Franciscan spirituality leads down many roads and pathways. Some might say it is a crooked road. Francis and his followers went on pilgrimage regularly through out their lives. Our Catholic faith is rich with the long tradition the pilgrim way. World Youth Days, Pilgrimages to the Holy Land, Pilgrimages of Lordes, etc. Franciscans also have a long tradition of pilgrimages.
Reflect on the life of a pilgrim:
Francis and his brothers also took several pilgrimages in their lives. One is the road to Rome. That way is open again.
Pilgrimage is a way for Franciscans to follow in the footsteps like Francis and all the franciscans over the centuries since.
"Pilgrimage has been part of the Christian tradition for centuries. A pilgrimage is a spiritual journey to a sacred place. The journey can be near or far — as close as a neighboring church or as distant as halfway around the world. It can be a day-trip, a 10- to 14-day excursion or any other duration.
Years ago, people went on pilgrimages in larger groups for safety, to protect themselves from bandits on unfamiliar roads in foreign lands. Today, many prefer to go in groups for ease in travel, to enjoy the benefit of a local guide, to have the opportunity to celebrate Mass and share in other forms of communal prayer, and to experience fellowship with other believers.
There are a number of good spiritual reasons to make a pilgrimage. For many it is like a retreat, a time away from home and the regular routine to concentrate on the spiritual life without distractions — a time for prayer and meditation, learning and enrichment.
For others, it is a time of intercession, an opportunity to pray for a special intention or an occasion to offer thanksgiving for blessings received. Centuries ago, a pilgrimage was commonly assigned as a penance to make satisfaction for sins committed." excerpt from The Catholic Spirit.
Resources below are given to help plan a pilgrimage for yourself or your OFS fraternity. For our purposes we focus on the Franciscan tradition of pilgrimage. So explore the links below and take a pilgrimage virtually in your home or plan a physical pilgrimage to a local shrine or even across the world to the birth of the Franciscan movement in Assisi and St. Francis’ footsteps.