When it comes to some of the religions in the world, a practice associated with attaining deep spirituality is to make a pilgrimage, where along the way , something is obtained, like reaching a place of moral significance. At times, this journey is made to a place that is deemed sacred to a religion or to a shrine that serves some importance to the beliefs and faith of an individual. In this article, we will take a look at various pilgrimage sites.
It is not uncommon to see members of a major religion take a pilgrimage to a site of great importance within their belief system. Throughout history, there have been significant pilgrimages. For starters, the Egyptians made journeys to Sekket’s shrine located at Bubastis or to Ammon’s oracle, situated in Thebes. As for the Greeks, when they needed advice, it was Apollo that they sought answers and guidance from. They traveled to Delphi for this purpose. However, if they were in need of a cure, it was Asclepius at Epidaurus that they needed to pay a visit to.
Regardless of the number of gods that a religion worshipped or whether or not their belief system centered on just one God, plenty of religions have followed the practice of pilgrimages. A sweeping temple linked to Quetzal served the Mexicans, where Peruvians gathered at Cuzco to participate in worshipping the sun. Titicaca was an important site to Bolivians.
When it came to Catholic pilgrimage, a number of sites played an important role, especially during the earlier days of the religion and throughout the Middle Ages. A few to mention include:
Aachen (Prussia): Because of the amount of significant relics that the city contained, Aachen was known as a center of pilgrimage. Some of the items that has attracted the masses includes the swaddling clothes of the baby Jesus and the loin-cloth which the Lord wore on the Cross. Every seven years, the relics are brought to the public light for worship. It was estimated in 1881 that close to 160,000 pilgrims made their way to this site.
Alet (France): Dating back to the 12 century, there is a shrine dedicated to the Blessed Virgin that serves as the site of a principal feast that is celebrated on September 8th.
Ambronay (France): With an ancient shrine of the Blessed Virgin that dates back to the 7th century, this site is often visited by pilgrims.
Ancona (Italy): A shrine of the Blessed Virgin is found at the Cathedral of St. Cyriacus, which earned quite a reputation in 1796 when on June 25th, it was documented that the eyes of the Madonna filled with tears.
St David’s (Wales): This place of pilgrimage was pretty popular, so much so, that William I paid a visit right after the conquest of England. It was an important site because it contained relics of St David.