St. Edmund Campion Pilgrimage

Prayer Guide

Now is the time to embark on a domestic pilgrimage.

This short prayer guide can be used before, during, and following a trip/walk to one of the local pilgrimage destinations and sites of Catholic heritage, but for now, we use it on our pilgrimage of the St. Edmund Campion Way.

As St. John Paul II explained, "Pilgrimages, a sign of the condition of the disciples of Christ in this world, have always held an important place in the life of Christians. In the course of history, Christians have always walked to celebrate their faith in places that indicate a memory of the Lord or in sites representing important moments in the history of the Church. They have come to shrines honouring the Mother of God and to those that keep the example of the saints alive. Their pilgrimage was a process of conversion, a yearning for intimacy with God and a trusting plea for their material needs. For the Church, pilgrimages, in all their multiple aspects, have always been a gift of grace" (The Pilgrimage in the Great Jubilee from the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerants, April 25 1998, 2).

For Christians, the reasons for going on pilgrimage might be:

  • To set aside time for God and feel closer to him
  • To discern his will and guidance at times of transition or difficulty
  • To be strengthened in faith
  • To feel inspired by the communion of saints who have gone before us.

Included here are some prayers and reflection guidelines that can be used while you are journeying, when you arrive to a site, and on your return trip. It is divided into three sections:

  • "On the Way – as you embark",
  • "Upon Arrival – destination of the day",
  • "The Way Back – going home".

Most of the prayers are taken from Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers. Keep in mind that these prayers can be prayed in the silence of your heart, with a fellow pilgrim, or in a larger group.

Local Pilgrimage Guide Contents

Begin the journey each day of the walk by praying the prayers in the "On the Way – as you embark" section. When you arrive at the place of destination for that day, consider one or more of the prayers contained in the "Upon Arrival – destination of the day" section. As you prepare to leave and on the journey back home, use the prayers contained in "The Way Back – going home" section.

On the Way

This collection of prayers can help prepare the pilgrim on the journey. The pilgrimage begins the moment the pilgrim leaves their home, so these prayers can be helpful on the first steps out the door or on the road heading to the place where you will commence your pilgrim walk for that day. It is recommended to begin your journey, if you can, by celebrating and attending Mass at St. Edmund Campion Church.

Litany of the Way: Prayer for the Journey

As we set out on the journey, we walk with Christ, who leads all pilgrims towards the Kingdom of God. Christ himself is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and our lifelong pilgrimage of faith follows his path.

As Jesus sought the quiet of the desert, teach us to pray.
As Jesus promised paradise to the thief on the cross, teach us to hope.
As Jesus called Peter to walk to him across the water, teach us to believe.
As the child Jesus sat among the elders in the temple, teach us to seek answers.
As Jesus in the garden opened his mind and heart to God's will, teach us to listen.
As Jesus reflected on the Law and the prophets, teach us to learn.
As Jesus used parables to reveal the mysteries of the Kingdom, teach us to teach.

Pilgrim's Prayer of St. James, Patron of Pilgrim Travelers

St. James the Apostle is known as the patron of pilgrim travellers because, during medieval times, his sanctuary in Santiago de Compostela in north-western Spain was one of the most travelled pilgrim routes in Christendom (known through the centuries as the Camino de Compostela). Whether on a journey to a distant shrine or to a local place of veneration and importance, it is good to pray with St. James for his protection during the journey. St. James was also one of the three disciples chosen by Christ to journey with him up Mount Tabor for the Transfiguration; with this in mind, we pray with him that we, too, might have a transformative experience on pilgrimage. This medieval prayer (origin unknown) has been said many times through the centuries by travellers along the Camino pilgrimage route, and can be prayed for the Edmund Campion Way.

O God, who brought your servant Abraham out of the land of the Chaldeans,
protecting him in his wandering across the desert,
we ask that you watch over us, your servants, as we walk in the love of your name to Tyburn.
Be for us our companion on the walk,
Our guide at the crossroads,
Our breath in our weariness,
Our protection in danger,
Our home on the Camino,
Our shade in the heat,
Our light in the darkness,
Our consolation in our discouragements,
And our strength in our intentions.
So that with your guidance we may arrive safe and sound
at the end of the road and enriched with grace and virtue
we return safely to our homes filled with joy.
In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Saint James the Apostle, pray for us.
Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.

Prayer for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

We journey with Mary, the Blessed Mother who always guides us in route to Her Son Jesus. Even though this prayer is intended for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (December 8), it can be said throughout the pilgrim's journey as a reminder of the guidance from Mary under the title of the Immaculate Conception.

O God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin
prepared a worthy dwelling for your Son, grant, we pray,
that, as you preserved her from every stain
by virtue of the Death of your Son, which you foresaw, so, through her intercession,
we, too, may be cleansed and admitted to your presence.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

A Daily Prayer of St. Edmund Campion

We journey with Mary, the Blessed Mother who always guides us in route to Her Son Jesus. Even though this prayer is intended for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (December 8), it can be said throughout the pilgrim's journey as a reminder of the guidance from Mary under the title of the Immaculate Conception.

"I have made a free offering of myself to your Divine Majesty,
both of life and of death,
and I hope that you will give me grace and force to perform.
This is all I desire. Amen."

-St. Edmund Campion

The Angelus

Traditionally recited at 6:00 a.m., noon, and 6:00 p.m., the Angelus can be incorporated into your pilgrimage journey if you are traveling near those hours. This prayer can be used at other times to invoke the protection of the Blessed Mother.

O God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin
prepared a worthy dwelling for your Son, grant, we pray,
that, as you preserved her from every stain
by virtue of the Death of your Son, which you foresaw, so, through her intercession,
we, too, may be cleansed and admitted to your presence.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

V/. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary,
R/. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary...
V/. Behold the handmaid of the Lord,
R/. Be it done unto me according to your Word.
Hail Mary...
V/. And the Word was made flesh,
R/. And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary...
V/. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God,
R/. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray.
Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord, your grace into our hearts:
that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ your Son
was made known by the message of an Angel,
may by his Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of his Resurrection.
Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Upon Arrival

Having arrived at your destination point for this day, especially if it has taken a while to arrive, it can be tempting to rush back home. However, it is important to be aware of your surroundings, taking in the environment and paying attention to your senses (sight, smell, touch, sound). Below are several prayers to give yourself an opportunity to truly appreciate whatever God has in store for you at this time.

Prayer in Times of Seeking God's Will

Pilgrimage is about contemplating important decisions in life. As you arrive at your daily destination, the following psalm (Psalm 27:7-9, 13-14) can be used as a way to open yourself to and hear God's voice in this space.

Hear, O LORD, the sound of my call;
have pity on me and answer me.
Of you my heart speaks; you my glance seeks;
your presence, O LORD, I seek.
Hide not your face from me;
do not in anger repel your servant.
You are my helper: cast me not off;
forsake me not, O God my saviour.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stout-hearted and wait for the LORD.

We Ask Your Forgiveness

Pilgrimage is also about laying our shortcomings and struggles to God through the experience of a holy place. Take time to ask for God's forgiveness while there. It is important to enter the space with a clean heart and mind, so as you pray this simple prayer, call to mind your sins and shortcomings and offer them in prayer to the Lord.

Lord Jesus Christ, you died on the Cross
for the salvation of the world.
We ask your forgiveness for the sins of our past
and your protection from all future evil.
Bring us to the peace and joy of that Kingdom
where you live forever and ever.

We Offer Ourselves

Pilgrimage is a time of special graces. Take the opportunity to open yourself to God's will for your life.

God our Father, You brought salvation to all human beings
through the suffering of Christ, your Son.
May we strive to offer ourselves to you as a living sacrifice
and be filled with the abundance of your love.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. R/. Amen

Scripture Reflections

St. Ignatius of Loyola teaches that God is in all things, and much of prayer is listening in silence. These two scripture passages remind us of how God resides in silence, and how he meets us there. Read these passages and dwell in quietness on aspects of God that are mysterious and glorious to you. (As you take in this holy space, the silence will give you an opportunity to find God speaking and calling out to you. Consider these passages as you enter the space).

1 Kings 19:11-13

Then the LORD said, "Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD; the LORD will be passing by."
A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains and crushing the rocks before the LORD – but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake – but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake there was fire – but the LORD was not in the fire. After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave. A voice said to him, "Elijah, why are you here?"

Psalm 62:2-3, 6-9

Only in God is my soul at rest;
From him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed at all.
Only in God be at rest, my soul,
For from him comes my hope.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold, I shall not be disturbed.
With God is my safety and my glory,
he is the rock of my strength; my refuge is in God.
Trust in him at all times, O my people!
Pour out your hearts before him;
God is our refuge!

Sensory Reflections

As you remain in this point of your arrival, consider the following questions and take a moment to look at and notice these things. We can quickly pass by them, but on pilgrimage, we are challenged to stop and appreciate the little moments on the journey. With each of these, take time to pray to God and express gratitude. Also consider what emotions or thoughts you experience when you notice these things:

  • How do you feel as you journey from your home or starting point to this destination?
  • Are you excited, tired, uncertain, prayerful, indifferent, or anxious?
  • Upon your arrival what things do you initially notice?

Be still in silence and consider four of the five senses as you enter the space:

  • What sights do you see?
  • What sounds do you hear?
  • What do you smell?
  • How does the space feel to the touch?
  • Allow the Lord to enter the silence in your heart. What religious experience in your past does this space remind you of?
  • What Scripture passages were you reminded of as you walk?
  • How will you remember this day? Is there a particular image, prayer, message, or person that you will use to commemorate this experience?

Leaving the Space

As you begin to leave the destination of your pilgrimage on this day, consider the journey that is just beginning. Perhaps the Lord has revealed the next stage of your life or given you great clarification, or perhaps He is asking you to continue to listen and pray. Whatever this pilgrimage leads you toward, continue to ask for the Lord's guidance and protection, and be open to your next pilgrimage journey – in the world, in the Church, or in your heart.

Take a brief moment before exiting the site/walk to pray an "Our Father," "Hail Mary," and "Glory Be."

The Way Back – going home

In the story of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor, the disciples wish to remain with Christ in his glory a little bit longer (Peter says, "If you wish, I will make three tents here...," Mt 17:4). Instead, Jesus leads Peter, James, and John back down the mountain. The same applies to your local pilgrimage experience. While it may be nice to remain in this holy space, the time eventually comes to leave and return home. Here are some prayers for the "journey down the mountain" of your local pilgrimage experience today. If you are walking back or taking a bus back from where you conclude your walk, these prayers can be said while traveling in the company of others. These prayers can also be said at a rest stop on the way back home, or upon arrival at home, the church, or wherever the journey ends for the day.

Prayer to Walk the Path of the Beatitudes

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, man of the beatitudes, patron of young adults, and lover of the mountains, is an inspiration for all young people of faith. Indeed, he is the partro of our pastoral area of the Great Parks. We pray through his intercession for the strength to live out the path of the beatitudes in daily life and as we look forward to the great things that come next after our mountaintop experiences on pilgrimage.

Heavenly Father, we have gone up "to the heights"
as your servant, Pier Giorgio Frassati, once did in the mountains of Turin.
We have experienced transformation and joy,
and now we continue on our way into the valleys of life,
walking the way of the Beatitudes in all we say and do.
Give us the strength, Lord, to follow Pier Giorgio's example:

To lift up the poor in spirit, to comfort those who mourn;
To be simple and meek, to hunger and thirst for justice;
To be merciful and compassionate, to be pure in heart;
To be a peacemaker, to stand with courage in persecution.
As we make our way down from the mountaintop,
may we live as he lived, and transform our world.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Our Father

Hail Mary

Glory be...

 

St. Edmund Campion, pray for us.

Amen