Pilgrimage: A journey to a Sacred Place or Shrine
Through our agency, Excelsior Tours, we have been offering Pilgrimages for the past eight years. I originally came to Ecuador not having any idea how to make a living here. I started exporting statue reproductions by artisans in the area around San Antonio, an artisan town in the Northern Sierra. From there….our customers asked if they could actually visit Ecuador and its incredible ancient Churches and shrines in this predominantly Catholic country.
The original main attraction for our Pilgrims was the life of the 17th Century mystic Nun Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres and her prophesies of Our Lady of Good Success (www.ourladyofgoodsuccess.com). Since then….our Pilgrimages have expanded to other countries such as Colombia, Peru and Argentina. In today’s modern world of over emphasized materialism…it is wonderful to see that many Latin Americans still hold to their traditional Catholic values.
As we explain to our customers…a Pilgrimage is an ancient ritual for Catholics around the world. The most famous Pilgrimages are Santiago Compestelo in Spain, Jerusalem, Rome and Chartes in France. In our view…Pilgrimages are not as serious as a retreat and not as festive as a fiesta….they fall somewhere in between.
We attempt to bring back old world Catholicism when Christendom was at its highest…the Medieval period. How did the Medieval man live his life???? He prayed a lot, walked a lot, went to Church a lot and of course…..the medieval banquet was his main source of entertainment. In fact…keeping in good spirit with the ancient Medieval banquet, for our meals during the Pilgrimage we serve only beverages invented BEFORE the Reformation (that means plenty of beer and wine)! All of this Medieval mindset has the perfect setting amongst the ancient and impressive Churches of Ecuador. But moreover…..it is the Catholic people of Ecuador themselves and their dedication to maintaining their Catholic culture and roots that makes our Pilgrimages so special.
We recently entertained over thirty Pilgrims here in Ecuador from 24 January to 6 February. They came from all over the world…..Australia, Germany, Canada, USA, Colombia, Mexico and Denmark - different people from different countries, languages and cultures. But……with one thing in common…..their Traditional Catholic faith.
I hope you enjoy this selection of pictures from our recent Pilgrimage.
Thank You Mathieu
I think I might enjoy a Pilgrimage - Dalynda is Catholic; I think we would find it an enriching experience. This could also be an interesting introduction to Ecuador, a good way for somene new to Ecuador to learn an important aspect of Ecuador heritage.
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