Pilgrimage in the Western world is enjoying a growing popularity today, perhaps more so than at any time since the Middle Ages. Paths, trails, and roads once again greet spiritual travelers on the move who seek out grand cathedrals and roadside chapels, mountain shrines and ancient abbeys, sacred wells and holy islands. Pilgrim destinations across Europe and in the Americas--including Rome and Santiago de Compostela, Canterbury and Lourdes, Croagh Patrick in Ireland and Iona in Scotland, the basilicas of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico and Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre in Canada--are visited as much for the physical journey they demand as for the spiritual power they radiate.
The Pilgrim Journey tells the fascinating story of sacred travel in the West over the course of two millennia: how pilgrimage was born and grew in antiquity, how it blossomed in the Middle Ages and faltered in subsequent centuries, only to reemerge stronger than before in modern times. It describes the pilgrim routes and sacred destinations past and present, the men and women making the journey, the many challenges of travel, and the spiritual motivations and rewards. And it explores the traditional stages of pilgrimage, from preparation, departure, and the time on the road, to the arrival at the shrine and the return home.
At the heart of pilgrimage is a spiritual longing that has existed from time immemorial. The Pilgrim Journey is both the colorful chronicle of numerous pilgrims of centuries past searching for heaven on earth and an illuminating guide for today's spiritual traveler.