Pilgrimage is not a simple journey; it is a missionary, social liturgical act. It is a missionary act because we share with the world the joy of our faith in the Crucified and Risen Christ. It is a social, spiritual act because it brings people together in a community and offers them hope in an environment that is increasingly lacking peace and joy.
Pilgrimage is the manifestation of Christian love, of ecclesial communion and community. Clergy, monastics, and lay faithful in the city and its surroundings walk together through today’s city, just like the early Christians of the third and fourth centuries in Christian cities, and profess publicly their faith in Christ and His victory over sin and death.
Pilgrimage is communion in procession, a gathering in motion, a symbol of the Church on a mission, which through prayers and hymns, asks for God’s blessing upon the whole city.
Pilgrimage to the holy relics of the Saints is an elevating opportunity to increase Christian communion and joy, in the spirit of brotherly love and of spiritual growth in piety and holiness.
To be able to bear the cross of many sufferings and trials of our time and to feel the help of the Crucified and Risen Christ, we need to strengthen our faith, to multiply prayer and to perform good deeds. In this regard, our pilgrimage to the relics of the Saints can be a moment of spiritual renewal and enrichment for all.
A pilgrimage is a spiritual event for all who participate in it with faith, piety, and love of God and the Church. In a place of pilgrimage, we find not only what the place has to offer, that is the holy church, relics, and divine services, but also what pilgrims bring with each other, namely their piety, zeal, patience, kindness, their way of being and meeting with God and with different people, some who have never known each other until that moment.
For every Christian, going on a pilgrimage to the relics of Saints represents a gift of honour brought for the work of God’s grace in people and a great blessing to increase spiritual life.
Photograph: Robert Nicolae/ Basilica.ro