the Blessed Virgin in the Peninsula and the most thronged with pilgrims (Acta SS., July, VII, 880-900).
Savona, Genoa, Italy, claims to possess the oldest sanctuary dedicated to the Blessed Virgin in all Italy, for to it Constantine is said to have gone on pilgrimage. The statue was solemnly crowned by Pius VII, not while spending his five years of captivity in the city, but later, i.e., on 10 May, 1815, assisted by King Victor Emmanuel and the royal family of Savoy (Champagnac, II, 852-7).
Teneriffe, Canary Islands, has a statue of the Blessed Virgin which tradition asserts was found by the pagan inhabitants and worshiped as some strange deity for a hundred years or so. For some time after the conversion of the islanders it was a center of pilgrimage (Champagnac, II, 926-7).
Toledo, New Castile, Spain, in its gorgeous cathedral enshrines a statue of the Blessed Virgin in a chapel of jasper, ornamented with magnificent and unique treasures. This center of devotion to the Blessed Virgin which draws to it annually a great number of pilgrims, is due to the tradition of the apparition to St. Ildephonsus (Champagnac, II, 944-6).
Tortosa, Syria, was in the Middle Ages famous for a shrine of the Blessed Virgin, which claimed to be the most ancient in Christendom. There is a quaint story about a miracle there told by Joinville who made a pilgrimage to the shrine, when he accompanied St. Louis to the East (Champagnac, II, 951).
Tours, Indre-et-Loire, France, has long been celebrated for the tomb of St. Martin, to which countless pilgrims journeyed before the Revolution (Goldie in “The Month”, Nov., 1880, 331).
Trier, Rhenish Prussia, has boasted for fifteen centuries of the possession of the Holy Coat. This relic, brought back by St. Helena from the Holy Land, has been the center of pilgrimage since first date. It has been several times exposed to the faithful and each time has drawn countless pilgrims to its veneration. In 1512 the custom of an exposition taking place every seven years was begun, but it has been often interrupted. The last occasion on which the Holy Coat was exhibited for public veneration was in 1891, when 1,900,000 of the faithful in a continual stream passed before the relic (Clarke, “A Pilgrimage to the Holy Coat of Treves”, London, 1892).
Turin, Piedmont, Italy, is well known for its extraordinary relic of the Holy Winding-Sheet or Shroud. Whatever may be said against its authenticity, it is an astonishing relic, for the impression which it bears in negative of the body of Jesus Christ could with difficulty have been added by art. The face thereon impressed agrees remarkably with the traditional portraits of Christ. Naturally the exposition of the sacred relic are the occasions of numerous pilgrimages (Thurston in “The Month”, January, 1903, 17 February, 162).
Vallambrosa, Tuscany, Italy, has become a place of pilgrimage, even though the abbey no longer contains its severe and picturesque throng of monks. Its romantic site has made it a ceaseless attraction to minds like those of Dante, Ariosto, Milton, etc.; and Benvenuto Cellini tells us that he too made a pilgrimage to the shrine of the Blessed Virgin there to thank her for the many beautiful works of art he had composed; and as he went he sang and prayed (Champagnac, II, 1033-7).
Walsingham, Norfolk, England, contained England’s greatest shrine of the Blessed Virgin. The chapel dates from 1061, almost from which time onward it was the most frequented Madonna sanctuary in the island, both by foreigners and the English. Many of the English kings went to it on pilgrimage; and the destruction of it weighed most heavily of all his misdeeds on the conscience of the dying Henry VIII. Erasmus in his “Religious Pilgrimage” (“Colloquies”, London, 1878, II, 1-37) has given a most detailed account of the shrine, though his satire on the whole devotion is exceptionally caustic. Once more, annually, pilgrimages to the old chapel have been revived; and the pathetic “Lament of Walsingham” is ceasing to be true to actual facts (“The Month”, Sept., 1901, 236; Bridgett, “Dowry of Mary”, London, 1875, 303-9).
Westminster, London, England, contained one of the seven in-corrupt bodies of saints of England (Acta SS., Aug., I, 276), i.e., that of St. Edward the Confessor, the only one which yet remains in its old shrine and is still the centre of pilgrimage. From immediately after the king’s death, his tomb was carefully tended, especially by the Norman kings. At the suggestion of St. Thomas Becket a magnificent new shrine was prepared by Henry II in 1163, and the body of the saint there translated on 13 Oct. At once pilgrims began to flock to the tomb for miracles, and to return thanks for favours, as did Richard I, after his captivity (Radulph Coggeshall, “Chron. Angl.”, in R. S., ed. Stevenson, 1875, 63). So popular was this last canonized English king, that on the rebuilding of the abbey by Henry III St. Edward’s tomb really overshadowed the primary dedication to St. Peter. The pilgrim’s sign was a king’s head surmounting a pin. The step on which the shrine stands was deeply worn by the kneeling pilgrims, but it has been relaid so that the hollows are now on the inner edge. Once more this sanctuary, too, has become a centre of pilgrimage (Stanley, “Mem. of Westminster”, London, 1869, passim; Wall, 223-35).
Daily Indulgence: A plenary indulgence, to be gained on the day of their departure, if they confess their sins, approach the holy table and pray for the intentions of /his Holiness, the Pope. (S.P. Ap., Apr 4, 1932). RACCOLTA page 621.