Pope – Pilgrimages – Padley

A reflection by ‘Friend of Padley Volunteer’ Anne-Marie Fletcher

Have you noticed an emerging interest, within the culture, for walking ancient pilgrimage routes, through beautiful countryside? Enjoying Creation with outdoor exercise and good company has many blessings, yet the journeying to a spiritually significant place is also an important part of pilgrimage.
Pope Francis has dedicated 2024 to being a ‘Year of Prayer’ & writes: “Pilgrimage is a very particular form of prayer, a time when we don’t only speak words to God, but act with our bodies to come to a particular place.”

Recently, I re-read an article written by Fr Slavko of Medjugorje about Pilgrimage: “[Pilgrimages]… are an expression of a person who searches for God in places where He has revealed Himself in a special way; where He has offered persons the possibility to feel His presence more easily.”
Aligned with this interpretation of pilgrimage, I have noticed the Celtic Christian term ‘Thin Places’ becoming re-popularized, especially on the internet. These are places where people sense that the ‘veil’ between heaven & earth seems thinner; hearts seem to naturally open up more freely to the things of God; to easy fellowship; to blessed conversations. The ‘Friends of Padley Chapel’, who volunteer to open up this ‘Chapel Shrine’ near Grindleford, on Sunday afternoons, would say that Padley is one of these ‘Thin Places’ & people sense it! It is the Shrine associated with the martyred priests, Blessed Robert Ludlam and Blessed Nicholas GarlickGarlic, of 1588; the place where the Fitzherbert family kept the Holy Mass & Jesus’ Eucharistic presence alive to Catholics in the Peak District, against every persecution. This was at a time in our history, when practicing the Catholic faith or being a priest was deemed to be treason.  This sacrifice transcends time.

If you are interested in visiting Padley Chapel with a group; getting inspiration for pilgrim walks to & around the area; or wish to support the ‘Friends of Padley’ Volunteers in any way, do email us: [email protected]

You need to add a widget, row, or prebuilt layout before you’ll see anything here. 🙂