This DVD features two half-hour documentaries and ten previews. Pilgrimages are as old as mankind. The mystical and spiritual nature of a pilgrimage holds an eternal, mythic appeal to the imagination of many people.
LENGTH: 90 Minutes
OUR PRICE: $24.95
CATALOG #: 20242
UPC #: 6-4603202429-6
ISBN #: 1-56839-140-4
RELEASE YEAR: 2004
PRODUCER: Telescreen Distribution & Licensing
Every year millions of pilgrims of all nationalities, young and old, set out on these voyages of the soul. The twelve documentaries in the Pilgrimages of Europe collection are experiential journeys to some of the most sacred routes and holy places throughout Christian Europe. Each half-hour documentary, richly filmed, looks at the spiritual, cultural and historical background of an important pilgrimage sites throughout Europe. However, the people, the pilgrims themselves, are at the heart of these stories – their purposes and desires, their motivations, and the great sense of the holy and the sacred which they find on their journeys of faith.
In the 4th century A.D. the monk Patrick traveled to pagan Ireland with a personal mission to convert the Irish to Christianity. Patrick won the population over by integrating venerated pagan symbols, like the sun, into the Christian faith. Croagh Patrick, a mountain on Ireland’s wild western coast, is such a symbol. During a dispute with the druids, Patrick was challenged to fast for forty days and forty nights on their holy mountain. “Our gods will destroy you,” they threatened. Patrick accepted their challenge. After forty days and nights on the mountain, he made his descent, none the worse for wear. From then onward, his influence grew by leaps and bounds. To this day Saint Patrick remains the patron saint of Ireland. Every Irishman climbs Croagh Patrick at least once in his life, as his ancestors did even before the dawn of the Christian era.
A small island off the western coast of Scotland was of vital importance to the earliest years of the Christianization of England and Northern Europe. An Irish monk named Columba came to Iona in the 6th century to spread the Christian faith. Right up to the present day, many pilgrims have followed and continue to follow in Columba’s footsteps. The journey to Iona is a long one. Since there is no direct connection by boat from the mainland, one must travel via the island of Mull. As Iona comes into view, one can also see the outline of the old abbey, which is where the present community of Iona is housed. Hundreds of people stay at the abbey during their visit, and it is an ever-changing population, an ecumenical community. Most of the guests stay here for a week, to study, to talk and to pray and meditate amidst the peace and quiet of the island.
Trailer: Croagh Patrick
“One of the most popular pilgrimage sites in Europe is Iona, a small island off the western coast of Scotland where Columba, and Irish monk, came in sixth century to share the light of the Christian gospel. Mystics call it a ‘thin place’ that facilitates easy access from this world to the invisible realm. This 30-minute documentary nicely conveys the spirit of Iona and its soothing and spiritually satisfying impact on the pilgrims.” – spiritualityhealth.com
“This film includes many pilgrimages across Europe besides Amsterdam. Those included are Belgium, Bosnia, France, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, and Spain. The history surrounding each of the pilgrimages is very interesting. The narration and translation of each country is good.” – Dove Foundation
“Pilgrimages of Europe is a new and outstanding series from Janson Media, which is comprised of superbly produced documentaries showcasing twelve specific pilgrimages hallowed by generations of Christians throughout the expanse of Western Europe. The filming is wonderfully enhanced with the testaments of contemporary pilgrims traveling the sometimes centuries old routes and who find themselves able to stand upon holy ground and pray at revered shrines. This series is truly memorable, informative, and enthusiastically Recommended.”-Video Librarian
“The videos are wonderfully done and I was most impressed with each of them. Several were destinations of which I personally knew nothing and most enjoyed the learning experience. Of particular interest and of most value for my intended use was the emphasis on ‘pilgrimage’ …most impressive and effective. I find in particular the focus on individual pilgrims making the journey to the various sites very moving and helpful.
“These are the finest set of pilgrimage videos I have encountered in my long career in the pilgrimage profession. Government tourist offices produced many of the others I have reviewed and they could learn much from the style of your videos. The length of these videos (20 – 30 minutes) is perfect for our leaders presenting to their prospective pilgrims at meetings. I recommend this series wholeheartedly to our pilgrimage leaders and our pilgrims as well.” – Bob Faucett, Director of Religious Tours, Unitours
“This is a nice, tidy videotape, and, if the others in the series follow this format and achieve the same quality standard, it would be a wonderful addition to libraries with collections of travel tapes or those interested in religious topics, that is, libraries of seminaries and Catholic colleges and universities. Travel agencies and tourism organizations, as well as collections in individual Catholic churches, might also be interested in acquiring it, as might universities with religious area studies programs.
Going on pilgrimage is a growing area of interest lately in the worldwide travel business. It’s not simply for adherents of a particular religion. True, only Muslims are allowed to go to Mecca, but these European odysseys are not restricted to Roman Catholics alone. They are of interest to, and open to, many others. This tape gives an excellent look at what this particular pilgrimage entails; if the others do as well, this will be a valuable series. The photography is professional and the tape just long enough to introduce the site, whet the appetite (whether for the armchair or the actual traveler), and learn a few key facts. Recommended. “- Educational Media Reviews Online