Pilgrimages are part of the spirituality of many religions. It involves a journey
towards a Holy Place. On many occasions it is done by foot. One of the best known
routes today is "El Camino de Santiago". It involves a special effort in order to
reach a special destination. Both the journey and the destination involve moments
of prayer and preparation.
As to the reason why pilgrimages are done is as diverse
as there are people or pilgrims. These may range from something that is really needed
or in thanksgiving for favours granted. The reason is usually a personal matter!
It should not surprise us, that pilgrims were usually welcomed everywhere. In fact,
those who assisted pilgrims -offered hospitality- on their journey would also receive
a spiritual benefit. So, directly or indirectly many can spiritually benefit from
The "pilgrim-way" also represents our own spiritual journey with all
its ups and downs. A journey that most of us are aware of. Such that we try our best
to perform well.
Anyone can go on Pilgrimage! The infirm or elderly, though excused,
still wish to experience this journey. On some routes, specialized attention is provided
throughout, so that no problems are envisaged. Perhaps other modes of transport are
equally of benefit!
The Shrine of Our Lady of Europe recommends everyone to experience
this journey. Whatever the distance, the Shrine stands as a Holy Place where our
Lady receives everyone. Many are our needs, and many are the blessings for which
we should be grateful, therefore, all the more the reason why we should continue
our practice of pilgrimage to the Shrine.
As you travel to the Shrine, use your time
to pray. Meditate from the Scriptures or other sources of spiritual enrichment. Ponder
on the mysteries of the Rosary. Offer all this physical and spiritual effort for
your needs and the needs of others.
If possible, do it in good company and in good
cheer. Others can provide a support and help. Its beautiful to see how all of us
can aid someone reach their goal -Simon of Cyrene and the "Good Samaritan" are worthwhile
examples to follow.
Once you reach the Shrine, spend some quality time in quiet prayer.
And if you are on pilgrimage as a group, all can pray together!
The Shrine has welcomed
pilgrims from all over and will gladly make any preparations for those seeking to
visit Our Lady. Whether the Shrine is your final destination, your starting-point,
or an interim stop in your pilgrimage we pray that you find all that you yearn for
when you reach your goal.