In fact, the pilgrimage is one of the oldest forms of tourism. More than a thousand years ago, people were already going to various places on a pilgrimage to ask for the intercession of the saints or to gain grace. In those days, the pilgrimage had to be made on foot, and it took years for such a journey.
During the journey, pilgrims saw many different places, traditions, and cultures. Upon their return, they could pass many instructive country-level experiences to their friends and relatives. They received honor and respect, as well as grateful listeners.
Today you can go to holy places in comfort and for a shorter period. The meaning of the pilgrimage is to see with your own eyes the places on which the events of religious history unfolded.
Every religion has its own holy grounds.
The central part of the religious sites belongs to holy shrines in Jerusalem. It is considered a holy city for three religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In early times, these confessions fought long and hard for the right to own this ancient city. Today anyone can come here on pilgrimage.
All these religions worship different shrines in Jerusalem.
- For the Jews of the sacred place is the Wailing Wall that is the last fragment of the once great Temple;
- Muslims with reverence aim for the Al-Haram al-Sharif Mosque on the Temple Mount;
- Christians follow the way of Christ to Golgotha and visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
- Hindu religion is diverse. It comprises various systems of philosophy and rituals and has several pilgrim places in India.
However, in every religion, there are other holy sites, to which many pilgrims annually come.
- Catholics revere St. Peter’s Cathedral in the Vatican as the main shrine;
- The sacred cities of Muslims are Mecca and Medina, visiting them is considered mandatory for a true Islamic follower;
- Buddhists go pilgrimages to India to the sacred tree of Bodhi, under which Buddha reached the Enlightenment, and to the city of Kapilavastu, where he was born and raised.
The Best Quotes on Pilgrimage
“Life is a pilgrimage. The wise man does not rest by the roadside inns. He marches direct to the illimitable domain of eternal bliss, his ultimate destination.”
– Swami Sivananda
“Real love is a pilgrimage. It happens when there is no strategy, but it is very rare because most people are strategists.”
– Anita Brookner
“As we’ve lost this idea of pilgrimage, we’ve lost this idea of human beings walking for a very, very long time. It does change you.”
– Robyn Davidson
“The Christian life is a pilgrimage from earth to heaven, and our task is to take as many as possible with us as we make this journey.”
– Warren W. Wiersbe
“The geographical pilgrimage is the symbolic acting out an inner journey. The inner journey is the interpolation of the meanings and signs of the outer pilgrimage. One can have one without the other. It is best to have both.”
– Thomas Merton
“Religion points to that area of human experience where in one way or another man comes upon mystery as a summons to pilgrimage.”
– Frederick Buechner
“Pilgrimage means being alert to the times when all that’s needed is a trip to a remote place to simply lose yourself, and to the times when what’s needed is a journey to a sacred place, in all its glorious and fearsome masks, to find yourself.”
– Phil Cousineau
“We are invited to make a pilgrimage – into the heart and life of God.”
– Dallas Willard
“As I make my slow pilgrimage through the world, a certain sense of beautiful mystery seems to gather and grow.”
– A. C. Benson
If you decide to visit places of pilgrimage, it is necessary to read the rules of conduct in a holy place. After all, among believers, people often come across fanatics who can aggressively react to the even involuntary violation of religious customs and rules. Nevertheless, with all the traditions, such a trip can be your most interesting experience with new exciting impressions.