Armchair Pilgrim

As we enter into this month of harvest, I must admit that the idea of pilgrimage has recently held a certain fascination for me. Not sure why…but maybe it is the idea of journey… to a far away land… to discover untold mysteries and to enlighten my spiritual mind. While I do enjoy travel, I don’t always have the time or the funds to quench my restless spirit. Because of this, I enjoy a bit of armchair travel or pilgrimage from time to time.

I discovered this illuminated manuscript page in a book I am now using for my morning devotions called: A Treasury of Hours: Selections from Illuminated Prayer Books by Fanny Fay-Sallois. You can find it new and used on Amazon, but I picked it up at the Getty Museum gift shop several years ago and have decided to spend some quality time with it this month. Art museums are one of the last and  best places to be able to browse books and so I encourage you to seek and ye shall find:)

Book of Hours of Marguerite of Orleans, ca. 1430, Illuminated Manuscript, Hours of the Virgin. Image Source

This page captured my heart as I zoomed in to notice the young patron, Marguerite of Orleans kneeling in devotion and prayer to the baby Jesus. This is personal for her and one can only imagine the hours she lingered over this page and others soaking in the myriad of details.

Notice the rich tapestry of colors sumptuously decorating the page and begin to imagine yourself holding this precious scene in your hands. See how the light catches all the gold places and lifts them from the page to enlighten you, heart, mind and soul.

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. ~ Deuteronomy 6:5

I love all the little pumpkin like flowers bouncing around the border and if you look closely you will find pilgrims traveling along a road that is an upward climb to a beautiful chapel on a hill in the upper right hand corner.

Thinking on this I begin to see that the true pilgrimage of the soul is to fully realize the greatest commandment and knowing this we will enter the beautiful city.

Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ ~ Matthew 22:37

Dear Lord:

God, who led the children of Israel dry shod through the sea, and showed the way to the three Magi by the guidance of a star, grant these pilgrims, we pray, a happy journey and peaceful days, so that, with Your holy angel as a guide, [we] may safely reach [our] destination and finally come to the heaven of everlasting salvation.  ~ The Blessing of the Pilgrims

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