Corporate Pilgrimages and Shrines

Text from John Grump: “In line to see Maria Goretti.  A very long line.”

I love the idea of pilgrimages.  I like that relics are transported to different countries.  I am a believer in miracles just like any other Catholic and truly believe in the intercessions saints can make for us from beyond the grave.

Yet I have never in my adult life gone to a presentation of relics, even when I had ample opportunity.

This is why.

Move along, sir.  Move along.

I have no love of crowds.  I hate having to stand upon my tiptoes so I can tower over everyone to see what I came to see.  I loathe the idea of standing in a long line to get even a small peek at the remains of a great saint.

Perhaps it is a bit too wistful of me to wish for the return of local saints… Of festivals unique to the people of the village, region, city, or township…  Of days where all would take off work and go to Mass followed by a carnival on the feast of the vicinity’s local saint… Or of having a local saint buried in a church near to you, where you can quietly pray at his/her grave when you are in distress?

Perhaps it is too much to ask for in our corporate Western world and in the centralized Roman Catholic Church where a saint is canonized and then devotion items and bad art for him/her are mass produced and marketed to the whole world.

One can only dream of a better time and a fostering of more local saints.

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