In the Middle Ages people rarely travelled outside the confines of their own communities , the exceptions were for war, trade and pilgrimage. In Britain there were a numbers of places that were popular for pilgrimages. Canterbury (the tomb of St Thomas A Becket), Walsingham (a shrine dedicated to Our Lady and her home in Nazareth, and finally St David’s in Wales. And its St David’s shrine that I am interested in. in the 12th Century Pope Callistus proclaimed that “2 pilgrimages to St David’s equal one to Rome, and 3 equaled one to Jerusalem’. This made St David’s one of the most popular places of pilgrimage and the least known. possibly because of the damage from the Reformation and the removal of the bishop’s residence to Camarthen, and the continuous protestantisation of Wales and its culture.
However that sad situation was reversed with the arrival of the Oxford Movement and the Catholic revival in the Church in Wales, and folk started to go on pilgrimage again. In Wales Anglicans go to Walsingham and Penrhys to honour Our Lady, whilst Roman Catholics add Our Lady of the Taper (sic) in Cardigan. Yet I have not heard of a formal pilgrimage to St David’s one of the most important places of pilgrimage in Europe in the Middle Ages.
What I would like to do next year is to see a walking pilgrimage to St David’s next year very similar to those ones that go to Santiago De Compostella and Walsingham. I cannot see why this could not happen. It would be a great experience for all involved.
All we need is for it to happen.
If anyone would like to participate please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 00 620 339 1507. (mobile)