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More Than Mere Trifles Essay

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During the Middle Ages, the English church’s suggestions were spoken by God’s own voice. The Church encouraged pilgrimages to various holy places, or shrines, to search for spiritual enlightenment and penitence from sin. This ideology says that if one were to pray at a shrine, one could be forgiven of one’s sins, thus increasing the chance of going to Heaven after an earthly death. Those suffering from a plethora of aliments and other illnesses might also make a pilgrimage in the hope of being healed of it. For whatever their reason, pilgrims made their way to the various shrines; they were influenced, in part, by furthering their faith through religious relics. Pilgrims sought out relics and saw these pieces of material as much more than mere trifles; rather, these items were a means to obtain salvation.
Pilgrims ventured to shrines, often times paying money or other forms of patronage, in the hope of being allowed to look at or perhaps even kiss the religious relics displayed in the shrine. Much like a modern-day traveler of the United States who collects stickers from the various states to affix on a suitcase, pilgrims were given a metal badge after their visit to a shrine; they would wear these badges on their hats, signifying they had visited a particular shrine—pilgrims had their own form of postcards from their travels. Pilgrims normally traveled in larger groups during their journeys, as making a pilgrimage was a dangerous affair. On an opposite end of the spectrum, some people wanted to go on pilgrimages without actually going on the journey itself. A wealthy person might pay another to make the trek for him to a particular shrine setting.
One notable shrine in England is the tomb of Thomas Becket. Becket was at one ti...


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...othing more than trinkets, many saw them as rare mementos of their faith, adding a great, divine comfort to their searching. Whether it is the shrine of Thomas Becket or a locale containing a baby tooth of the Savior in the Christian faith, pilgrims flocked to these places on their pilgrimages much the same way as someone might want to flock to a heavenly acceptance. Throughout time figures like King Henry VIII and others have tried to stop the progress of religious shrines and the relics therein, but halting a pillar in the any faith is not a task suitable for a mortal. Some relics, people of the time believed, had the power to heal aliments that even earthly medicine failed to do. Thanks, in part, to the relics and the journeys it took to find them, the Christian faith and the belief of the people transcended any earthly authority and bordered something divine.



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