For centuries, people of different faiths have made pilgrimages to places where they seemed closer to their god or saint.
Most believers hope for help, support, or to receive the grace of their God. Even today, millions of people make pilgrimages to various places of pilgrimage every year to get help and answers to their various problems in prayer.
Places of Pilgrimage
Since the Virgin Mary is considered the mediator and advocate of people, many places of pilgrimage are dedicated to her. But some places of grace only emerged after the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared in these places. One of the most famous places of pilgrimage on the Lower Rhine is Kevelaer, where hundreds of thousands of believers go on pilgrimage every year. The village of Ginderich with its Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, to which believers have been making pilgrimages since the 12th century, is less well known.
In silent prayer or by giving a commemorative candle, believers hope for divine assistance. Since inexplicable events, such as spontaneous healing of the sick, occur again and again, belief increases with every miracle that occurs. Even if not everyone experiences a miracle, many pilgrims gain new strength, as well as insights from their pilgrimage.
Places of Pilgrimage
Kevelaer is probably the most famous place of pilgrimage in the region of the Lower Rhine and attracts hundreds of thousands of believers to the region every year, praying or sweeping away in the Chapel of Mercy or the Candle Chapel. Numerous services are also held in the Marien Basilika.
The village of Ginderich with its pilgrimage church St. Mariä Himmelfahrt lies between Xanten and Wesel and is said to be the oldest place of pilgrimage in the region. As early as the 12th century, people from far and wide made a pilgrimage to the image of the Virgin Mary. However, due to a ban on procession in 1640, the place of pilgrimage was forgotten for a long time. That changed in 2005, when Ginderich was officially accepted again into the circle of pilgrimage sites in the diocese of Münster, and since then numerous believers have pilgrimage to the miraculous image. Go out to Ginderich, a bike ride there is recommended on a sunny day.
The Irmgadis Chapel is located on the Süchtelner Höhe in the forest. The chapel was built on this spot in the forest in 1664, but there was already a church there in 1498. The Irmgadis chapel was built by the abbot of the Benedictine monastery in Cologne, who later donated an altar. The Irmgadis chapel is still considered a place of pilgrimage and is particularly visited on the name day in September of St. Irmgadis. Because then believers from near and far celebrate the Irmgadisoktav with a procession that ends on the Heiligenberg at the chapel. The highlight is the service in the forest, which takes place directly at the chapel.
The village of Marienbaum in the Lower Rhine region is one of the oldest places of pilgrimage in the region and has been part of the city of Xanten since 1969. The place of pilgrimage is an oasis of calm and offers, in addition to the pilgrimage church, a pilgrimage museum. Here pilgrims can still move in and pray in peace at the individual stations of the Way of the Cross.
Aengenesch is a small, quiet place of pilgrimage in the region of the Lower Rhine, to which pilgrims from near and far are drawn. In the center of the village is the pilgrimage church with the Madonna of Pain of Aengenesch, with which everything began centuries ago. Around 1380, a wooden chapel was first built, followed by a stone chapel 50 years later. Since then, pilgrims and those seeking comfort have come to the image of the Madonna to seek help, advice and support from the Mother of God.
The pilgrimage chapel of the Little Jerusalem Chapel belongs to the parish church of St. Mary’s Conception in Neersen and a service is held there every Friday. Holy Mass is also celebrated there on Ascension Day and on St. Anthony’s Day. Bridal couples can also be married in the chapel.
The Catholic Church of St. Odilia was built in the 11th century out of tufa. around 1891 the church underwent some modifications.
The Way of St. James (pilgrimage route) on the Lower Rhine, a piece of the world-famous pilgrimage route lies in the Lower Rhine area. It starts This is where the Rhein Maas Weg begins in Millingen in the Netherlands, then via Goch, Kevelaer and Straelen through the region of the Lower Rhine to Liège in Belgium.