BEFORE THE CROSS | Pilgrims walk with God, draw nearer to Him

The number of pilgrims who have walked the Camino de Santiago has risen dramatically since the mid-1980s. (The Camino is the famous European pilgrimage route that ends in northwest Spain at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, which is believed to be burial place of St. James — "Santiago" in Spanish.) In 1985, less than 1,000 made the pilgrimage. Then the number grew significantly to more than 25,000 by 1997, more than 100,000 by 2006 and more than 275,000 in 2016.

St. James is the patron saint of pilgrims; his feast day is Tuesday, July 25.

Pilgrims by the thousands trek to Ugandan shrine to recall 22 martyrs

NAMUGONGO, Uganda — Walking more than 250 miles to keep a religious commitment is the least anyone can expect of Anna Aciro.

Aciro, 62, has walked the entire distance from Aru, a village in Congo, to the Uganda Martyrs Basilica and Shrine in Namugongo to honor the memory of 22 Catholic saints who lost their lives because of their faith from 1885 to 1887.

For Aciro, it's her second trek to the shrine, which is located near the capital of Kampala.

Pilgrimage for the soul

I thought pilgrims came to this country on the Mayflower? Why do I keep reading about pilgrims going to Rome and the Holy Land?

FAITH AND CULTURE | Our pilgrim life in Christ

F. Javier Orozco

In our Western culture of plenty, it is often difficult to image living in scarcity. We not only have easy access to things we need, but we have grown accustomed to getting what we want.

It can be easy for us to move between mega-malls and mega-churches without having to pause and reflect on what our deepest needs and desires might be. And so we build bigger and bigger places to stock up on all those things we tell ourselves that we need. The small family corner market has been transformed into the big-box store, promising to give us all we need for our long stay.

Opening homes, hearts to World Youth Day volunteers

Young people prayed during Mass in St. Michael’s Chapel at Our Lady of Bonsucesso de Inhauma Parish April 16, marking the countdown of 100 days until World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro.

RIO DE JANEIRO -- In 2011, Luis Martinez, 29, traveled to Madrid, almost by accident. He said it was destiny that took him from his home in Fresnillo, Mexico, as a pilgrim to World Youth Day. Someone could not go at the last minute, and he ended up taking the spot.

James Kelliher, 27, was also there, visiting from London. He said his country can be "aggressively secular," something that challenges him to think about what he believes and ultimately landed him in Madrid among millions of young Catholics from all over the world.

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