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The world’s holy places from home

Michele Frankeni  |  02 November 2020

Being confined to your home state because of coronavirus is no reason why you can’t make a pilgrimage to some of the most beautiful cathedrals and holy places in the world.

Here are some holy places and cathedrals around the world that you can visit from the comfort of your home. You can either take part in pilgrimages such as the Holy Land and Ignatian Pilgrimage by Jesuit priests, or perhaps you can organise your own virtual camino (journey) with friends or family – putting together a schedule of stops, and making the journey over a series of days or weeks.

HOLY LAND PILGRIMAGE

With Fr James Martin SJ as a guide, pilgrims explore the land of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. The virtual pilgrimage offers videos and reflections each day 

IGNATIAN PILGRIMAGE TO SPAIN 2018

Matt Malone SJ and Eric Sundrup SJ undertook a spiritual journey with 30 friends of America Media that celebrated the life and spirit of St Ignatius sof Loyola. Calling on Society of Jesus brothers in Spain the group walked in the footsteps of Ignatius and visited Loyal, Arantzazu and Javier among other places. 

LOURDES

The Marian Shrine at Lourdes hosted the first ever online world pilgrimage on 16 July 2020, the anniversary of the final apparition to St Bernadette Soubirous. See the Lourdes United Global e-pilgrimage.  

ST JOHN LATERAN, ROME ITALY

The Cathedral of the Most Holy Saviour and of Saints John the Baptist and the Evangelist in the Lateran, (Lateran Basilica), is the cathedral church of the Diocese of Rome in the city of Rome. The dedication of the Lateran Basilica is commemorated on 9 November.

SISTINE CHAPEL

Built in the 15th century and it was painted in the 16th century, by some of the world’s greatest artists. Michelangelo painted the ceiling and the Last Judgment fresco. The Sistine Chapel serves as the location for conclaves of Cardinals that elect new popes. 

CATHEDRAL BASILICA OF OUR LADY OF CHARTRES, FRANCE

Located in Chatres, about 80km southwest of Paris, the cathedral was mostly constructed in the early 13th century. It has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, which calls it the ‘high point of French Gothic art’. Well preserved for its age, the majority of the original stained glass windows survive intact. 

FATIMA

The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, appeared six times to three shepherd children; Lucia dos Santos and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto; between 13 May and 13 October 1917 at the village of Fatima, Portugal.

ST PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL – NEW YORK CITY, US

Directly across the street from Rockefeller Center in the middle of New York City, St Patrick’s Cathedral was built in the 19th century over a period of 20 years (with a pause during the Civil War). Building began in 1858 and the cathedral opened in 1879. It is the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of New York.

THE LONDON ORATORY

The Church of the Immaculate heart of Mary was built between 1880 and 1884. It is the church of the Congregation of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri (1515-1595) who founded the Congregation of the Oratory in Rome. Soon after converting to Catholicism in 1845, John Henry Newman became an Oratorian and brought St Philip’s Oratory from Rome to England.

ST PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL, MELBOURNE

Sited on Eastern Hill, Melbourne, St Patrick’s Cathedral is built on a traditional east-west axis, its plan is in the style of a Latin cross, consisting of a nave with side aisles, transepts with side aisles, a sanctuary with seven chapels, and sacristies. St Patrick’s has the distinction of being both the tallest and, overall, the largest church building in Australia.

Images: Clockwise from top left: The London Oratory; Holy Land pilgrimage; Sistine Chapel; St Patrick's, Melbourne; St John Lateran; Ignatian pilgrimage to Spain; Chartres Cathedral; Fatima. Centre: St Patrick's Cathedral, New York City.

 

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