Christian pilgrimage  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Christian pilgrimage was first made to sites connected with the ministry of Jesus. Aside from the early example of Origen, who "in search of the traces of Jesus, the disciples and the prophets", already found local folk prompt to show him the actual location of the Gadarene swine in the mid third century, surviving descriptions of Christian pilgrimages to the Holy Land and Jerusalem date from the 4th century: The Itinerarium Burdigalense ("Bordeaux Itinerary"), the oldest surviving Christian itinerarium, was written by the anonymous "Pilgrim of Bordeaux" recounting the stages of a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in the years 333 and 334. Pilgrimage was encouraged by church fathers like Saint Jerome and established by Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great. Pilgrimages also began to be made to Rome and other sites associated with the Apostles, Saints and Christian martyrs, as well as to places where there have been apparitions of the Virgin Mary.

Under the Ottoman Empire travel in Palestine was restricted and dangerous. Modern pilgrimages in the Holy Land may be said to have received an early impetus from the scholar Ernest Renan, whose twenty-four days in Palestine, recounted in his Vie de Jésus (published 1863) found the resonance of the New Testament at every turn.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Christian pilgrimage" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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