The Duty of Pilgrimage

The deliberations at the October, 2003 Consulta emphasized that, “Pilgrimage has always been, and still is, an important event in the life of the Order. It is a joint undertaking with high spiritual, penitential and symbolic value.” A pilgrimage to Jerusalem “is a strong moral and individual commitment for all those who are in a position to carry it out.”

A pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulchre of Our Lord and to the other sacred places is also an act of solidarity with our brothers and sisters living in the Holy Land. Our presence among them is an encouragement to the Christian minority in that land, among so many problems, pressures and difficulties. Also, a deepened faith that comes from experiencing the Land of the Bible and its people enables pilgrims to give special witness to those with whom they live and work.

The Pilgrim Shell is the most prized decoration of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre. It is awarded to Knights and Dames who complete a pilgrimage to the Holy Land that includes visiting works of the Order, education on the situation among the Catholic population in the Holy Land and praying at the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre. Normally it is presented by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, or his representative, and consists of a scalloped shell in silver in the center of which is placed the Jerusalem cross in red, bordered in gold.
Originally, the symbol of a complete pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James the Apostle at Compostela, Spain, the shell is now the universal sign of pilgrimage. The shell reminds us that we are all pilgrims on earth and members of a pilgrim Church. It is also a pledge to aid the needy, especially in the Holy Land.
Click here to see and download the Protocol for Receiving the Pilgrim Shell upon completion of your pilgrimage.

In this 10 minute video, join members of the Order as they make their own pilgrimage.

“Pilgrimage is the gateway to members making a deeper commitment to the mission of the Order.” Sir J. Scott Scherer, KC*HS


Upcoming pilgrimages to the Holy Land:

The Lieutenancy is committed to promoting pilgrimages to the Holy Land as the best means of evidencing the Order’s commitment to the Christian Community in the Holy Land.

“Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus”


February 21, 2021 – March 3, 2021 Pilgrimage to the Holy Land with Rev. Sir Christopher Heath KCHS, Pastor of St. Hedwig Church, Los Alamitos, CA, Diocese of Orange in California.

For more information contact Jennifer Clark jclark@sainthedwigparish.org

Read the Pilgrimage Accounts of Other Members of the Order
from the Western Lieutenancy

Two Pilgrims’ Personal Diary – 2018 

Cardinal Roger Mahony’s 29 Steppers . . . Living Stones of Jesus 2014