Did Catholics Invent Pilgrimages?

by Steve Ray on November 22, 2010

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No, it was something the Holy Family 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 www.FootprintsOfGod.com

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