Chapter 8 Pilgrimage as a Feature of Miracles

In: A Companion to Medieval Miracle Collections
Author: Leigh Ann Craig

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Medieval pilgrimage, the variable and adaptable practice of religiously-motivated travel to Christian shrines, was an activity that was frequently bound to the production of miracle texts. This chapter discusses the relationship between the two, exploring the value of this source for the study of pilgrimage. Not all miracle texts derive from pilgrimage, nor was all pilgrimage associated with the miraculous, and as such, there are miracle narratives and even miracle collections that offer limited or no discussion of pilgrimage. Even those collections and texts which were produced in the context of pilgrimage shrines might offer representations of pilgrimage which were selective, and could sometimes be limited in scope. However, where a licing person’s experiences of pilgrimages converged with the production of a miracle narrative, the ritual practice bled into textual record in a variety of ways, making these sources a rich basis for inquiry.