Visiting Christian holy sites


Advertise with us

For Christians, the season leading up to Easter Sunday is significant. Lent is a period of reflection and reparation that begins on Ash Wednesday and spans 40 days. It ends the day before Good Friday and is a spiritual time for holy places and pilgrimages. For those who want to unite in prayer and purpose, or for those simply seeking to nourish the soul, here are some renowned Christian sites worth visiting:

According to Christian tradition, Jesus was born in Bethlehem in a cave-like enclosure. The site believed to be his birthplace was ultimately preserved in the grotto beneath what is known as the Church of the Nativity. Built in the sixth century, it’s considered the oldest intact church in the Christian world. Within the subterranean chambers you’ll also find St. Jerome’s Cave, a sanctuary where the namesake priest spent 30 years translating Hebrew and Greek scriptures into Latin.

Capernaum was a biblical fishing village in northern Israel beside the Sea of Galilee. It’s where grown-up Jesus lived, and was home to some of his first disciples. It’s also where some of his miracles occurred, according to the later-penned gospels. A hilltop overlooking the water was the setting for sermons and ministry meetings, and is thought to be the place where Jesus appeared to his followers after resurrection. Considered one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites today, you’ll find it located in Kfar Nahum National Park alongside the preserved remains of the fishing village.

<p>Photo by RoseAnna Schick</p>
                                <p>Catedral de Santiago, in Galicia, Spain, is the destination point for pilgrams walking the Way of St. James.</p>

Photo by RoseAnna Schick

Catedral de Santiago, in Galicia, Spain, is the destination point for pilgrams walking the Way of St. James.

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima in Portugal is visited by millions of people each year, who come for nightly candle-lit prayer sessions and visits to the Chapel of the Apparitions. The church was built over the spot where three shepherd children first witnessed the vision of Virgin Mary. She appeared to them “brighter than the sun,” and would return five more times within a period of five months. After news spread, it became an in-demand destination that would grow into one of the world’s largest Catholic pilgrimage sites.

St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City – a.k.a. the ‘Papal palace’ – is a Renaissance-style church that is home to the Pope’s masses, and an inspiration to church designs elsewhere. It’s one of the largest basilicas in the world, too, with an indoor hosting capacity of more than 15,000. Construction began on it in 1506, as a plan to replace the original 4th Century basilica built above an important burial site. Saint Peter was one of Jesus’ first disciples, is widely regarded as the first Pope, and is one of the most recognized saints in Christianity.

Another well-recognized saint is James, whose remains are believed to be buried beneath the Catedral de Santiago in Spain. It’s the destination point for an expansive network of pilgrimage trails called the Camino de Santiago – or the Way of St. James – that extend throughout Europe. People from all walks of life come to journey the historic paths to the cathedral, creating a universally spiritual experience that satisfies the soul for a multitude of faiths and beliefs.

The best part is that you don’t have to be of a specific religion in order to walk a Camino path, or to visit a holy site. Whatever you choose to believe in, you’ll be able to nourish your own soul along the way.

If you keep an open heart and mind, inspiration is not hard to find.

RoseAnna Schick

RoseAnna Schick

RoseAnna Schick is an avid traveller and music lover who seeks inspiration wherever she goes. Email her at

Report Error Submit a Tip


Advertise With Us