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Pilgrimages in t 1 he Middle Ages

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Pilgrimages in t 1 he Middle Ages . What are Pilgrimages?. Pilgrimages are journeys with the intention to visit a sacred place or in search of spirituality. When did they begin?

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what are pilgrimages
What are Pilgrimages?
  • Pilgrimages are journeys with the intention to visit a sacred place or in search of spirituality. When did they begin?

Pilgrimages began a little before the Renaissance period. Cathedrals were being built all around Europe as the Roman Catholic Church expanded, as well as other religions. People began to worship saints and shrines because they thought that the holiness was to “rub off on them”.

the popularity of pilgrimages
The Popularity of Pilgrimages
  • Pilgrimages were happening all over Europe. People were curious and wanted to explore. Crusades were forms of pilgrimages as well, which the pope encouraged in exchange for forgiveness, holiness, etc. Others were just looking to be cured from an illness and spiritual need. Many of them wanted to be forgiven of their sins, and hoped that by going to these holy places, they would be granted an entrance to heaven.
the journey
The Journey
  • The journey that a pilgrimage required wasn’t an easy one. It took a long time to get to your destined place and required physical strength. The paths weren't so great either. Rest stops at monasteries or hostels were common among the pilgrims. Many took the roads used for caravans, but they were quite dangerous. Some dangers included thefts and violence. Because of this, pilgrimages began to travel in larger parties. This decreased the chance of assaults and any other dangers. Historians know these kinds of situations happened because people would write them down along the journey. For example, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
the effect
The Effect
  • Pilgrimages not only affected religion, but it spread cultures, language, and ideas. It increased communication since people from different places came together to worship a shrine. It increased travel since people went in groups, which it became very common among Europe. It helped to spread the knowledge of others quicker and faster. Besides that, this lead to more cathedrals and churches.
most common shrines
Most Common Shrines
  • One of the most common shrines that many traveled to was the tomb of Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. It was said that Thomas Becket’s blood was on a piece of cloth and if they touched it, it would cure certain diseases.
  • Another one was at Walsingham, where supposedly the Virgin’s Mary milk was contained in a jar.
  • Many people had to pay to view the relics they so desired to see.
  • Chaucer, Geoffrey “The Canterbury Tales” Penguin Classics, 2003
  • Dowley, Tim. “The History of Christianity” Fortress Press, 2002
  • Internet Medieval Sourcebook IMS 22 January 2004
  • McMillan, Peter. “Pilgrimage”. Spartacus Educational. January 29, 2013.
  • “Pilgrimage”. Medieval Life and Times. January 29, 2013.
  • “Why Pilgrimage?”.The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.Walsingham, Norfolk. January 29, 2013.