Where do Christians go for pilgrimages?
Do you want to go somewhere and reconnect with God? Maybe you need to leave your daily hustle and bustle behind and get that spiritual boost. If that’s the case, keep reading.
What you probably need is to go on a pilgrimage. But what is it? Where do you go? A pilgrimage is a long journey made to some sacred place for the purpose of seeking God. Christian pilgrimages were started in places that are connected with the birth, life, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Here are top 5 pilgrimage sites for Christians around the world:
Annually the city of Jerusalem brings in 2 million tourists a year. Sorry, Cancun. As a Christian what I find is amazing is that Jerusalem is not just a destination for Christians, share the love! Christians see this holy land as the holy site having hosted the Last Supper, Crucifixion, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. While the Jewish people see also as the holy land, the City of David, Solomon’s Temple, and the Biblical Zion.
It doesn’t stop there! Our Muslim friends also hold Jerusalem close to their hearts as they believe that it is the site that Prophet Muhammad ascended to Heaven. There is something to be said when a location that is so holy can truly attract believers of multiple regions.
Less than one hour train from Jerusalem, Bethlehem stands strong with 1.4 million tourists a year as the birthplace of Jesus Christ. Bethlehem lies 10 kilometers south of Jerusalem. It is believed that where the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, now stands is where Jesus was born. There’s a cave, over which the first Church was built, is believed to be the birthplace itself.
3. Camino de Santiago
Also known as The Way of St. James, this trial is noted as one of the most significant pilgrimages during the Middle Ages. It has been documented that St. James’s body was carried by ship from Jerusalem to the northern region of Spain. Many different routes across Spain and Europe all lead to Santiago de Compostela. Since its popularity in the late 1980s, tens of thousands walk or bike ride the trail every year, through 500 miles of Christian history. Are you walking on the trail? Stay with our host en route!
4. New York City
This may raise a few eyebrows but please, keep reading. If you’ve never been to New York I beg you to ignore any footage you’ve seen on television of any parade or New Year’s party. There’s more to the island of Manhattan than Time’s Square. New York is home to 6,000 churches.
In addition to the city being religiously diverse, Christianity is very prevalent in the city that never sleeps. Or should I say, “the city that always prays”? Having been in New York on a Sunday it was very easy to find a church and it was an amazing experience. You may not have time to check out every single church but God is definitely present in the big apple.
5. Vatican City
Geographically the smallest city in the world, Vatican is located in the heart of Rome, Italy. Build over the tomb of Saint Peter, this is the most visited pilgrimage in the world. Popular among more Catholics than other sects of Christianity one will be amazed at the true design, architecture, and true history the Vatican has to offer.
In the old times, pilgrims would leave their homes, families, and comforts to walk for hundreds of miles with nothing but what they could carry on their backs. Just as they were, we could do the same (and in a much easier way) and take on these personal journeys to reconnect with God again. Happy travels!
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