As some of you will know, I have just returned from a ten day pilgrimage to Greece, retracing the steps of St Paul’s second missionary journey. A pilgrimage is certainly not a holiday! We rise early, pray together, eat together and journey together, reading the scriptures and visiting the places to which they refer. It is a most wonderful and life-changing experience, and also a lot of fun.
On this particular pilgrimage we visited, amongst other places, Philippi, Thessalonica, the Meteora monasteries (perched high up on the rocks), Delphi, Athens and Corinth. Whilst St Paul has always attracted a mixture of reactions, one cannot but be impressed by the distances he travelled in order to share the good news of Jesus Christ, and the indignities and brutality that he endured in some places along the way. It is astonishing that he achieved so many conversions, and founded so many house churches in the course of his travels. Our visits were greatly enhanced by the services of our guide, a devoted Greek Orthodox Christian, who explained to us, amongst other things, the symbolism of their church designs and liturgies.
I attach just three photos to give you a flavour of our pilgrimage, namely an outdoor Mass in the ruins at Corinth, the interior of a church at a newly restored monastery, and some beautiful mosaics at Beroea to commemorate St Paul’s successful ministry in that place. I can thoroughly recommend such a pilgrimage if ever you find an opportunity to go there in future.
With every blessing