In their journey to God, many people start small. Thinking about Him for the first time. Crossing themselves for the first time. Going to church for the first time (if it’s not habitual since childhood). Gradually, a person realizes that the health of his soul and body depends on it. And the faith in the Almighty saves from bad and evil and helps to obtain goodness and kindness.

Thus, a person learns more about Christianity. He learns prayers, attends religious services, and communicates with the clergy.

After, many people feel a need to learn even more, visit holy places where saints used to live, and improve their strength in the healing springs. And this is what’s called a pilgrimage.

Initially, only traveling to the Holy Land in Israel was considered a pilgrimage. Later, any person who made a trip to worship sanctuaries in other parts of the world could call himself a pilgrim.

An important part of pilgrimage is to enlighten Christians. Even if you read a lot but attend the same church all the time you won’t be able to learn and understand as much as a person who makes pilgrim trips. During these trips, believers discover the traditions and history of holy sites. They learn the details of religious services and about the life of people in monasteries: many of these moments are unique and sometimes surprising. They also get the opportunity to communicate with the clergy. Sometimes, they even find their spiritual mentors there and these trips become regular.

Pilgrim trips give you a chance to see unique icons, crafts, and architecture with your own eyes. Of course, admiring their beauty is also possible during an ordinary trip. Pilgrimage, on the other hand, is completely different. It’s another vibe and a feeling that arises in the soul. Orthodox call this state grace.

For example, a tourist who looks at the pyramids of Egypt may be glad, delighted, or enthusiastic. But grace is a feeling that only true believers can experience. This is the same joy, only much stronger. This joy doesn’t appear by itself but is given by the Lord. He gives it by His grace. And this energy helps a person to become better, be cleansed from sin, and strengthen faith.

Pilgrims especially value those places where they can plunge into healing springs and drink holy water from them. Water has an exceptional significance in Christianity: for the whole religion in general and for every believer in particular when he immerses in it during the rite of baptism.

The Andcross Pilgrim Ecclesiastic and Educational Center has been organizing pilgrim tours since 1999.

We are happy to share our vast experience with everyone who’s traveling with us for the first time. We advise on what to pack when going on a trip – starting with spiritual literature and ending with everyday essentials. Even the choice of shoes and headwear is important. After all, when going on a trip, we already know about the local climate and what distances we have to cover, while it’s all new and unknown to our future fellow travelers.

If a person only starts his journey to God and religion, we will tell him about the basic rites: how to enter the church and act respectfully there, how to light candles, and worship the relics. Most pilgrims already know about this. However, we are asked lots of questions about staying in new and foreign countries.

First of all, we help to prepare for the trip spiritually. We select the most suitable prayers for this.

During our group trips to sanctuaries, a traveler heals spiritually and physically and meets like-minded people. Kindred spirits spend time together during the tour and even keep in touch long after the trip is over. Quite often, they plan to go on new trips together.

Having made a pilgrim trip once, having received God’s grace, and having experienced an incredible burst of energy, most of the pilgrims of the Andcross Center gladly do it again. Many people start with short-distance trips and gradually reach their dream: to visit the Holy Land.

It goes without saying that this pilgrimage can be considered the main event in the life of a Christian. You can find information about visiting the great sites of the Christian world in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jericho, Galilee, and Jaffa on the website of the Center.

After traveling to holy sites, a person becomes better. His soul is cleansed. His emotional and physical health is improved. And this happens thanks to the strengthening of faith. This is extremely important in our difficult time when a person is permanently surrounded by sins and temptations. You can distract yourself from them during the trips dedicated to communion with God.

Pilgrim Ecclesiastic Educational Centre Andcross

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