Saints, shrines, miracles, and pilgrimage
in Catholic England
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A striking feature of late medieval England is the Christ- and crucifix-centred nature of the spirituality, expressed in small-scale daily devotions, in visionary and devotional literature. Alongside Christ, the saints also attracted considerable devotion. Saints acted as intercessors, and provided miracles; their shrines were the focus of aspirations, and of pilgrimages. A key feature of the late Middle Ages in England was also the development of a multiplicity of shrines centred on images of the Virgin, and of a plethora of wayside crosses. Both were foci for offerings, and thus for pilgrimage and miracles. Pilgrimage might also be encouraged by the offering of indulgences and spiritual privileges for those visiting specified locations. The accounts for the shrine-keepers of Ely and Hereford permit an assessment of the scale of cash offerings, but not of the overall numerical flow of pilgrims.

Catholic England

Faith, religion and observance before the Reformation

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