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Pilgrim at Mecca.
Pilgrim at Mecca.


In religion and spirituality, a pilgrimage is a long journey or search of great moral significance. Sometimes, it is a journey to a shrine of importance to a person's beliefs and faith. Members of many major religions participate in pilgrimages. A person who makes such a journey is called a pilgrim.

Buddhism offers four sites of pilgrimage: the Buddha's birthplace at Lumbini, the site where he attained Enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, where he first preached at Sarnath, and where he achieved Parinirvana at Kusinagara.

The Holy Land acts as a focal point for the pilgrimages of the Abrahamic religions such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the Bahá'í Faith.

In the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, the visitation of certain ancient cult-centers was repressed in the 7th century BCE, when worship was restricted to the LORD at the temple in Jerusalem. In Syria, the shrine of Astarte at the headwater spring of the river Adonis survived until it was destroyed by order of Emperor Constantine[citation needed] in the 4th century.

In mainland Greece, a stream of individuals made their way to Delphi or the oracle of Zeus at Dodona, and once every four years, at the period of the Olympic games, the temple of Zeus at Olympia formed the goal of swarms of pilgrims from every part of the Hellenic world. When Alexander the Great reached Egypt, he put his whole vast enterprise on hold, while he made his way with a small band deep into the Libyan desert, to consult the oracle of Ammun. During the imperium of his Ptolemaic heirs, the shrine of Isis at Philae received many votive inscriptions from Greeks on behalf of their kindred far away at home.

Although a pilgrimage is normally viewed in the context of religion, the personality cults cultivated by communist leaders ironically gave birth to pilgrimages of their own. Prior to the demise of the USSR in 1991, a visit to Lenin's Mausoleum in Red Square, Moscow can be said to have had all the characteristics exhibiting a pilgrimage—for Communists. This type of pilgrimage to a personality cult is still evident today on people who pay visits of homage to Mao Zedong, Kim Il Sung, and Ho Chi Minh.

Pilgrimage has been proposed as a new Jungian archetype by Wallace Clift and Jean Dalby Clift, as appears common to the human experience.[1]

Pilgrimage centres in various times and cultures


Many ancient religions had holy sites, temples and groves, where pilgrimages were made.

Bahá'í Faith

Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, decreed pilgrimage to two places in his book of laws, the Kitáb-i-Aqdas: the House of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdad, Iraq, and the House of the Báb in Shiraz, Iran. He, later, prescribed specific rites for each of these pilgrimages in two other religious texts. Later, `Abdu'l-Bahá designated the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh at Bahji, Israel as a site of pilgrimage, for which there are no rites.[2]

Since Bahá'ís do not have access to the original two places designated as sites for pilgrimage, Bahá'í pilgrimage currently consists of visiting the holy places in Haifa, Acre, and Bahjí at the Bahá'í World Centre in Northwest Israel. Bahá'ís can apply to join an organized nine-day pilgrimage where they are taken to visit the various holy sites, or attend a shorter three-day pilgrimage.[2]


Ancient excavated Buddha-image at the Mahaparinirvana Temple, Kushinagar.
Tibetans on a pilgrimage to Lhasa, doing full-body prostrations, often for the entire length of the journey.

Gautama Buddha spoke of the four sites most worthy of pilgrimage for his followers to visit:[3]

Other pilgrimage places in India and Nepal connected to the life of Gautama Buddha are: Savatthi, Pataliputta, Nalanda, Gaya, Vesali, Sankasia, Kapilavastu, Kosambi, Rajagaha, Varanasi.

Other famous places for Buddhist pilgrimage in various countries include:


The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Christianity.
Some European pilgrims on the road to Santiago de Compostela in 2005.

Christian pilgrimage was first made to sites connected with the birth, life, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Surviving descriptions of Christian pilgrimages to the Holy Land date from the 4th century, when pilgrimage was encouraged by church fathers like Saint Jerome. Pilgrimages also began to be made to Rome and other sites associated with the Apostles, Saints and Christian martyrs, as well as to places where there have been apparitions of the Virgin Mary.

Major Christian pilgrimage sites


Pilgrim in Pashupatinat.

Hindus are required to undertake pilgrimages during their lifetime. Most Hindus who can afford to go on such journeys travel to numerous sites, some of them described in the following list.

The last four sites in the list together comprise the Chardham, or four holy pilgrimage destinations. It is believed that travelling to these places leads to moksha, the release from samsara (cycle of rebirths). The holy places of pilgrimage for the Shaktism sect of Hinduism are the Shakti peethas (Temples of Shakti).


The pilgrimage to Mecca – the Hajj – is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It should be attempted at least once in the lifetime of all able-bodied Muslims who can afford to do so. It is the most important of all Muslim Pilgrimages, and is the largest annual pilgrimage in the world.[4]

The third religiously sanctioned pilgrimage for Muslims is to the Al Quds mount in Jerusalem which hosts Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

Another important place for Muslims are the city of Medina, the second holiest place in Islam, in Saudi Arabia, where Muhammad rests, in Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (the Mosque of the Prophet).

The Ihram is meant to show equality of all pilgrims in the eyes of God: that there is no difference between a prince and a pauper. Ihram is also symbolic for holy virtue and pardon from all past sins. A place designated for changing into Ihram is called a miqat.

While wearing the Ihram(white robes)in mecca, a pilgrim may not shave, clip their nails, wear perfume, swear or quarrel, hunt, kill any creature, uproot or damage plants, cover the head for men or the face and hands for women, marry, wear shoes over the ankles, perform any dishonest acts or carry weapons. if they do their pilgrimage is uncompleted.


The Wailing Wall is all that remains of the Western wall of the Temple in Jerusalem.

See related article Three pilgrim festivals.

Within Judaism, the Temple in Jerusalem was the center of the Jewish religion, until its destruction in 70 CE, and all adult men who were able were required to visit and offer sacrifices known as the korbanot, particularly during Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot.

Following the destruction of the Second Temple and the onset of the diaspora, the centrality of pilgrimage to Jerusalem in Judaism was discontinued. In its place came prayers and rituals hoping for a return to Zion and the accompanying restoration of regular pilgrimages (see Jerusalem, Jews and Judaism).

Until recent centuries, pilgrimage has been a fairly difficult and arduous adventure. But now, Jews from many countries make periodic pilgrimages to the holy sites of their religion.

The western retaining wall of the original temple, known as the Wailing Wall, or Western Wall remains in the Old City of Jerusalem and this has been the most sacred site for religious Jews. Pilgrimage to this area was off-limits from 1948 to 1967, when East Jerusalem was controlled by Jordan.

Some Reform and Conservative Jews who no longer consider themselves exiles, still enjoy visiting Israel even if it is not an official "pilgrimage."


The Sikh religion does not place great importance on pilgrimage. Guru Nanak Dev was asked "Should I go and bathe at pilgrimage places?" and replied:

'God's name is the real pilgrimage place which consists of contemplation of the word of God, and the cultivation of inner knowledge.'

Eventually, however, Amritsar and Harmandir Saheb (the Golden Temple) became the centre of the Sikh faith, and if a Sikh goes on pilgrimage it is usually to this place.[5]


The Zoroastrians take pilgrimage trips in India to the 8 Atash Behrams in India and 1 in Yazd.

Secular pilgrimage

In modern usage, the terms pilgrim and pilgrimage have developed in sense to include sites of secular importance. For example, fans of Elvis Presley may choose to visit his home, Graceland, in Memphis, Tennessee. Visits to war memorials such as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial are often seen as pilgrimages. Similarly one may refer to a cultural center such as Venice as a "tourist Mecca".

Paris Commune

The Père Lachaise Cemetery, where the defenders of the Paris Commune made their last stand and many of them were afterwards summarily executed, is the focus of annual pilgrimages by parties and organizations of the French Left.


In a number of Communist countries, secular pilgrimages were established as an "antidote" to religious pilgrimages, the most famous of which are:


The mausoleum of Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini in Predappio, Italy serves as a pilgrmage site for Italian Neo-Fascists. In post-WWII Germany, considerable efforts were made to prevent Hitler's bunker in Berlin from becoming a similar place of pilgrimage for Neo Nazis.

See also


  1. ^ Clift, Jean Dalby; Clift, Wallace (1996). The Archetype of Pilgrimage: Outer Action With Inner Meaning. The Paulist Press. ISBN 0-8091-3599-X. .
  2. ^ a b Smith, Peter (2000). "Pilgrimage". A concise encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. pp. 269. ISBN 1-85168-184-1. 
  3. ^ The Buddha mentions these four pilgrimage sites in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta. See, for instance, Thanissaro (1998)[1] and Vajira & Story (1998)[2].
  4. ^ Colin Wilson (1996). Atlas of Holy Places & Sacred Sites. DK Adult. p. 29. ISBN 978-0789410511. 
  5. ^

Further reading

  • The Way of Saint James Guide for El Camino de Santiago. Camino photos and maps, planning of the stages, hostels and tips for the pilgrim.
  • al-Naqar, Umar. 1972. The Pilgrimage Tradition in West Africa. Khartoum: Khartoum University Press. [includes a map 'African Pilgrimage Routes to Mecca, ca. 1300-1900']
  • Clift, Jean Dalby; Clift, Wallace (1996). The Archetype of Pilgrimage: Outer Action With Inner Meaning. The Paulist Press. ISBN 0-8091-3599-X. 
  • Coleman, Simon and John Elsner (1995), Pilgrimage: Past and Present in the World Religions. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
  • Coleman, Simon & John Eade (eds) (2005), Reframing Pilgrimage. Cultures in Motion. London: Routledge.
  • Jackowski, Antoni. 1998. Pielgrzymowanie [Pilgrimage]. Wroclaw: Wydawnictwo Dolnoslaskie.
  • Margry, Peter Jan (ed.) (2008), Shrines and Pilgrimage in the Modern World. New Itineraries into the Sacred. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
  • Sumption, Jonathan. 2002. Pilgrimage: An Image of Mediaeval Religion. London: Faber and Faber Ltd.
  • Wolfe, Michael (ed.). 1997. One Thousands Roads to Mecca. New York: Grove Press.
  • Zarnecki, George (1985), The Monastic World: The Contributions of The Orders. pp. 36–66, in Evans, Joan (ed.). 1985. The Flowering of the Middle Ages. London: Thames and Hudson Ltd.


  • Kerschbaum & Gattinger, Via Francigena - DVD- Documentation, of a modern pilgrimage to Rome, ISBN 3200005009, Verlag EUROVIA, Vienna 2005

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

PILGRIMAGE (Fr. pelerinage, Lat. peregrinatio), a journey undertaken, from religious motives, to some place reputed as sacred. These journeys play an important role in most preChristian and extra-Christian religions: in the Catholic Church their acceptance dates from the 3rd and 4th centuries.

I. The Pilgrimage in pre-Christian and non-Christian Religions. - To the Germanic religions the pilgrimage is unknown. On the other hand, it is an indigenous element, not only in the creeds of Asia, but in those of the ancient seats of civilization on the Mediterranean. The fundamental conception is always that the Deity resides - or exercises a peculiarly powerful influence - in some definite locality; and to this locality the devout repair, either in reverence of their god, or in quest of his assistance and bounty. Thus, as the cult of a particular divinity spreads farther and farther, so the circle expands from which are drawn those who visit his sanctuary.

One of the oldest homes of the pilgrimage is India. There the army of devotees tends more especially to the Ganges - the hallowed river of Hindu belief. On the Ganges lies Benares, the holy city of Brahminism: and to look on Benares, to visit its temples, and to be washed clean in the purifying river, is the yearning of every pious Indian. Even Buddhism - originally destitute of ceremonial - has adopted the pilgrimage; and the secondary tradition makes Buddha himself determine its goals: the place where he was born, where he first preached, where the highest insight dawned on him, and where he sank into Nirvana. The four ancient sacred resorts are Kapilavastu, Gaya, Benares and Kusinagara.

Missing image

In Syria, the temple of Atargatis in Hierapolis was an immemorial resort of pilgrims. In Phoenicia, a similar significance was enjoyed by the shrine of Astarte, on the richly-watered source of the river Adonis, till, as late as the 4th century after Christ, it was destroyed by Constantine the Great. In Egypt, the great annual and monthly festivals of the indigenous gods gave rise to all manner of religious expeditions. Even among the Israelites, the visitation of certain cult-centres prevailed from remote antiquity; but, when the restriction of Yahwehworship to Jerusalem had doomed the old shrines, the Jewish pilgrimages were directed solely to the sanctuary on Mt Moria.

Among the Greeks the habit was no less deeply rooted. Just as the inhabitants of each town honoured their tutelar deity by solemn processions to his temple, so, at the period of the Olympic games, the temple of Zeus at Olympia formed the goal of multitudes from every Hellenic country. No less powerful was the attraction exercised by the shrines of the oracular divinities, though the influx of pilgrims was not limited to certain days, but, year in and year out, a stream of private persons, or embassies from the city-states, came flowing to the temple of Zeus in Dodona or the shrine of Apollo at Delphi.

The unification of the peoples of antiquity in the Roman Empire, and the resultant amalgam of religions, gave a powerful impetus to the custom. For, as East and West still met at the old sanctuaries of Greece, so - and yet more - Greece and Rome repaired to the temples of the southern and eastern deities. In the shrine of Isis at Philae, Europeans set up votive inscriptions on behalf of their kindred far away at home, and it may be surmised that even among the festival crowds at Jerusalem a few Greeks found place (John xii. 20).

The pilgrimage, however, attained its zenith under Islam. For Mahomet proclaimed it the duty of every Mussulman, once at least in his life, to visit Mecca; the result being that the birthplace of the Prophet is now the religious centre of the whole Mahommedan world (see Mahommedan Religion; Caravan; Mecca) .

The Pilgrimage under Christianity

The pilgrimages of Christianity presuppose the existence of those of paganism; origin. but it would be an error to maintain that the former were a direct development of the latter. For primitive Christianity was devoid of any point by which these journeys of devotion might naturally have been suggested. It was a religion without temples, without sanctuaries, and without ceremonial. The saying of the Johannine Gospel - that God is to be adored neither in Jerusalem nor on Gerizim, but that His true worshipper must worship Him in spirit and in truth - is in complete harmony with the old Christian piety. And, accordingly, in the ancient Christian literature, we find no trace of a conception that the believer should visit a definite place in order to pay homage to his Master. The evolution of the Christian pilgrimage moved on other lines.

Cicero finely observes that, in Athens, the glorious architecture caused him less pleasure than did the thought of the great men whose work was done in its midst - "how here one had lived, and there fallen asleep; how here another had disputed, and there lay buried" (De Legg. ii. 2). This feeling was not weakened by the advent of Christianity, in fact, we may say that it was appreciably strengthened. Cicero had already compared the sites consecrated by the memory of some illustrious name with those hallowed by recollections of a loved one. But with the Christian, when his Redeemer was in question, both motives coincided: for there the greatest was also the dearest.

In this devotion to the memory of Jesus, we find the key to the origin of the Christian pilgrimage: the faithful repaired to those places which were invested with memories of their Lord's earthly life. And these journeys must certainly date from the 2nd century. For Origen (d. 254) mentions that in Bethlehem the cave was shown where Christ was born, and in it the manger in which Mary made the bed of her child. The site must have been much visited long before this, since Origen remarks that it was common knowledge, even among the infidels, that there was the birthplace of that Jesus whom the Christians worshipped (Contr. Cels. i. 51). But those who visited Bethlehem must certainly have visited Jerusalem and the places there, so rich in memorials of their Master. And the sympathy of Christendom soon led them beyond this immediate circle. The anonymous author of the Cohortatio ad Graecos, a work of the 2nd century, visited the remnants of those cells, in which - so legend related the seventy interpreters laboured on their version of the Old Testament: nor, when he came to Cumae in Campania, did he fail to have shown him the old shrine of the Sibyl (Coh. ad Gr. 13 and 37). Soon we begin to hear the names of the pilgrims. In the course of the 3rd century, as Jerome relates, Firmilian, bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, travelled to Palestine to view the sacred places (De Vir. ill. 54); while, according to Eusebius, a second bishop from Cappadocia, Alexander by name, visited Jerusalem in order to pray and acquaint himself with the holy sites, and was there invited by the community tc remain with them and assume the episcopate of the aged Narcissus (Hist. eccl. vi. II). With regard to his own times - the early years of the 4th century - the same authority recounts that believers kept streaming to Palestine from all regions, there to offer their prayers at a cavern shown on the Mount of Olives (Demonstr. evang. vi. 18).

This statement, that the Christians of the 3rd and 4th centuries were in the habit of visiting Jerusalem for prayer, proves that the non-Christian conception of the religious pilgrimage had already entered the sphere of Christian thought. That men travelled for purposes of prayer implies acceptance of the heathen theory of sanctuaries which it is an act of piety to visit. We may regret the fact, for it sullied the purity of primitive Christian thought. Nevertheless, it is clear that the development was inevitable. As soon as the non-Christian ideas of priests, sacrifices, houses of the god, and so forth, were naturalized in the Christianity of the 3rd century, it was but a short step to the belief in holy places.

III. The Pilgrimage in the Ancient Church. - In the passages cited above, Bethlehem and the Mount of Olives figure as the main goal of the pilgrim: and on the Mount of Olives the mind must naturally turn to the Garden of Gethsemane and the scene of the Ascension. It may seem surprising that there is no mention of Golgotha and the Sepulchre. But the visitation of these sites was rendered impossible to the Christians by the destruction of Jerusalem and the erection of the town of Aelia Capitolina. They had not forgotten them; but the grave was concealed under a mound of earth and stones - a profanation probably dating from the siege of the city and Titus's attack on the second wall. On the summit of this mound there stood, in the days of Eusebius, a sanctuary of Venus (Eus. Vit. Const. iii. 26, 30). The Sepulchre and the Hill of the Crucifixion were lost to the Christian pilgrim; and, consequently, before the era of Constantine, the one holy site in the town of Jerusalem was the so-called Coenaculum, which received its name in later years. It lay south of the city, near the outer wall, and, if Epiphanius is to be believed, was already in existence when Hadrian (130-131) visited Jerusalem (De mens. 14). It was regarded as the house, in which - according to the Acts of the Apostles (xii. 12 sqq.) - Mary, the mother of John Mark, lived; and the belief was that there the Lord held the Last Supper, and that there the eleven assembled after the Ascension. It was there, also, that the scene of the Pentecostal effusion of the Spirit was laid (cf. Cyrill. Ilierus. Cat. xvi. 4).

The pilgrimage to Palestine received a powerful impetus from the erection of the memorial churches on the holy sites, under Constantine the Great, as described by Eusebius in his biography of the emperor (iii. 25 sqq.). At the order of Constantine, the shrine of Venus above mentioned was destroyed, and the accumulated rubbish removed, till the ancient rockfoundation was reached. There the cave was discovered in which Joseph of Arimathea had laid the body of Jesus; and above this cave and the .Hill of the Crucifixion the imposing church of the Holy Sepulchre was built (A.D. 326-336). The churches in Bethlehem and on the Mount of Olives were erected by Helena, the mother of Constantine, who herself undertook the pilgrimage to the Holy Land. These churches were then endowed with new sanctuaries of miraculous powers; and relics of Christ were found in the shape of the Cross and the nails. Eusebius, the contemporary of Constantine, is silent on this point. To his continuators, on the other hand, it is an established fact that Helena brought all three crosses to light, and ascertained the genuine Cross by the instrumentality of a miracle, in addition to discovering the nails of the Crucifixion (Rufin. i. 7; Socr. i.17; Sozomen. ii. 1; Theod. i. 17). It is impossible to fix the date at which the supposititious relics were introduced into the church of the Sepulchre: it is certain, however, that in the 5th century the Cross was there preserved with scrupulous reverence, and accounted the highest treasure of the sanctuary.

After the 4th century, monks and nuns begin to form no inconsiderable part of the pilgrimages - a fact which is especially manifest from the numerous notices to be found in Jerome, and the narratives of Theodoret in the Historia religiosa. In fact, many were inclined to regard a journey to Jerusalem as the bounden duty of every monk - an exaggerated view which led to energetic protests, especially from Gregory of Nyssa, who composed a monograph on the pilgrimages (De its qui adeunt Hierosol.). Jerome, like Gregory, insists on the point that residence in Jerusalem has in itself no religious value: it is not locality, but character, that avails, and the gates of Heaven are as open in Britain as in Jerusalem (Ep. 58, 3). These utterances, however, must not be misinterpreted. They are not directed against the pilgrimage in itself, nor even against the belief that prayer possesses special efficacy on sacred ground, but solely against the exaggerated developments of the system.

The theologians of the 4th and 5th centuries were at one with the masses in recognizing the religious uses of the pilgrimages. Jerome in particular considered it an act of faith for a man to offer his prayers where the feet of the Lord had stood, and the traces of the Birth, of the Cross, and of the Passion were still to be seen (Ep. 47, 2).

We may gain some impression of the mood in which the pilgrims completed their journey, when we read how Paula, the friend of Jerome, expresses herself on her visit to the church of the Sepulchre: "As oft as we enter its precincts we see the Saviour laid in the shroud, and the angel seated at the feet of the dead!" (Hieron. Ep. 46, 2). She assured Jerome that, in the church of the Nativity at Bethlehem, she beheld, with the eye of faith, the Christ-child wrapped in swaddling clothes (Ep. 108, 10). But with these thoughts, others of an entirely different stamp were frequently blended. Pilgrimages were conceived as means to ensure an answer to particular prayers. So, for example, Eudocia, the wife of Theodosius II., vowed to undertake a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, if she should see her daughter married. (Socr. Hist. eccl. vii. 47). And, closely as this approaches to pagan ideas, the distinction between paganism and Christianity is completely obliterated when we find the hermit Julian and his companions travelling to Sinai in order to worship the Deity there resident (Theod. Hist. rd. 2). With the number of the pilgrims the number of pilgrim-resorts also increased. Of Jerusalem alone Jerome relates that the places of prayer were so numerous that it was impossible to visit them all in one day (Ep. 46, 9). In the Holy Land the list was still longer: the natives were ready to show everything for which the foreigners inquired, and the pilgrim was eager to credit everything. In her expedition to the East, the Paula mentioned above visited, among other places, Sarepta and Caesarea. In the first-named place she was shown the tower of Elijah; in the second, the house of Cornelius, that of Philip, and finally the grave of the four virgins. At Bethlehem she saw, in addition to the church of the Nativity, the grave of Rachel; at Hebron the hut of Sarah, in which the swaddling clothes of Isaac and the remains of Abraham's oak were on view (Hieron. Ep. r08). A similar picture is given in the Travels of the so-called Silvia Aquitana, who seems, in reality, to have been a Spanish nun, named Etheria or Eucheria. She went as a pilgrim to Jerusalem (c. 380), and from there traversed the whole of Palestine, in order to visit every site which was consecrated by memories of the Lord's earthly life. Nor did she neglect the scenes of patriarchal history. Of greater antiquity is the concise account of his travels by an anonymous pilgrim, who, in A.D. 333, undertook the journey from Bordeaux to Palestine. The Itinerary of the African Theodosius who visited the East between A.D. 520 and A.D. 530 is of later date (P. Geyer, Din. hierosol. saec. iv - viii.).

While pilgrim-resorts were thus filling the East, their counterparts began to emerge in the West. And here the startingpoint is to be found in the veneration of martyrs. In the West. Care for the tombs of martyrs was sanctioned by immemorial custom of the Church; but, in this case also, a later age failed to preserve the primitive conception in its purity; and Augustine himself was obliged to defend the usage of the Church from the imputation that it implied a transference of heathen ceremonial to the sphere of Christianity (Contr. Faust. xx. 21). The martyrs were the local heroes of particular communities; but there were men whose life and death were of significance for the whole of Christendom - the apostles. Of these Peter and Paul had suffered martyrdom in Rome, and it was inevitable, from the nature of the case, that their graves should soon become a resort, not only of Romans born, but of strangers also. True, the presbyter Caius (c. 200) who first mentions the situation of the apostolic tombs on the Vatican and the road to Ostia, and refers to the memorials there erected, has nothing to say of foreign Christians journeying to Rome in order to visit them. And though Origen travelled to Rome, it was not to view the graves of dead men, but to establish relations with the living flock (Euseb. Hist. eccl. ii. 25, 7; vi. 14, ro); still., it is certain that the Roman cemeteries were visited by numerous pilgrims even in the 3rd century: for the earliest graffiti in the papal crypt of the Coemeterium Callisti must date from this period (De Rossi, Roma sotter. i. 253 sqq.; Kraus, Rom. Sott. 148 sqq.). And if the tombs of the popes were thus visited, so much more must this hold of the tombs of the apostles. After these, the most frequented resort at Rome in the 4th century was the grave of Hippolytus. The poet Prudentius describes how, on the day of the martyr's death, an innumerable multitude of pilgrims flocked round the site. Even on ordinary days arrivals and departures were almost incessant - foreigners being everywhere seen mingled with the native Latins. They poured balsam on the sepulchre of the saint, washed it with their tears, and covered it with their kisses, in the belief that they were thus assuring themselves of his intercession or testifying their gratitude for his assistance. Prudentius says of himself, that whenever he was sick in soul or body, and prayed there, he found help and returned in cheerfulness: for God had vouchsafed His saint the power to answer all entreaties (Perist. xi. 175 sqq.). Paulinus of Nola (d. 431) concurs - his custom being to visit Ostia each year, and Rome on the apostolic anniversaries (Ep. 20, 2; 45, r). Next to Rome the most popular religious resort was the tomb of Felix of Nola (August. Ep. 78, 3); while in Gaul the grave of St Martin at Tours drew pilgrims from all quarters (Paul. Nol. Ep. 17, 4). Africa possessed no sanctuary to compete with these; but we learn from Sulpicius Severus (c. 400) that the tomb of Cyprian seems to have been visited even by a Gaul (Dial. i. 3). The motive that drew the pilgrims to the graves of the saints is to be found in the conviction, expressed by Prudentius, that there divine succour was certain; and hence came the belief in a never-ending series of miracles there performed (cf., e.g. Ennod. Ticin. Lib. pro syn. p. 315). Doubt was unknown. St Augustine observes that, though Africa was full of martyrs' tombs, no miracle had been wrought at them so far as his knowledge extended. This, however, did not lead him to doubt the truth of those reported by others - a fact that is somewhat surprising when we reflect that the phenomenon caused him much disquiet and perplexity. Who, he asks, can fathom the design of God in ordaining that this should happen at one place and not at another ? And eventually he acquiesces in the conclusion that God, who gives every man his individual gift at pleasure, has not willed that the same powers should have efficacy at every sepulchre of the saints (Ep. 78, 3).

IV. The Pilgrimage in the Middle Ages. - The medieval Church adopted the custom of the pilgrimage from the ancient Church. The young Germanic and Romance nations did precisely as the Greek and Romans had done before them, and the m otives. m otives of these devotionaljourneys - now much Natives. more difficult of execution in the general decay of the great world-system of commerce - remained much the same. They were undertaken to the honour of God (Pipp. Cap. 754-755, c. 4), for purposes of prayer (Ann. Hild. 992), or in quest of assistance, especially health (Vita Galli, ii.37; Vita Liudg. iii. 10). But the old causes were reinforced by others of at least equal potency. The medieval Church was even more profoundly convinced than its predecessor that the miraculous power of Deity attached to the bodies of saints and their relics. But the younger nations - French, English and German - were scantily endowed with saints; while, on the other hand, the belief obtained that the home-countries of Christianity, especially Rome and Jerusalem, possessed an inexhaustible supply of these sanctified bodies. Pilgrimages were consequently undertaken with the intention of securing relics. At first it was enough to acquire some object which had enjoyed at least a mediate connexion with the hallowed corpse. Gregory of Tours (d. 594) mentions one of his deacons who made a pilgrimage into the East, in order to collect relics of the Oriental saints; and, on his return, visited the grave of the bishop Nicetius (St Nizier, d. 573) in Lyons, where he still. further increased his store. His testimony showed how relics came to be distributed among the populace: one enthusiast took a little wax dropped from the taper; another, a portion of the dust which lay on the grave; a third, a thread from the cloth covering the sarcophagus; and he himself plucked the flowers which visitors had planted above the tomb. Such were the memorials with which he returned; but the universal belief was that something of the miraculous virtue of the saint had passed into these objects (Vit. patr. 8, 6). Before long, however, these humble trophies failed to content the pilgrims, and they began to devote their efforts to acquiring the actual bodies, or portions of them - frequently by honest means, still oftener by trickery. One of the most attractive works of early medievalism - Einhard's little book, Translatio Marcellini et Petri - gives a vivid description of the methods by which the bodies of the two saints were acquired and transported from Rome to Seligenstadt on the Main.

Far more important consequences, however, resulted from the fact that the medieval mind associated the pilgrimage with the forgiveness of sins. This conception of the pilgrimage, as a means of expiation or a source of pardon for wrong, was foreign to the ancient Church. It is quite in accordance with the keener consciousness of sin, which prevailed in the middle ages, that the expiatory pilgrimage took its place side by side with the pilgrimage to the glory of God. The pilgrimage became an act of obedience; and, in the books of penance (Poenitentialia) which date from the early middle ages, it is enjoined - whether for a definite period (e.g. Poen. Valicell. i. c. 19; Theod. Cant. i. 2, 16) or for life (Poen. Cummeani, vii. 12, Casin. 24) - as an expiation for many of the more serious sins, especially murder or the less venial forms of unchastity. The place to be visited was not specified; but the pilgrim, who was bound by an open letter of his bishop to disclose himself as a pentitent, lay under the obligation, wherever he went, to repair to the churches and - more especially - the tombs of the saints, and there offer his prayers. On occasion, a chain or ring was fastened about his body, that his condition might be obvious to all; and soon all manner of fables gained currency: how, here or there, the iron had sprung apart by a miracle, in token that the sinner was thereby absolved by God. For instance, the Vita Liudgeri recounts the history of a fratricide who was condemned to this form of pilgrimage by Jonas, bishop of Orleans (d. 843); he wore three iron rings round his body and arms, and travelled bare-footed, fasting, and devoid of linen, from church to church till he found pardon, the first ring breaking by the tomb of St Gertrude at Nivelles, the second in the crypt of St Peter, and the third by the grave of Liudger. The pilgrim age with a predetermined goal was not recognized by the books of penance; but, in 1059, Peter Damiani imposed a pilgrimage to Rome or Tours on the clerics of Milan, whom he had absolved (Ada mediol. patrol. lat. 1 45, p. 98).

As the system of indulgences developed, a new motive came to the fore which rapidly overshadowed all others: pilgrimages were now undertaken to some sacred spot, simply in order to obtain the indulgence which was vested in the respective church or chapel. In the 11th century the indulgence consisted in a remission of part of the penance imposed in the confessional, in return for the discharge of some obligation voluntarily assumed by the penitent. Among these obligations, a visit to a particular church, and the bestowal of pious gifts upon it, held a prominent place. The earliest instance of the indulgential privilege conferred on a church is that granted in ic16 by Pontius, archbishop of Arles, to the Benedictine abbey of Montmajour (Mons Major) in Provence (d'Achery, Spica. iii. 383 seq.). But these dispensations, which at first lay chiefly in the gift of the bishops, then almost exclusively in that of the popes, soon increased in an incessant stream, till at the close of the middle ages there were thousands of churches in every western country, by visiting which it was possible to obtain an almost indefinite number of indulgences. But, at the same time, the character of the indulgence was modified. From a remission of penance it was extended, in the 13th century, to a release from the temporal punishment exacted by God, whether in this life or in purgatory, from the repentant sinner. And, from an absolution from the consequences of guilt, it became, in the 14th and 15th centuries, a negation or the guilt itself; while simultaneously the opportunity was offered of acquiring an indulgence for the souls of those already in purgatory. Consequently, during the whole period of medievalism, the number of pilgrims was, perpetually on the increase.

So long as the number of pilgrims remained comparatively small, and the difficulties in their path proportionately great, they obtained open letters of recommendation from their bishops to the clergy and laity, which ensured them lodging in convents and charitable foundations, in addition to the protection of public officials. An instance is preserved in Markulf's formulary (ii. 49). To receive the pilgrim and supply him with alms was always considered the duty of every Christian: Charlemagne, indeed, made it a legal obligation to withhold neither roof, hearth, nor fire from them (Admon. gent. 789, c. 75; Cap. Miss. 802, c. 27).

The most important places of resort both for voluntary and involuntary pilgrimages, were still Palestine and Rome. On the analogy of the old Itineraria, the abbot Adamnan of Iona (d. 704) now composed his monograph De locis sanctis, which served as the basis of a similar book by the Venerable Bede (d. 735) - both works being edited in the Itin. hierosol. His authority was a Frankish bishop named Arculf, who resided for nine months as a pilgrim in Jerusalem, and visited the remaining holy sites of Palestine in addition to Alexandria and Constantinople. Of the later itineraries the Descriptio terrae sanctae,, by the Dominican Burchardus de Monte Sion, enjoyed the widest vogue. This was written between the years 1285 and 1295; but books of travel in the modern tongues had already begun to make their appearance. The initiative was taken by the French in the 12th and 13th centuries, and the Germans followed in the 14th and 15th; while the Book of Wa y es to Jerusalem of John de Maundeville (c. 1336) attained extreme popularity, and was translated into almost all the vernacular languages. Most pilgrims, probably, contented themselves with the brief guidebooks which seem to have originated in the catalogues of indulgences. In later periods, that of Romberch a Kyrspe, printed at Venice (1519), stood high in favour.

A long list might be compiled of men of distinction who performed the pilgrimage to Palestine. In the 8th century one of the most famous is the Anglo-Saxon Willibald, who died in 781 as bishop of the Frankish diocese of Eichstatt. He left his home in the spring of 720, accompanied by his father and brother. The pilgrims traversed France and Italy, visiting every religious resort; in Lucca the father died, and the brother remained behind in Rome. Early in 722 Willibald began his expedition to the Holy Land alone, except for the presence of two companions. He travelled past Naples to Syracuse, then on shipboard by Cos and Samos to Ephesus, and thence through Asia Minor to Damascus and Jerusalem. On St Martin's day, in 724, he arrived in the Holy City. After a prolonged stay in the town and its environs, Willibald proceeded (727) to Constantinople, and in 72 9 returned to Italy. Such is the account given by the nun of Heidenheim in her biography of Willibald; and her version is probably based on notes by the pilgrim himself (Mon. Germ. hist. scr. xv. 80 sqq.). In the 9th century the French monk Bernard visited Palestine with two companions, and afterwards wrote a simple and. trustworthy account of his journey (Patrol. lat. 121, 569 sqq.). In the 10th century Conrad, bishop of Constance (934-976), performed the pilgrimage to Jerusalem three times (Vita Chuonr. 7); and to the same period belong the first women-pilgrims to Jerusalem of whom we have any cognisance - Hidda, mother of Gero, archbishop of Cologne (Thietm. Chron. ii. 16), and the countess Hademod of Ebersberg (Chron. ebersb.). The leaders, moreover, of the monkish reform movement in the 10th and 11th centuries, Richard of St Vanne in Verdun and Poppo, abbot of Stavelot (978-1048), had seen the Holy Land with their own eyes (Vita Rich. 17; Vita Popp. 3). In the year 1028 Archbishop Poppo of Trier (d. 1047) undertook a pilgrimage which led him past Jerusalem to the banks of the Euphrates, his return taking place in 1030 (Gesta Trevir. Cont. i. 4 seq.). But the most celebrated devotional expedition before the Crusades was that of the four bishops - Sigfrid of Mainz, Gunther of Bamberg, William of Utrecht, and Otto of Regensburg. They set out in 1064, with a company whose numbers exceeded seven thousand. The major portion, however, fell in battle against the Mahommedans, or succumbed to the privations of the journey, and only some two thousand saw their homes again(Annal. Altah., Lamb., Disib., Marian. Scot. &c.). Among the followers of the bishops were two clerics of Bamberg, Ezzo and Wille, who composed on the way the beautiful song on the miracles of Christ - one of the oldest hymns in the German language. The text was due to Ezzo, the tune to Wille (Mullenhoff and Scherer, Denkmciler, i. p. 78, No. 31). A few years later Count Dietrich of Trier began a pilgrimage to Jerusalem with 113 companions, in atonement for the murder of Archbishop Kuno. The ship, however, which conveyed them went down with all hands in a storm (Berth. Ann. 1073).

As a result of this steady increase in the number of pilgrims, the old arrangements for their accommodation were found deficient. Consequently hospices arose which were designed exclusively for the pilgrim. Those on the Alpine passes are common knowledge. The oldest, that on the Septimer pass, dates from the Carolingian period, though it was restored in 1120 by the bishop Wido of Chur: that on the Great St Bernard was founded in the 10th century, and reorganized in the 13th. To this century may also be assigned the hospice on the Simplon; to the 14th those on the St Gothard and the Lukmanier. Similarly, the Mediterranean towns, and Jerusalem in particular, had their pilgrim-refuges. Service in the hospices was regularly performed by the hospital-fraternities - that is to say, by lay associations working under the authorization of the Church. The most important of these was the fraternity of the Hospitale hierosolymitanum, founded between 1065 and 1075; for hence arose the order of St John, the earliest of the orders of knighthood. In addition to the hospital of Jerusalem, numerous others were under its charge in Acre, Cyprus, Rhodes, Malta, &c. Associations were formed to assist pilgrims bound for the East; one being the Confrerie des pelerins de Terre-Sainte in Paris, founded in 1325 by Louis de Bourbon, count of Clermont (afterwards first duke of Bourbon). Its church was in the rue des Cordeliers. Similar institutions existed also in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Antwerp and elsewhere in the Netherlands.

But since, in the middle ages, the Holy Land was no longer held by a Christian Power, the protection of the pilgrims was no less necessary than their sustenance. This fact, after the close of the 11th century, led to the Crusades (q.v.), which in many respects are to be regarded as armed pilgrimages. For the old dream of the pilgrim, to view the country where God had walked as man, lived on in the Crusades - a fact which is demonstrated by the letters of Bernard of Clairvaux, with the songs of Walther von der Vogelweide and other Crusaders. And, since the strongest motive in the pilgrimage was the acquisition of indulgences, unnumbered thousands were moved to assume the Cross, when, in 1095, Urban II. promised them plenary indulgence (Conc. Claram. c. 2). The conquest of Jerusalem, and the erection of a Christian empire in Palestine, naturally welled the influx of pilgrims. And though in 1187 the Holy City again fell into the hands of the infidel, while in 12 9 1 the loss of Acre eliminated the last Christian possession in Palestine, the pilgrimages still proceeded. True, after the fall of the city and the loss of Acre, they were forbidden by the Church; but the veto was impracticable. In the 12th century these religious expeditions were still so common that, every Sunday, prayers were offered in church for the pilgrims (Honor. Aug. Spec. eccl. p. 828). In the 13th century the annual number of those who visited Palestine amounted to many thousands: in the 14th and 15th it had hardly shrunk. In fact, between the years 1300 and 1600, no fewer than 1400 men of distinction can be enumerated from Germany alone who travelled to the Holy Land (Rohricht and Meissner, Deutsche Pilgerreisen, pp. 465-546). It was not till the Reformation, the wars of the 16th century, and the loss of Rhodes, Candia and Cyprus to the Turks, that any appreciable alteration was effected. When Ignatius de Loyola (q.v..) set sail in 1523 from Venice to Palestine, only some thirteen souls could be mustered on the pilgrim-ship, while eight or nine others sailed with the Venetian state-vessel as far as Cyprus. A considerable number had abandoned their pilgrimage and returned home on the news of the fall of Rhodes (Dec. 25, 1522: see Ada sanct. Jul. vii. 642 seq.).

For pilgrimage overseas, as it was styled, the permission of the Church was still requisite. The pilgrims made their journey in grey cowls fastened by a broad belt. On the cowl they wore a red cross; and a broad-brimmed hat, a staff, sack and gourd completed their equipment. During their travels the beard was allowed to grow, and they prepared for departure by confession and communion. Of their hymns many are yet extant ("Jerusalem mirabilis," "In gottes namen faren wir," &c.). The embarcation took place either in France or Italy. In France, Marseilles was the main harbour for the pilgrims. From there ships belonging to the knights of St John and the knights templars conducted the commerce with Palestine, and carried annually some 6000 passengers. In the Italian ports the number of shipments was still greater - especially in Venice, whence the regular passagium started twice a year. The Venetian pilgrim ships, moreover, carried as many as 1500 souls. The pilgrims' formed themselves into unions, elected a "master" and concluded their agreements, as to the outward voyage and return, in common. After Venice, Genoa and Pisa occupied the most prominent position. The voyage lasted from six to eight weeks, the stay in Jerusalem averaging ten days. The visitation of the holy places was conducted in processions headed by the Franciscans of the Convent of Zion.

The expenses of the journey to Palestine were no light matter. In the 12th century they may be estimated at loo marks of silver (20o) for the ordinary pilgrim. This was the amount raised in 1147 by one Goswin von Randerath to defray the expenses of his pilgrimage (Niederrhein. Urk. Buck. i. No. 361). Later the cost was put at 280-300 ducats (r40 - b50). In the 13th century a knight with two squires, one groom, and the requisite horses, had to disburse 82 marks of silver for his passage; while for a single pilgrim the rate was rather less than r mark. In the r6th century Ignatius de Loyola calculated the cost of the voyage from Venice to Jaffa at some 6 or 7 gold florins (£3). The expenses of the princes and lords were, of course, much heavier. Duke William of Saxony, who was in Jerusalem in 1461, spent no less than £ro,000 on his journey (see Prutz, Kulturgeschichte der Kreuzziige, pp. 106 sqq.; Riihricht, Deutsche Pilgerreisen, p. 42).

Great as was the number of pilgrims oversea, it was yet far exceeded by that of the visitants to the "threshold of the apostles," i.e. Rome. As was the case with Jerusalem, guide-books to the city of the apostles were now composed. The oldest is the Notitia ecclesiarum urbis Romae, which was probably compiled under Honorius I. (625-638). The monograph De locis s. martyrum is of somewhat later date. Both are to be found in De Rossi, Roma sotterranea, i. 138 sqq.). The Itinerarium einsidlense (ed. G. Hanel, Archiv. f. Philologie, v. 1 19) belongs to the second half of the 8th century. Its composer would seem to have been a disciple of Walahf rid; for his interests are not confined to the churches, their reliquaries, and the ecclesiastical ceremonial of saint-days, but he takes a pleasure in transcribing ancient inscriptions. William of Malmesbury, again, when relating the crusade of Count Robert of Normandy (1096), transfers into his Gesta regum anglorum (iv. § 351) an old description of Rome, originally intended for the use of pilgrims. This may have dated from the 7th century.

The pilgrimages to Rome received their greatest impetus through the inauguration of the so-called Year of Jubilee. On the 22nd of February 1300 the bull of Boniface VIII., Antiquorum habet fidem, promised plenary indulgence to every Roman who should visit the churches of the apostles Peter and Paul on thirty days during the year, and to every foreigner who should perform the same act on fifteen days. At the close of the Jubilee this dispensation was extended to all who had expired on the way to Rome. This placed the pilgrimage to Rome on a level with the crusades - the only mode of obtaining a plenary indulgence. The success of the papal bull was indescribable. It is computed that, in the Year of Jubilee, on an average, 200,000 strangers were present in the city during the day. The greatest number of the pilgrims came from southern France, England sending comparatively few on that occasion (see Gregorovius, Gesch. d. Stadt Rom. v. 546 sqq.). The Jubilee dispensation according to the edict of Boniface VIII. was to be repeated each century; but this period was greatly abridged by succeeding popes (see Jubilee, Year or), so that in the years 1 35 o, 1 39 0, 1423, 1 45 o, 1 475, 1500, the troops of pilgrims again came streaming into Rome to obtain the cherished dispensation.

Of the other pilgrim-resorts, we shall only emphasize the most important. Priority of mention is due to St James of Compostella (Santiago, in the Spanish province of Galicia). Here the attraction for the pilgrim was the supposed possession of the body of James the son of Zebedee. The apostle was executed (A.D. 44) by command of Herod Agrippa (Acts xii. 1); and at the beginning of the medieval period it was believed that his corpse was laid in Palestine (Venant. Fortun. carm. v. 144, viii. 3). The first connexion of the apostle with Spain is to be traced in the Poema de aris b. Mar. et xii. apost. dedic., which is ascribed to Aldhelm (d. 709) and contains a story of his preaching in that country. The earliest account of the transference of his relics to the Peninsula is found in Notker Balbulus (d. 912, Martyrol. in Jul. xxv.). But in Spain belief in this cherished possession was universal; and, step by step, the theory won credence throughout the West. In 10J9, Archbishop Wido of Milan journeyed to St James (Damiani, Acta mediol. p. 98); and a little later we hear of bands of pilgrims from Germany and France. In England, indeed, the shrine of St James of Compostella became practically the most favoured devotional resort; and in the 12th century its visitation had attained such popularity that a pilgrimage thither was ranked on a level with one to Rome or Jerusalem (Honor. August. Spec. eccl. p. 828). In Paris, after 1419, there existed a special hospice for the "fraternity of St James," in which from 60 to 80 pilgrims were received each day, fed, and presented with a quarter of a denarius (Dulaure, Hist. de Paris (1842), i. 531). Even in the period of the Reformation the "Song of St James" was sung in Germany (Wackernagel, Kirchenlied, ii. No. 1246); and in 1478 pilgrimages to that shrine were placed by Sixtus IV. on official equality with those to Rome and Jerusalem (Extra y. comm. c. 5; De poenit. v. 9).

In France St Martin remained the chief goal of the pilgrim; while Notre Dame de Sous-Terre in Chartres (with a portrait of the "black Virgin"), Le Puy-en-Velay (dep. Haute Loire), and others, also enjoyed considerable celebrity. In England pilgrimages were made to the tomb of the murdered archbishop, Thomas Becket, in Canterbury Cathedral. The setting of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales gives a vivid idea of the motley company of pilgrims; but it seems probable that Germany also sent a contingent (Gervas. Cantuar. chr. ann. 1184; Ralph de Diceto, Ymag. hist. ann. 1184). In addition, Walsingham, Peterborough, St Davids, Holywell, and St Andrews in Scotland were much frequented. In lower Germany, Cologne and Aix-laChapelle, in Switzerland Einsiedeln, were the principal resorts.

In Italy the church of the Archangel on Mt Gargano was one of the most ancient centres of the pilgrimage, being visited even by the monk Bernard (vide supra). Later the Portiuncula church at Assisi displaced all other religious resorts, with the exception of Rome; but in the 15th century it was overshadowed in turn by the "Holy House" at Loretto on the Adriatic. According to an extravagant legend, the house of Joseph and Mary in Nazareth was transported by angels, on the night of the 9th - 10th of May 1291 to Dalmatia, then brought to the Italian coast opposite (Dec. 10, 1294), till, on the 7th of September 1295 it found rest on its present site. The pilgrimage thither must have attained great importance as early as the 15th century; for the popes of the Renaissance found themselves constrained to erect an imposing pilgrim church above the "Holy House." The significance of the pilgrimage for the religious life of later medievalism cannot be adequately estimated. The possession of an extraordinary relic, a bloody Host, or the like, was everywhere considered a sufficient claim for the privileges of indulgences; and wherever this privilege existed, there the pilgrims were gathered together. All these pilgrimages, great and small, were approved and encouraged by the Church. And yet, during the whole of the middle ages, the voice of suspicion in their regard was never entirely stilled. Earnest men could not disguise from themselves the moral dangers almost inevitably consequent upon them; they recognized, moreover, that many pilgrims were actuated by extremely dubious motives; and they distrusted the exaggerated value set on outward works. The Roman papacy had no more zealous adherent than Boniface; yet he absolutely rejected the idea that Englishwomen should make the journey to Rome, and would willingly have seen the princes and bishops veto these pilgrimages altogether 78). The theologians who surrounded Charlemagne held similar views. When the abbess Ethelburga of Fladbury (Worcestershire) found her projected pilgrimage impracticable, Alcuin wrote to her, saying that it was no great loss, and that God had better designs for her: "Expend the sum thou hast gathered for the journey on the support of the poor; and if thou givest as thou canst, thou shalt reap as thou wilt"(Ep. 300). Bishop Theodulf of Orleans (d. 821) made an energetic protest against the delusion that to go to Rome availed more than to live an upright life (Carm. 67). To the same effect, the synod of Chalon-sur-Saone (813) reprobated the superstition which was wedded to the pilgrimage (c. 13); and it would be easy to collect similar judgments, delivered in every centre of medievalism. But, fundamentally, pilgrimages in themselves were rejected by a mere handful: the protest was not against the thing, but against its excrescences. Thus Fridank, for instance, in spite of his emphatic declaration that most pilgrims returned worse than they went, himself participated in the crusade of Frederick II.

V. The Modern Pilgrimage. - The Reformation eradicated the belief in the religious value of visits to a particular locality. It is only pious memory that draws the Protestant to the sites consecrated by ecclesiastical history. On the other hand, while in the Eastern Church things have undergone little change, - the pilgrims, in addition to the Holy Land, visiting Mt Athos and Kiev - the developments in the Roman Church show important divergences. The Year of Jubilee, in 1525, was unprecedented in its scant attendance, but the jubilees of 1575 and 1600 again saw great armies of pilgrims marching to Rome.

Fresh pilgrim resorts now began to spring up, and medieval shrines, which had fallen on evil days, to emerge from their obscurity. In the 16th century we must mention the pilgrimages to the "Holy Mount" at Gorz on the Austrian coast, and to Montserrat in the Spanish province of Barcelona: in the 17th century, those to Luxemburg, Kevelaer (Gelderland), Notre Dame de Fourviere in Lyons, Heiligenberg in Bohemia, Roermond in the Netherlands, &c. The 18th century, which witnessed the religious Aufkleirung, was not favourable to the pilgrimage. Enlightened bishops and princes prohibited it altogether: so, for instance, Joseph II. of Austria. Archbishop Clement Wenceslaus of Trier forbade, in 1777, the much-frequented, medieval "leaping-procession" of Echternach (duchy of Luxemburg). The progressive theologians and clergy, moreover, assumed a hostile attitude, and, in 1800, even the Curia omitted the Year of Jubilee. The 19th century, on the other hand, led to an extraordinary revival of the pilgrimage. Not only did new resorts spring into existence - e.g. La Salette in Dauphine (1846), and more particularly Lourdes (1858) in the department of Hautes Pyrenees - but the numbers once more attained a height which enables them to compete with the medieval figures. It is computed that 60,000 pilgrims were present in La Salette on the 29th of September 1847, the first anniversary of the appearance of Mary which gave rise to the shrine. The dedication of the church of Lourdes, in 1876, took place in the presence of 30 bishops, 3000 priests and roo,000 pilgrims. In 1877 the number rose to 250,000; and similar statistics are given of the German and Austrian devotional resorts. The sanctuaries of Aix-la-Chapelle are said to have been visited by 65,000 pilgrims on the 15th of July 1860; and on the following Sunday by 52,000. From 25,000 to 30,000 persons take part each year in the resuscitated "leaping-procession" at Echternach; and the annual visitants to the "Holy Mount" at Gorz are estimated at 50,000. No new motives for the pilgrimage emerged in the 19th century, unless the ever-increasing cultus of the Virgin Mary may be classed as such, all of the new devotional sites being dedicated to the Virgin. For the rest, the desire of acquiring indulgences maintains its influence: but doubting voices are no more heard within the pale of the Roman Catholic Church.


Itinera hierosolymitana saec. IV.-VIII , rec.

P. Geyer (Vienna, 1898); Itin. hierosol. et descr. terrae sanctae, ed. T. Toller and A. Molinier (Geneva, 1879-1885); H. Michelant and G. Raynaud, Itineraires Jerusalem rediges en francais au XI e, XII', XIII' siecles (Geneva, 1882); R. Riihricht and H. Meisner, Deutsche Pilgerreisen nach dem heiligen Land (Berlin, 1882, new ed., Innsbruck, 1900); L. Conradi, Vier rheinische Paldstina-Pilger schriften des XI V., XV., XVI. Jahrhunderts (Wiesbaden, 1882); G. B. de Rossi, Roma sotterranea, i. 128 sqq. (Rome, 1864); J. Marx, Das Wallfahrten in der katholischen Kirche (Trier, 1842); W. E. Scudamore, Dict. of Christ. Antiquities, vol. ii. (London, 1880).

(A. H.*)

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Pilgrimage to First Temple.

A journey which is made to a shrine or sacred place in performance of a vow or for the sake of obtaining some form of divine blessing. Every male Israelite was required to visit the Temple three times a year (Ex. xxiii. 17; Deut. xvi. 16). The pilgrimage to Jerusalem on one of the three festivals of Passover, Shabu'ot, and Sukkot was called "re'iyah" (= "the appearance"). The Mishnah says, "All are under obligation, to appear, except minors, women, the blind, the lame, the aged, and one who is ill physically or mentally." A minor in this case is defined as one who is too young to be taken by his father to Jerusalem. According to the Mosaic law every one should take an offering, though the value thereof is not fixed (comp. Ex. xxxiii. 14; Deut. xvi. 17); the Mishnah, however, fixed the minimum at three silver pieces, each of thirty-two grains of fine silver (Ḥag. i. 1, 2). While the appearance of women and infant males was not obligatory, they usually accompanied their husbands and fathers, as in all public gatherings (Deut. xxxi. 12). The Talmud plainly infers that both daughters and sons joined the pilgrims at the Passover festival in Jerusalem (Pes. 89a; Giṭ. 25a).

According to the Biblical accounts, Jeroboam, who caused the secession of Ephraim from Judah, made two calves of gold, placing one in Dan and the other in Beth-el, to divert the pilgrims from Jerusalem (I Kings xii. 26-33). He stationed guards on the boundary-lines of his dominions to prevent the festival pilgrimages to the Temple (Ta'an. 28a). So-great a menace to the Ephraimite government were the Temple pilgrimages that even King Jehu, who destroyed the Ba'al, feared to remove the golden calves of Jeroboam (II Kings x. 28, 29). In Judea the pilgrimages to Jerusalem were kept up regularly, but the principal gathering of the people was on the Sukkot festival, called "Ḥag ha-Asif" = "Festival of Gathering" (I Kings viii. 65; II Chron. vii. 8, 9). King Josiah revived the Passover pilgrimage to Jerusalem (II Kings xxiii. 23). King Hoshea, son of Elah, dismissed the guards and permitted the people to go undisturbed to Jerusalem for the festivals (Yer. Ta'an. iv. 7; Giṭ. 88a).

Pilgrimage to Second Temple.

During the time of the Second Temple, the Judeans ruled Palestine and as a united people celebrated the Feast of Sukkot in Jerusalem (Neh. viii. 17). From beyond Palestine, especially from the River Euphrates, they journeyed to Jerusalem for the festivals. Some even endangered their lives passing the guards posted to stop the pilgrimages (Ta'an. 28a; Grätz, "Gesch." 3d ed., iii. 157, 668). The number of Jewish pilgrims to the Temple was computed by the governor Gesius Florus (64-66), who counted 256,500 paschal lambs at one Passover festival; allowing ten persons to one lamb, this would make 2,565,000 pilgrims (Josephus, "B. J." vi. 9). The Tosefta records the census of Agrippa, who ordered the priests to take one hind leg of every paschal lamb, and counted 1,200,000 legs, which would make the total 12,000,000, (Tosef., Pes. iv. 64b). These figures are evidently exaggerated, and are based on the desire to double the 600,000 of the Exodus, a tendency frequently noticed in the Haggadah. It is calculated that ancient Jerusalem comprised an area of 2,400,000 square yards, and, allowing 10 yards for each person, would contain 240,000 persons (see Luncz, "Jerusalem," i, English part, pp. 83-102).

The facilities provided for the convenience of the pilgrims were such as to encourage pilgrimages. Special measures were taken to repair the roads leading to Jerusalem and to dig wells along the route (Sheḳ. i. 1, v. 1). Thirty days before the festival it was forbidden to engage professional mourners to bewail the dead lest they get their compensation from the money intended to be spent in Jerusalem (M. Ḳ. viii. 1). The hides of the sacrifices were left to compensate the innkeepers for lodging the pilgrims, and no other fee was allowed (Yoma 12a). The inhabitants of Jerusalem received the pilgrims hospitably; the priests permitted them to see the showbread and told them of the miracle connected with it (Yoma 21b). Public speakers praised and thanked the pilgrims (Suk. 49b; Pes. 5b). The ceremony attending the offering of the first-fruits (see Bikkurim) in Jerusalem (Deut. xxvi. 2-4), which commenced on Shabu'ot (the Feast of Harvest; comp. Ex. xxiii. 16), is supposed to give a general idea of the reception accorded to the pilgrims.

Post-Exilic Pilgrimages.

The pilgrimages to Jerusalem did not cease with the destruction of the Temple (Cant. R. iv. 2). The women often joined their husbands, sometimes in spite of the protests of the latter (Ned. 23a). But the joy that attended the former pilgrimages, when the Temple was still in existence, changed to lamentations for the loss of national and political independence. The pilgrims mourned the destruction of the Temple and cried: "Thy holy cities are now in ruins; Zion is a wilderness; Jerusalem is a desolation. Our Sanctuary, the pride of our ancestors, is burned down, and all our precious things are destroyed" (M.Ḳ. 26a).

Karaite Pilgrimages.

The Karaites in the ninth century, likewise showed great devotion to Jerusalem. Their ḥakam, Sahl ibn Maẓliaḥ, wrote to Jacob b. Samuel that Karaite pilgrims of various towns gathered to pray for the restoration of Zion; these pilgrims he described as Nazarites who abstained from wine and meat (Pinsker, "Liḳḳuṭe Ḳadmoniyyot," Appendix, p. 31). A company of Karaites, headed by Moses ha-Yerushalmi, journeyed from Chufut-Kale ("The Jewish Rock"), from the Crimea, and from the Caucasus. The inscription on Moses' tombstone, dated 4762 (1002), reads: "Good luck followed him and his companions to the tomb of King David and of his son Solomon, which no other persons heretofore had been permitted to enter." All pilgrims to Palestine were sent out with music and song in honor and praise of the Holy Land. The pilgrims on their return were known as "Jerusalemites" (see the Karaite Siddur, part iv.; "Luaḥ Ereẓ Yisrael," v. 22).

The Turkish conquest under Saladin (1187) secured to the Oriental Jews the privilege of visiting Jerusalem and the sacred places. Numerous pilgrims went from Damascus, Babylonia, and Egypt, and they remained in Jerusalem over Passover and Shabu'ot. Naḥmani, in a letter dated 1268, writes: "Many men and women from Damascus, Babylon, and their vicinities come to Jerusalem to see the site of the Holy Temple and to lament its destruction." About fifty years later Estori Farḥi notes the custom of the brethren of Damascus, Aleppo, Tripoli, and Alexandria to go to Jerusalem for the holy days "in order to express their grief" ("Kaftor wa-Feraḥ," ed. Edelmann, vi. 19). Among the Eastern Jews, especially those of Babylonia and Kurdistan, it has been the custom from the fourteenth century onward to go on a pilgrimage at least once a year, many of them actually walking the whole distance. The era of the Crusades evidently encouraged pilgrimages of Jews from Europe; a most noteworthy example is that of Judah ha-Levi (1140). Meïr of Rothenburg was made a prisoner on his way to Pal estine. Samuel b. Simson (13th cent.) received permission from the governor of Jerusalem to visit the cave of Machpelah at Hebron. It was on his invitation that 300 rabbis journeyed from France and England into Palestine in 1210. These pilgrimages became so frequent that Ḥayyim ben Hananeel ha-Kohen felt compelled to issue a warning against them (Tos. Ket. 110b, s.v. (image) ).

European Pilgrimages.

The expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, and the consequent settlement of many exiles in Turkish territory, largely increased the number of pilgrims. The goal of their journeys was chiefly the tomb of Samuel the Prophet at Ramah, where they held annual communions and celebrations, similar in character to the celebrations instituted on Lag be-'Omer, a century later, at the tombs of R. Simeon b. Yoḥai and his son Eleazar in Meron. In 1700 Judah he-Ḥasid of Siedlce and Gedaliah of Siemjatiszcz started upon a pilgrimage from Poland (Grätz, "Gesch." x. 340); they were accompanied by R. Nathan Note, rabbi at The Hague and author of "Me' orot Natan." In 1765 a company of fourteen families from Poland and Lithuania, mostly Ḥasidim, went on a pilgrimage to Palestine. Among them was Simḥah b. Samuel, author of "Binyan shel Simḥah." He writes that he stayed at Constantinople. where the Jewish community provided passage for the pilgrims to Palestine. There were 110 Sephardim in the vessel that took him to Jaffa (Luncz, "Jerusalem," iv. 137-152).

In modern times the term "pilgrimage," with its ancient and medieval meaning, has ceased to be applicable. Sir Moses Montefiore and his wife Judith made a visit of piety to the Holy Land in 1828; in a later one they were accompanied by L. Löwe, and many other individuals made similar visits. The Zionist movement led to the formation of a number of parties for the purpose of making visits of piety to Palestine and the holy places. while on such a visit, in 1890, R. Samuel Mohilewer and Dr. Joseph Chazanowicz founded a Jewish library in Jerusalem. The Jews of Palestine complain of the lack of interest on the part of their coreligionists elsewhere as compared with the thousands of Christians who avail themselves of modern opportunities to visit the Holy Land.

The following is a partial list of noted jewish pilgrims and visitors to Palestine from the twelfth century up to the present time:

1140. Judah ha-Levi

1165. Moses Maimonides.

1171. Benjamin of Tudela.

1178. Pethahiah of Regensburg.

1210. Abraham Maimonides.

1210. Samuel b. Simson with R. Jonathan ha-Kohen of Lunel ("Itinéraires," pp. 115, 122).

1216. Judah al-Ḥarizi.

1257. Jehiel of Paris.

1258. Jacob of Paris ("Simane ha-Ḳebarim").

1267. Moses Naḥmani.

1318. Estori Farḥi.

1334. Isaac b. Joseph Chelo of Spain (author of "Shibḥe di-Yerushalayim").

1438. Elijah of Ferrara, (author of "Ahabat Ẓiyyon").

1440. Isaac b. Alpera of Malaga (who corresponded with Rabbi Duran; "Sefer Yuḥasin," ed. Filipowski. p. 228).

1450. Joseph b. Naḥman ha-Levi (sent list of sacred tombs to Rabbi Duran; "Sefer Yuḥasin," l.c.).

1481. Meshullam b. Menahem of Volaterra, (see his letters in Luncz's "Jerusalem," i. 166-227).

1488. Obadiah da Bertinoro.

1500. Jacob Silḳili of Sicily "Sefer Yuḥasin," l.c.).

1523. Israel of Perugia ("Jerusalem," iii. 97).

1523. David Reubeni.

1535. Isaac Meïr Laṭif.

1540. Gershon b. Asher Scarmelo (author of "Yiḥus ha-Ẓaddi-ḳim").

1564. Uri b. Simeon of Biel (author of "Yiḥus ha-Abot").

1582. Simeon Back (letters in "Jerusalem," ii. 141-157).

1600. Solomon Shlömel b. Ḥayyim of Lattenburg.

1614. Mordecai b. Isaiah Litz of Raussnitz, Austria.

1624. Gershon b. Eliezer ha-Levi (author of "Gelilot Ereẓ Yisrael").

1641. Samuel b. David Yemshel ( (image) ), a Karaite. (The name "Yemshel" is the abbreviation of (image) .) He was accompanied by Moses b. Elijah ha-Levi of Kaffa, Feodosia (Gurland, "Ginze Yisrael," pp. 31-43).

1650. Moses b. Naphtali Hirsch Präger (author of "Darke Ẓiyyon").

1685. Benjamin b. Elijah, a Karaite ("Ginze Yisrael," pp. 44-54.

1701. Judah he-Ḥasid of Siedlce.

1740. Ḥayyim Abulafia, of Smyrna.

1747. Abraham Gershon Kutewer (of Kuty), brother-in-law of Israel BeSHT.

1753. Aryeh Judah Meisel of Opatow.

1758. Joseph Sofer of Brody (author of "Iggeret Yosef," a journal of his travels, Frankfort-on-the-Oder, 1761).

1765. Simḥah b. Joshua (author of "Sippure Ereẓ ha-Galil").

1765. Moses ha-Yerushalmi (author of "Yede Mosheh," description of sacred graves).

1768. Pereẓ b. Moses (author of "Shebaḥ u-Tehillah le-Ereẓ Yisrael," Amsterdam, 1769).

1777. Israel Politzki, Menahem Mendel of Vitebsk, and Abraham Kalisker (Luncz, "Jerusalem." v. 164-174).

1799. Naḥman Bratzlav of Horodok, a Ḥasid (author of "Maggid Siḥot," a description of his journey to Palestine).

1805. Menahem Mendel and Israel of Shklov (disciples of Elijah of Wilna).

1828. Moses Monteflore.

1833. Joseph Schwarz (author of "Tebu'ot ha-Areẓ").

1837. Menahem Mendel b. Aaron of Kamenec (author of "'Aliyyat ha-Areẓ," Wilna, 1839).

1854. Albert Cohn of Paris.

1856. L. A. Frankl (author of "Nach Jerusalem").

1867. Charles Netter of Paris.

1872. Heinrich Graetz.

1890. R. Samuel Mohilewer.

1897. Israel Zangwill.

1898. Theodor Herzl.

For a list of sacred tombs see Tombs; see also Travelers in Palestine.

Bibliography: Carmoly, Itinéraires de la Terre Sainte, Brussels, 1847; Gurland, Ginze Yisrael, vol. i., Lyck, 1865; Luncz, Luaḥ. v. 5-59.


Pilgrimages are made usually on fixed days in the year, called by the Oriental and North-African Jews "days of zi'arah"; on such days it is customary to visit the tombs or relics of certain personages who in early or medieval times were famous as kings or prophets or for their holy lives. There are other holy places which the people honor as they will and at any time. The days of pilgrimage are celebrated by prayers, rejoicings, and popular festivals.

In Jerusalem a crowd of Jews gathers before the western wall of the Temple of Solomon ("Kotel Ma'arabi") every Friday evening and on the eves of feast-days, as well as on twenty-three successive days from the eve of the 17th of Tammuz to the 9th of Ab inclusive. On the latter date this religious service occurs at midnight. On the 6th of Siwan, the Day of Pentecost, the Sephardic Jews go to pray at the tombs of the kings of Judah at the foot of Mount Zion. On the following day they pray at the tomb of the high priest Simon the Just, and at the tombs of other holy men in the neighborhood, while the Ashkenazim gather at the tombs of the kings of Judah. On the 18th of Iyyar, called "Lag be-'Omer," all the Jews of Jerusalem, Sephardim and Ashkenazim, pray at the tomb of Simon the Just.

In Palestine.

At Burak, between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, is the tomb of Rachel, wife of the patriarch Jacob, to which the Jews of Jerusalem go by turns during the thirty days of the month of Elul. But the 15th of Ḥeshwan is especially consecrated to this pilgrimage (Benjamin II., "Mas'e Yisrael," pp. 3-6, Lyck, 1859). At Rama, near Jerusalem, known in Arabic as "Nabi Samwil," all the Jews of the latter city gather on the 28th of Iyyar at the tomb of the prophet Samuel. The pious even pass the night there. At Khaifa, a port of Palestine, on the evening of the Sabbath which follows the anniversary of the destruction of the Temple, the Jews hold a popular festival, with illuminations, in a grotto, situated on the summit of Mount Carmel, in which the prophet Elijah is said to have taken refuge from the persecution of King Ahab. At Tiberias on the night of the 14th of Iyyar, known as "Pesaḥ Sheni" (Num. ix. 9-14), Jews gather from all parts of Palestine, and there are brilliant illuminations and a popular festival at the tomb of Rabbi Meïr ("Ba'al ha-Nes" = "the miracle-worker").

At Safed, from the morning after Passover (22d of Nisan) till the 18th of Iyyar, every week the Jewish population ceases to work, and makes pilgrimages to the suburbs in the following order; namely, to (1) Biria, where is the tomb of Benaiah ben Jehoiada, David's general; (2) the tomb of the prophet Hosea in the cemetery; and (3) 'Ain Zaitun, to the tomb of Joseph Saragossi, a Spanish immigrant who reorganized the community of Safed in 1492. On the night of Lag be-'Omer all the able-bodied Jews of Safed and several thousands of pilgrims from Palestine, Turkey, northern Africa, the Caucasus, and Persia celebrate a great popular festival with illuminations at Meron, near Safed, at the mausoleum of Simeon ben Yoḥai. At each new moon it is considered essential among the Ashkenazim of Safed—men, women, and children—to make a pilgrimage to the tomb of Isaac Luria, the famous cabalist. At Sidon, toward the end of Iyyar, people from the most distant parts of Palestine make a pilgrimage to the tomb of Zebulun, one of the sons of the patriarch Jacob.

In Mesopotamia.

Places of pilgrimage exist not only in Palestine, but also in Mesopotamia, Kurdistan, Egypt, Algeria,and Morocco. In Mesopotamia the places of pilgrimage are Bagdad, Kiffel, and Bassora. At Bagdad, at the very gates of the town, is the mausoleum of the high priest Joshua, known under the popular name of the "Kohen Mausoleum." At each new moon it is visited by thousands of Jews and especially by barren women. In the local cemetery the tomb of the sheik Isaac, a revered Jew, is also an object of frequent pilgrimages. At Kefil, a locality in Irak near the ruins of Babylon, is the tomb of the prophet Ezekiel, to which the Jews of Mesopotamia go on pilgrimage on the 6th of Siwan (Pentecost). At Bassora the tomb of Ezra is visited on the same date.

In Kurdistan and Persia.

In Kurdistan the Jews have three places of pilgrimage: (1) In the district of Elkosh, near Mosul, the tomb of the prophet Nahum is a place of pilgrimage for fourteen days, the eight days preceding and the six following Pentecost. Readings are given from the prophecy of Nahum from a manuscript supposed to have been written by the prophet himself. (2) At Kerkuk, between the upper and lower parts of the town, are four tombs, said to be those of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, to which the Jews of the district make pilgrimages at Pentecost. (3) In the locality of Bar-Tanura, thirty hours distant from Mosul, is a grotto in which the prophet Elijah is said to have taken refuge. Several times a year the Jews of this region go thither on pilgrimage and contribute to the maintenance of the grotto.

In Persia there are two places to which Jews make pilgrimages. (1) At Hamadan, near the fortress, is an ancient mausoleum containing the tombs of Mordecai and Esther. On the 14th of Adar, the festival of Purim, the Jews of the region read the Book of Esther at these tombs; pilgrimages to them are made also at each new moon and in times of danger. (2) Twelve and one-half miles from Ispahan, in the middle of the fields, is a little synagogue which, according to local tradition, contains the tomb of Sarah, daughter of Asher (Num. xxvi. 46). The Jews of the neighborhood go thither on pilgrimage on the 1st of Elul.

In Egypt, Algeria, and Morocco.

At Fostat or Old Cairo, in Egypt, three miles from Cairo, is a synagogue built in the year 1051 (29 Sha'ban, A.H. 429) by Abu Sa'ad, a favorite of the calif Al-Mustanṣir Ma'ad (Grätz, "Gesch." vi. 152). This synagogue contains a tomb in which, according to local tradition, the prophet Jeremiah rests, and two little rooms built over the places where the prophets Elijah and Ezra prayed. On the 1st of Elul all the Jews of Cairo go on pilgrimage to Fostat and hold a magnificent festival there.

There exist in Algeria traditional tombs of revered Jews which are venerated equally by Jews and Mohammedans. Prayers are said at them in times of stress, but not at regular dates. In the district of southern Oran, in the region of Nedrona, inhabited by the Traras, are the tombs of Sidi Usha (Joshua) and his father, Sidi Nun. In the department of Oran on the Rif frontier is the tomb of a certain R. Jacob Roshdi, which is frequently visited.

In Morocco, as in Algeria, certain tombs are equally venerated by Jews and Mohammedans, but there are no fixed days for prayer; e.g.: at Al-Ḳaṣar, that of R. Judah Jabali; at Tarudaut, that of R. David ben Baruch; and at Wazan, that of R. Amram ben Diwan. Amram was one of the rabbis sent out periodically by the rabbinate of Palestine to collect money. He traveled in company with his son; and when the latter fell sick, Amram prayed to God to accept the sacrifice of his own life and to save that of his child. The son recovered, but the father died, and was buried at Jabal Assen. His tomb is said to be surrounded by a halo, and miracles are said to have taken place there. The 7th of Iyyar is the principal day of the local pilgrimages (see "Journal des Débats," Paris, Oct. 27, 1903).

In Podolia and Galicia and even in the northern parts of Hungary the tombs of Ḥasidic rabbis and miracle-workers are visited on the anniversaries of their deaths, and on other occasions by people in distress. Lamps are burned and prayers are recited; and often letter-boxes are found at the tombs, in which the pilgrims deposit slips on which their wishes are written.

Bibliography: Lunez, Luah Ereẓ Yisrael, Introduction, Jerusalem, 1895; Benjamin H., Mas'e Yisrael, Lyck, 1859; Bulletin Annuel de l'Alliance Israélite Universelle, 1888, 1898; Revue des Ecoles de l'Alliance Israélite Universelle, Paris, 1901, 1902.

This entry includes text from the Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906.

Simple English

A pilgrimage is when people travel to a place of worship that is usually far away. They may have to go to a different city or country. Usually a pilgrimage is done for spiritual or religious reasons. Muslims have to do a pilgrimage to Mecca. This is called Hajj. Other modern-day pilgrimages include the Way of Saint James, and the pilgrimage to Mount Kailash.

There are also non-religious pilgrimages; they include for example:

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