Friday, November 22, 2019

Did Catholics Invent Pilgrimages?

by Steve Ray on November 22, 2019

screen-captureNo, it was something the Holy Family and all Jews did at least once a year!

Look what the Catechism says: “[Jesus’] public ministry itself was patterned by his pilgrimages to Jerusalem for the great Jewish feasts” (583).

And the Psalmist wrote: “Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage” (Psa 119:54 in RSV-Catholic Edition).

Remember when Jesus was lost in Jerusalem and his parents found him in the Temple? They were on pilgrimage:  “Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when [Jesus] was twelve years old, they went up according to custom” (Luke 2:41-42).

Along the way they sang the Pilgrimage Psalms, the Psalms of Ascent — Psalms 120-134.  Here is one of them:

Psalm 122:1 A Song of Ascents. Of David.

“I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord!”
Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem!
Jerusalem, built as a city which is bound firmly together,
to which the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord,
as was decreed for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
There thrones for judgment were set,
the thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
“May they prosper who love you!
Peace be within your walls,
and security within your towers!”
For my brethren and companions’ sake I will say,
“Peace be within you!”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your good.

Join us on a pilgrimage. Visit


The pilgrimage is finally coming to an end and what a fabulous pilgrimage it was! Jim Carroll and his family, staff, Board members and volunteers were marvelous and we enjoyed everyone of them. The people were very punctual and disciplined which made for very smooth traveling.

This video is the end of our pilgrimage with farewells and comments that I think you will all enjoy!


It’s awful early when your alarm rings at 4 AM but everyone thanked us later. We arrived at Herod’s Gate and started the Via Dolorosa at 4:45. It’s the best time when there are no crowds in the streets.

We had Mass in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel in the Holy Sepulchre Church then walked to the Western Wall. Lots more…