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“The Mother Prayed, The Daughter Felt Relief:” Women And Miraculous Pilgrimage

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Chapter Summary

?Pilgrimage" is a broad term, which, for medieval Christians, embraced a variety of activities. Devotional prayer, short trips to local churches, long journeys to the Holy Land, and the process of human life itself were all understood as types of pilgrimage. This chapter discusses women's presence in the practice the author calls miraculous pilgrimage, a journey undertaken to one of the ubiquitous shrines that boasted either a saint's tomb or some of his or her relics. Such pilgrimages were performed either in the hope that this saint would intercede with God, who would then grant the pilgrim's request for a miracle. In over 90% of cases, pilgrims visited saints' shrines in hopes of healing a sick or injured person. Many women contextualized their participation in this sort of pilgrimage as an extension of, rather than a rebellion against, their normative social roles.

Keywords: medieval Christians; miraculous pilgrimage; women



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