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New site invites visitors to experience Rome as pilgrims, not tourists

Basilica-of-Saint-John-Lateran-in-Rome

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Daniel Esparza - published on 03/02/24

This initiative hopes to revive the storytelling around the ancient tradition of pilgrimage to Rome in advance of the 2025 Jubilee.

A new initiative called “From Tourist to Pilgrim” aims to deepen the spiritual connection for visitors to Rome’s four papal basilicas. Launched by the Dicastery for Communication, the initiative includes a multilingual website and an accompanying podcast series.

The project is based on the experiences of 16 young communicators who explored the basilicas not only as architectural wonders, but as living testimonies of faith. The website features their personal reflections on how these sacred spaces have impacted them.

“We want visitors to have the same experience,” the young communicators said, according to the Vatican’s press release. “The more we understand where our faith comes from, the better we can share its message and touch people’s hearts.”

Visitors to the site are greeted by images of saints and artists who have shaped these iconic places. The site invites them to “sit at the table” with these figures, fostering a space for reflection and sharing.

To further enrich the experience, the site offers audio guides narrated by those who work daily in the basilicas – art curators, restoration professionals, and religious personnel. Through their voices, these “witnesses” share their passion for the importance of the Basilicas.

Complementing the website, the podcast “From Tourist to Pilgrim” takes listeners on a step-by-step journey through the Basilicas and major pilgrimage sites in Rome. Each episode explores the hidden beauty and symbolism revealed through the lens of pilgrimage.

Visitors are encouraged to share their own pilgrimage experiences, whether physical or virtual, on social media using the hashtag #FromTouristToPilgrim. This initiative hopes to revive the storytelling around the ancient tradition of pilgrimage to Rome in advance of the 2025 Jubilee.

Tags:
Jubilee 2025PilgrimagesRome
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