A friar on pilgrimage kneeling before the crucifix

Walking Pilgrims

They arrived at 7:45 a.m., having already been to Mass and walked two miles from the Bronx. Their backpacks were the sole indicator that they had four days and 100+ miles to go to reach their destination: the National Shrine of St. Rita of Cascia, in Philadelphia. We gave them a hearty breakfast and spoke to them about Mother Cabrini. Then they spent so time in prayer and exploring the Shrine.

The two women and four men were on a walking pilgrimage organized by  Modern Catholic Pilgrim. If that name sounds vaguely familiar it’s because that’s the group is organizing the giant National Eucharistic Pilgrimage to Indianapolis this year. If you live along one of the four  routes you will have the opportunity to join the for a day. We encourage you to look at their web site to find out details and get on their mailing list.

What’s a Walking Pilgrimage?

A pilgrimage is a physical journey to a holy place that is made with the intention of moving toward God. Nowadays many people go on pilgrimage by bus, car, or even airplane. But Christian walking pilgrimages have history that dates back to the earliest days of the faith. There are records of pilgrimages to the Holy Land in the 4th century. There are long routes like the Camino de Santiago that take months, and short routes that take a day or even a couple of hours.

We often encourage groups who are coming to visit to travel part of the way on  foot. There is something about praying while moving that focuses our hearts differently. Perhaps the next time you come to the Shrine you can get off the subway a few stops early and give it a try. Say a prayer as you go: a rosary, the Divine Mercy chaplet, or something else.

World Youth Day Pilgrimage Prayer

This is a portion of a prayer written for World Youth Day.

God our Father, Be with us on our pilgrim journey of faith. Give us the grace and courage to step forward in faith and hope on the road ahead.

Lord Jesus, Open our eyes to see your face in all those we encounter. Open our ears to hear your voice in those who are often ignored. Open our hearts that we might be faithful disciples of mercy and truth.

Holy Spirit, Transform us. Empower us to give of ourselves to the poor; to welcome the lost; to forgive those who hurt us; to comfort those who suffer and are marginalized.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Plan a Pilgrimage

You can plan your group pilgrimage to the Shrine by filling out our form or by calling us at (212) 923-3536

© 2015 St. Frances Cabrini Shrine.