By definition, a pilgrimage is a journey, especially a long one, made to some sacred place as an act of religious devotion.
Most people know of the Camino, the pilgrims’ way which featured in Martin Sheen’s film, The Way. The most popular route (very to over- crowded in mid-summer) is the Camino Francés, stretching 780 km from St Jean-Pied-du-Port near Biarritz in France to Santiago.
This route is fed into by three other French routes: The Voie de Tours, the Voie de Vezelay, and the Voie du Puy.
It is also joined along its route by the Camino Aragones (which is fed by the Voie d’Arles which crosses the Pyrenees at the Somport Pass), by the Camí de Sant Jaume from Montserrat near Barcelona, the Ruta de Tunel from Irun, the Camino Primitivo from Bilbao and Oviedo, and by the Camino de Levante from Valencia and Toledo.
Not all pilgrimages are so dramatic: Some are more modest in scale and distance. All, however, centre around devotion.
This is the prayer used during the Mary Aikenhead pilgrimage to Hobart in March 2017:
With grateful hearts,
We acknowledge the gift of Mary Aikenhead.
Thank you God for call us to follow her
In service of the poor and the most needy.
Hep us to surrender to your providential love
In all circumstances of our lives.
We pray that, as true followers of Mary,
We may be impelled by your love.