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Since the earliest times, such journeys have been made as acts of devotion, penance, or thanksgiving or in search of blessings or miracles. In the ancient Near East, a portion of the harvest was carried to shrines to be offered to the gods in gratitude and homage.
Muslim law prescribes a pilgrimage to Mecca, the birth place of Muhammad, for all who are able to undertake the journey.
A pilgrimage is a time of prayer and to witness the miraculous signposts God has left for our return to Him.
We go to God, not perfect, but as we are, with all of our doubts, crisis, sickness, curiosity, adventure, faith, and thanksgiving to ask for favors and to offer ourselves completely.By the Middle Ages, pilgrimages had become a significant part of Christian devotional life, whether they involved a journey between neighboring cities or across half the civilized world.Churches and cathedrals throughout Europe holding relics of the Holy Family, the Apostles, and other early saints drew throngs of faithful, from common people and parish priests to emperors and popes.It is a journey to a holy, sacred place to usher the pilgrim into the presence of God.The pilgrim must embark on this journey with joyful anticipation, willingness to temporarily separate him or herself from the world and to offer him or herself in humble service to one another.