Have you ever participated in a spiritual pilgrimage? Essentially for those of us who are unable to physically pilgrimage across the world, we can still ponder the mysteries of the faith in our own homes through intentionality in prayer. There are a lot of great sources out there for virtual visits to certain pilgrimage sites and devotion guides. We thought about adding another layer to this idea of a spiritual pilgrimage: to reflect our interior journey in our clothing so that it acts as a tangible reminder to ourselves of our intention.
The Holy Land
Key Terms: Desert, Indie, Bohemian
Background: To see, smell, touch, and hear the same things as Jesus did during his earthly life, in the land of the Old Testament mediators and prophets, is transformative. There is something about encountering the Gospel through our senses that causes our faith to be lit anew by the Holy Spirit.
Meditation Ideas: “Lord I want to see through the eyes of those who walked alongside you during those earthly days.” Consider watching an episode or two of the Chosen Series, praying slowly with one Gospel passage, or gazing upon a Crucifix alongside the Nativity scene.
What to Wear: Reflecting the desert landscape and culture of the Holy Land, consider wearing unique patterned garments (particularly in the palette of maroon, rust, mustard, black, and taupe). Think billowy pants, headbands or headwraps. What would you want to wear upon approaching the Nativity scene in that historical moment (because it probably wouldn’t be velvet or snowflakes)? What would you wear when singing Psalms alongside King David before the Ark of the Covenant?
Key Terms: Cobblestone, Minimalist, Linen
Background: To walk through the same streets in which early Christians were dragged to their death, but they knew it was their journey home. Seeing through the eyes of St. Paul during his final days knowing he
had finished the race well, motivates the pilgrim to continue onward and upward in the call to holiness.
Meditation Ideas: “Jesus, grant me the grace to receive the strength of martyrs that I might reject complacency as I grow in acute awareness of their constant intercession.” Consider reading through one of St. Paul’s letters or some of the stories of early martyrs (Ex: Philomena, Agnes, Stephen, Lawrence, Perpetua & Felicity).
What to Wear: Shift dresses, linen tanks, flowy skirts, and knit tops are the way to go. Simple muted tones are the way to go unless you desire a splash of red as a nod to the martyrs. If you have any gladiator sandals or some shoe that ties up around the ankle, this is the time to wear them. What would you wear to the Mass St. Peter celebrates in your neighbors’ home? What would you wear in the catacombs to sneak fellow Christians through to have access to the Eucharist?
Key Terms: European chic, Embroidery, Florals
Background: The beautiful villages and cities through which some of the greatest saints were formed in the faith from Faustina and Maximillian to Hedwig and John Paul II. Not to mention the courage of many who persevered through the terrors of Auschwitz. This dear country has been anointed by the Holy Spirit and is truly holy ground.
Meditation Ideas: “Lord, I yearn for the boldness and resilience of your holy ones from Poland.” Read up on St. Hedwig, contemplate the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, or pray with a quote from St. John Paul II.
What to Wear: You will see various floral dresses, embroidered tops, and button downs in Poland. Consider wearing shades of red and blue upon meditating upon the Divine Mercy image. What would you wear to one of Karol Wojtyła’s hikes?
Key Terms: Hills and Valleys, Cottagecore, Leather
Background: Christianity took Ireland by storm in the 5th-6th centuries, influencing everything from academic learning to architecture and music. There have been many great missionaries and saints who have come from the hills of Ireland. After persevering through great famine (in both spiritual and physical food), the saints of Ireland are known for their resilience.
Meditation Ideas: “Jesus, fill me with a renewal of your joy as you did across the land of ‘saints and scholars.’” Listen to Celtic Church hymns, discover 5 facts you did not know about St Patrick or St. Brigid, or read about Our Lady of Knock while asking for her intercession.
What to Wear: Leather jacket, dark jeans, cotton floral tops, boots, or anything that communicates the simultaneous sensitivity and fierceness of Irish culture. The saints of Ireland were bold and zealous for faith—how will you reflect this sense of boldness in your style?
Key Terms: Waterside, Espadrilles, Tiered Skirts
Background: Some of the greatest mystics in the Church were from Spain and have given great spiritual direction to her members. Many have heard of the Camino de Santiago (which is a journey to the cathedral of St. James the Great where his remains are kept after his martyrdom) as the transforming pilgrimage that requires endurance in both fitness and faith.
Meditation Ideas: “Lord, I want to draw nearer to you as St. James during the Transfiguration, give me the endurance to bear my current circumstances with hope in your promise.” Read excerpts from A Pilgrim’s Progress by Bunyan in light of learning about the Camino de Santiago, pray with excerpts from the writings of St. John of the Cross or St. Teresa of Avila, or learn something new about St. Rose of Lima or St. Isidore the Farmer.
What to Wear: Consider crochet cardigans, layered cotton skirts, sun dresses, and strappy sandals (extra points if you own espadrilles). What would you wear on a walk with St. Rose of Lima? What style comes to mind when you ponder the Interior Castle of St. Teresa of Avila?