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We are now organizing for a Pilgramage to Avila, Spain which will take us to many of the sites of these Carmelite Saints as well as exploring and following in the footsteps of the Pilgrims on the Way of James to Santiago de Campostella. The tentative dates for 2012 are from April 1 to April 10 and we are now collecting iteneraries and Information for our trip. To sign up or to find out more please contact Secular Pilgramages. More Information Continue Reading »

BOCA RATON — Most people take vacations, but this summer a group of eight young people from St. Jude Catholic Church went on a pilgrimage.A pilgrimage is a journey of faith and veneration. In this case, the destination was Madrid, where Pope Benedict XVI would be celebrating a Mass during World Youth Day. They joined 2 million other pilgrims, mostly teens and college-age young people. The cost of the trip was $3,000 per person, so in January, the group began fundraising efforts, including car washes, raffles, concerts and spaghetti dinners at the church in Boca Raton. In one fundraiser, the group took orders for religious medals bearing the likeness of the late Pope John Paul II. While in Madrid, they had the medals blessed by Pope Benedict and gave them out at Mass when they returned. Continue Reading »

Stories and photos by la peregrina (lady Pilgrim) Alison Gardner

Heading into northwestern Spain, paved roads, stony pathways, wooded trails and cobbled streets all seem to lead to the medieval city of Santiago de Compostela. It has been a coveted destination for travelers from many walks of life and many levels of European society since the ninth century. Millions of people have walked, ridden donkeys and horses, or been carried to this most famous Christian pilgrimage site after Jerusalem and Rome, often taking months or even years to reach their goal. 

While recent pilgrimage sites such as Lourdes in France, Fatima in Portugal and Medjugorje in Bosnia may now surpass Santiago for shear volume of visitors, the history-steeped Camino de Santiago (Road of St. James) across northern Spain has experienced an enthusiastic revival since the early 1980s. This has not only drawn new generations of believers but a global clientele of active travelers with a largely secular agenda of walking, cycling or even horseback riding through the picturesque, often challenging, countryside and historic townscapes, unchanged in many parts from the days of the earliest pilgrims. READ MORE

The Lourdes Pilgrimage – Wednesday, April 27 to Wednesday, May 4

Each May, nearly 4,500 Knights and Dames from all over the world travel to Lourdes to learn firsthand what belonging to the Order of Malta really means — devotion, service, and fellowship. Dressed in distinctive uniforms and ministering to the sick and disabled (referred to as malades in French), the members of the Order form an international community of faith and service. Making the pilgrimage can be a profound religious experience. Linked as it is with hands-on service, the pilgrimage offers unique spiritual gifts to all. Knights, Dames, Auxiliary members and volunteers are assigned to small teams, assisting a different malade each day from early morning into the evening. The schedule is full, but rewarding, and there is time for reflection and relaxation. There are doctors and nurses on hand to assist the teams and the malades. In addition to being a tremendous spiritual experience, the pilgrimage can also be a very enjoyable time. You will meet and work with other Knights and Dames from the Federal Association, and from around the world. There is a limit on the number of people who may participate on the pilgrimage. A set number of spaces are reserved for malades and their companions. After that priority will be given to Knights and Dames (and their family members), candidates in formation, Chaplains of the Order, and members of the Auxiliary. All other applications will be considered after these first two groups are established. These reservations will be made on a first-come, first-served basis and a stand-by list will be created. WEB SITE

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