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Pilgrim Token

Pilgrim Token


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The 1870 Pilgrim Jubilee Memorial Medal

A carefully crafted medal radiates the legacy of the Pilgrim Fathers.

The Pilgrims were those first settlers of Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts. They held Puritan Calvinist beliefs, maintaining that they should remain separate from the English state church. They first fled to the Netherlands before taking a leap of faith to establish a new colony in America.

The hardships the colony faced were immense, and by the end of their first winter, over half of the colony had perished, with only 47 remaining. But the colony survived, and it was their Mayflower Compact from which came the first form of representational government established in America. The Mayflower Compact also served as the foundation for the US Constitution. What’s more, it was their devout faith grounded in the Scriptures that laid the foundation for the influence of Christianity in America. Their commitments, courage and exemplary love would inspire generations to come.

The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth (1914), as portrayed by artist Jennie Augusta Brownscombe of New York

On December 21, 1870, a celebration by the Pilgrim Society honoring the first landing of the Pilgrims was held in Plymouth, Massachusetts, at the Church of First Parish. This celebration marked that iconic moment 250 years earlier, when the Pilgrims arrived on the Mayflower and began life in the “New World.” The Pilgrim Society was first chartered in 1819, and is responsible for Pilgrim Hall, built in 1824. The hall is America’s oldest continuously operating public museum, and is home to many historic artifacts, including William Bradford’s Bible and Myles Standish’s sword.

Pilgrim Hall preserves the history, records and artifacts of the Pilgrim fathers,
and documents the dramatic story of their landing and perilous first winter.

A medal highlighting the celebration year remains one of the finest examples of workmanship for any commemorative medal ever produced. The medals were struck and distributed to those in attendance of the main celebration that was held at the Church of the First Parish in Plymouth. It was designed and likely engraved by two members of the Pilgrim Society, Joseph E. Ellis and Asa C. Warren. Their names flank the ground on the obverse. The medal was struck by Scovill Manufacturing Co, Waterbury, CT, and pieces were presented to officials and special guests at the celebration.

This print shows the obverse of the medal.
Courtesy of the Congregational Library and Archives.
Click images to enlarge

The reverse features that which the Pilgrims (or Puritans) were most committed to — an open Bible. A bird — likely an eagle representing America — is above, with its wings spread in flight (some have suggested it might be a dove). Above these are the words “Whose Faith Follow.” The remarkably complex scene on the obverse is a classic depiction of the landing of the Pilgrims, lifting up a prayer of thanks for a safe voyage. For the design, a distinctly biblical number of 12 figures was chosen — six kneeling, and six standing — and are clustered around William Bradford, whose hands are clasped in prayer.

The medals are listed in the So-Called Dollar reference as struck in silver-plated copper (HK-13), copper (HK-14), and brass (HK-15). However, it is likely that no brass examples were made, as tests by NGC have found these to be gilt-copper. These have been designated as HK-15A. A few medals were made in solid silver (HK-13A), and NGC has also certified a single white metal (tin) piece that was 5mm thick (HK-15B). Of these, the silvered-copper variety is the most common, and these often exhibit dark and/or colorful toning.

Each of the listings in Hibler & Kappen's reference are given R-5 designations (75-200 pieces known), though the silver-plated variety is likely more common than this. The NGC Census records about 90 examples in silvered copper. About half that number in gilt copper were graded, while less than 10 examples in copper, and just three in silver were certified. A low uncirculated example of HK-13 might sell for under $300, but other metal types can easily bring more. An example of HK-14 recently graded NGC MS 65 RB Prooflike, and was sold in a lot with another (less valuable) medal for $4,560 in a December 2018 Heritage Auctions sale.

HK-14: One of the finest copper examples known was sold last December by Heritage Auctions.
It is graded NGC MS 65 RB PL.
Click images to enlarge

The purpose of the medal was mainly to help raise funds for building Congregationalist churches and evangelical outreach. By 1870, denomination leaders set a goal of $3 million to be raised in the jubilee year — all to go toward building new churches and schools, especially in the South and West, as well as a grand Congregational House and library in Boston. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to sell many medals, and even several months into the campaign, only one in every 20 churches had purchased the medal for distribution. Congregationalist bulletins lamented that while other Protestant denominations were raising millions, “the sons of the Pilgrims of Plymouth” have contributed a “meager and shameful pittance.”

The main celebration was held on December 21, and was attended by many prominent figures, though other distinguished individuals, such as President Grant, had to decline their invitations. The proceedings of the event, including letters from those who received invitations, are recorded in great detail and published by the officers and trustees of The Pilgrim Society.

The main oration was delivered by Robert C. Winthrop, who was not a Congregationalist but an Episcopalian. Robert was, however, a descendant of John Winthrop, one of the founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He exulted in the magnificent influence those first colonies of Puritans had over the New World and for future generations around the globe.

There can be no true American heart, I think, which has not found itself swelling with a more fervent gratitude to God, and a more profound veneration for the Pilgrim Fathers, as this morning’s sun has risen above the hill-tops, in an almost midsummer glory, and ushered in, once more, with such transcendent splendor, our consecrated Jubilee. When we reflect on the influence which has flowed, and is still flowing, in ever fresh and ceaseless streams, from yonder Rock, which two centuries and a half ago was struck for the first time by the foot of civilized, Christian man when we reflect how mightily that influence has prevailed. we should be dead, indeed, to every emotion of gratitude to God or man, were we not to hail this Anniversary as one of the grandest in the calendar of the ages.

While the guests were arriving via trains, a band played in the streets, and guests were invited into the various businesses and shops. The event itself kicked off with a church service at 12:15 pm, followed by Winthrop’s grand speech. Afterwards, a magnificent dinner was served to about 900 guests in the new railway station, during which other speeches and toasts were conducted. The Pilgrim Jubilee’s medal’s reverse was aptly designed, as Winthrop declared in his closing statements,

Let us not be deaf to the warnings of the Fathers. Let us not be insensible to the lessons of the hour. Let us resolve that no National growth of grandeur, no civil freedom or social prosperity or individual success, shall ever render us unmindful of those great principles of piety and virtue which the Pilgrims inculcated and exemplified. Let us resolve that whatever else this nation shall be, or shall fail to be, it shall still and always be a Christian Nation, in the full comprehensiveness and true significance of that glorious term — its example ever on the side of Peace and Justice its eagle, not only with the shield of Union and Liberty emblazoned on its breast, but, like that of many a lectern of ancient cathedral or modern church, abroad or at home, ever proudly bearing up the open Bible on its outspread wings!

The event closed with a grand ball in the evening, which was held in Davis Hall, and was attended by 400 ladies and gentlemen. There was a stunning vibrancy about the decorated hall, which had never been experienced in such a conservative town like Plymouth. At one end of the hall, overhanging the stage in large letters, was the date 1620, and at the rear, 1870, which were exhibited via jets of gas. The music, as played by Gilmore’s Band, continued until “the ball was conducted to a brilliant conclusion at about four o’clock in the morning.”

HK-15A: This gilt-copper example submitted to NGC was graded MS 66 PL. It is possible that no true brass
specimens (HK-15) exist, and they were actually confused with gilt examples in the So-Called Dollar reference.
Click images to enlarge

Harkening back to 1630, it was John Winthrop, the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony (established 10 years later), who declared, “We shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people are upon us.” It was to the Pilgrims that the world could look to as an example of righteous living. They were the ones who lit the beacon in America that would shine to all of Europe as a “model of Christian charity.” They were the foundation of what truly made America great to begin with. That is why the jubilee was so passionately celebrated in 1870, and why the carefully crafted medal produced that year is one of the finest trophies in all of numismatics.


Contents

In the early church Edit

The use of amulets and talismans in pagan antiquity was widespread. The word amuletum itself occurs in Pliny, and many monuments show how objects of this kind were worn around the neck by all classes. Gregory the Great sent to Queen Theodelinda of the Lombards two phylacteria containing a relic of the True Cross and a sentence from the Gospels, which her son Adulovald was to wear around his neck. However, the practice of wearing encolpia (small pectoral crosses) lent itself to abuses when magical formulas began to be joined to Christian symbols, as was regularly the practice of the Gnostics. Some fathers of the fourth and later centuries protested against Gnostic phylacteries worn by Christians. [1] A coin-like object found in catacombs bears on one side a depiction of the martyrdom of a saint, presumably St. Lawrence, who is being roasted upon a gridiron in the presence of the Roman magistrate. The Christian character of the scene is shown by the chi-rho chrisma, the alpha and omega, and the martyr's crown. On the reverse is depicted the tomb of St. Lawrence, while a figure stands in a reverent attitude before it holding aloft a candle. [2]

A second medal, which bears the name of Gaudentianus on the obverse and Urbicus on the reverse, depicts seemingly on one face the sacrifice of Abraham on the other apparently a shrine or altar, above which three candles are burning, towards which a tall figure carrying a chalice in one hand is conducting a little child. The scene appears to represent the consecration to God of the child as an oblate by his father before the shrine of some martyr, a custom for which there is a good deal of early evidence. Other medals are much more simple, bearing only the Chi Rho with a name or perhaps a cross. Others impressed with more complicated devices can only be dated with difficulty or, as in the case particularly of some representations of the adoration of the Magi which seem to show strong traces of Byzantine influence, belong to a much later period. [2]

Some of the medals or medallions reputedly Christian are stamped upon one side only, and of this class is a bronze medallion of very artistic execution discovered in the cemetery of Domitilla and now preserved in the Vatican Library. It bears two portrait types of the heads of the Apostles SS. Peter and Paul, and is assigned by Giovanni Battista de Rossi to the second century. Other medallions with the (confronted) heads of the two apostles are also known. How far the use of such medals of devotion extended in the early Church is not clear. [2]

Medieval Medals Edit

Although it is probable that the traditions formed around these objects, which were equally familiar at Rome and at Constantinople, never entirely died out, still little evidence exists of the use of medals in the Middle Ages. No traces of such objects that survive are remarkable either for artistic skill or for the value of the metal. In the life of St. Genevieve, it is recounted that St. Germanus of Auxerre, having stopped at Nanterre while on his way to Britain, hung around her neck a perforated bronze coin marked with the sign of the cross, to remind her of having consecrated her virginity to God. [3] The language seems to suggest that an ordinary coin was bored for the purpose. Many of the coins of the late empire were stamped with the chrisma or with the figure of the Saviour, and the ordinary currency may often have been used for similar pious purposes.

In the course of the twelfth century, if not earlier, a very general practice grew up at well-known places of pilgrimage, of casting tokens in lead, and sometimes probably in other metals, which served the pilgrim as a souvenir and stimulus to devotion and at the same time attested the fact that he had duly reached his destination. These signacula (enseignes) known in English as "pilgrims' signs" [4] often took a metallic form and were carried in a conspicuous way upon the hat or breast. Giraldus Cambrensis referring to a journey he made to Canterbury about the year 1180, ten years after the martyrdom of St. Thomas Becket, describes himself and his companions returning to London with the tokens of St. Thomas hanging round their necks. They are also mentioned in the allegorical poem Piers the Plowman. The privilege of casting and selling these pilgrim's signs was a very valuable one and became a regular source of income at most places of religious resort.

The custom was firmly established in Rome itself, and Pope Innocent III, by a letter of 18 January 1200, grants to the canons of St. Peter's the monopoly of casting and selling those "signs of lead or pewter impressed with the image of the Apostles Peter and Paul with which those who visit their thresholds [limina] adorn themselves for the increase of their own devotion and in testimony of the journey which they have accomplished". The pope's language implies that this custom had existed for some time. In form and fashion these pilgrims' signs are various. From about the twelfth century the casting of these devotional objects continued until the close of the Middle Ages and even later, but in the sixteenth or seventeenth century they began to be replaced by medals properly so called in bronze or in silver, often with much greater pretensions to artistic execution.

There was also the custom of casting coin-like tokens in connection with the Feast of Fools, the celebration of the Boy Bishop commonly on the feast of the Holy Innocents. The extant specimens belong mostly to the sixteenth century, but the practice must be much older. Though there is often a burlesque element introduced, the legends and devices shown by such pieces are nearly all religious.

Better deserving of attention are the vast collection of jetons and méreaux which, beginning in the thirteenth century, continued to be produced all through the Middle Ages and lasted on in some places down to the French Revolution. They were produced as counters for use in calculation on a counting board, a lined board similar to an abacus. It soon became the fashion for every personage of distinction, especially those who had anything to do with finance, to have special jetons bearing his own device, and upon some of these considerable artistic skill was lavished. Somewhat similar to modern, non-circulation commemorative coins, these pieces served various purposes, and they were often used in the Middle Ages as a money substitute in games, similar to modern casino or poker chips. Upon nearly half the medieval jetons which survive, pious mottoes and designs are found. Often these jetons were given as presents or "pieces de plaisir" especially to persons of high consideration, and on such occasions they were often specially struck in gold or silver.

One particular and very common use of jetons was to serve as vouchers for attendance at the cathedral offices and meetings of various kinds. In this case they often carried with them a title to certain rations or payments of money, the amount being sometimes stamped on the piece. The tokens thus used were known as jetons de présence or méreaux, and they were largely used, especially at a somewhat later date, to secure the due attendance of the canons at the cathedral offices, etc. However, in many cases the pious device they bore was as much or even more considered than the use to which they were put, and they seem to have discharged a function analogous to later scapulars and holy cards. One famous example is the "méreau d'estaing" bearing stamped upon it the name of Jesus, which were distributed around Paris about 1429. These jetons stamped with the name were probably connected with the work of St. Bernardine of Siena, who actively promoted the devotion to the Holy Name.

Finally for the purpose of largess at royal coronations or for the Maundy money, pieces were often struck which perhaps are rather to be regarded as medals than actual money.

Among the benediction forms of the Middle Ages there is no example found of a blessing for coins.

Renaissance Edit

Medals properly so called, cast with a commemorative purpose, began, though there are only a few rare specimens, in the last years of the fourteenth century. One of the first certainly known medals was struck for Francesco Carrara (Novello) on the occasion of the capture of Padua in 1390. But practically, the vogue for this form of art was created by Pisanello (c. 1380–1451), the most important commemorative portrait medallist in the first half of the 15th century, and who can claim to have originated this genre. [5] Though not religious in intent many of them possess a strong religious colouring. The beautiful reverse of Pisanello's medal of Malatesta Novello depicts the mail-clad warrior dismounting from his horse and kneeling before a crucifix.

But it was long before this new art made its influence so widely felt as to bring metal representations of saints and shrines, of mysteries and miracles, together with emblems and devices of all kinds in a cheap form into the hands of the people. The gradual substitution of more artistic bronze and silver medals for the rude pilgrim's signs at such sanctuaries as Loreto or St. Peter's, did much to help the general acceptance of medals as objects of devotion. Again, the papal jubilee medals which certainly began as early as 1475, and which from the nature of the case were carried into all parts of the world, must have helped to make the idea familiar.

At some time during the sixteenth century the practice was adopted, possibly following a usage long previously in vogue in the case of Agnus Dei (discs of wax impressed with the figure of a lamb and blessed at stated seasons by the Pope, which could be worn suspended round the neck) [6] of giving a papal blessing to medals and even of enriching them with indulgences. During the revolt of Les Gueux in Flanders in 1566, One or some of these early Geuzen medals was coined with a political message and used by the Gueux faction as a badge. The Spaniards responded by striking a medal with the head of the Saviour and on the reverse the image of Our Lady of Hal Pius V granted an indulgence to those who wore this medal in their hats.

From this the custom of blessing and indulgencing medals is said to have rapidly expanded. Certain it is that Sixtus V attached indulgences to some ancient coins discovered in the foundations of the buildings at the Scala Santa, which coins he caused to be richly mounted and sent to persons of distinction. Encouraged further by the vogue of the jubilee and other papal medals, the use of these devotional objects spread to every part of the world. Austria and Boherma seem to have taken the lead in introducing the fashion into central Europe, and some exceptionally fine specimens were produced under the inspiration of the Italian artists whom the Emperor Maximilian invited to his court. Some of the religious medals cast by Antonio Abondio and his pupils at Vienna are of the highest order of excellence. But in the course of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries almost every considerable city in Catholic Europe came to have craftsmen of its own who followed the industry.

Apart from the common run of pious medals, a number of various religious pieces were produced connected with places, confraternities, religious orders, saints, mysteries, miracles, devotions, &c., and other familiar types.

Plague medals Edit

Struck and blessed as a protection against pestilence, these medals vary. Subjects include St. Sebastian [7] and St. Roch, different shrines of the Blessed Virgin, and often a view of some particular city. Round them are commonly inscribed letters analogous to those depicted on the Saint Benedict Medal, for example +. z +. D. I. A. These and other series of letters stand for "Crux Christi salva, nos" "Zelus domus Dei libera me" "Crux Christi vincit et regnat per lignum crucis libera me Domine ab, hac peste Deus meus expelle pestem et libera me, etc. [8]

Medals commemorating miracles of the Eucharist Edit

There were a very large number of these struck for jubilees, centenaries, etc., in the different places where these miracles were believed to have happened, often adorned with very quaint devices. There is one for example, commemorative of the miracle at Seefeld, upon which the story is depicted of a nobleman who demanded to receive a large host at communion like the priest's. The priest complies, but as a punishment for the nobleman's presumption the ground opens and swallows him up.

Private medals Edit

These form a very large class but particular specimens are often extremely scarce, for they were struck to commemorate events in the life of individuals, and were only distributed to friends. Baptisms, marriages, first communions, and deaths formed the principal occasions for striking these private medals. The baptismal or sponsor medals (pathen medaillen) are particularly interesting, and often contain precise details of the hour of birth from which the child's horoscope could be calculated.

Medals commemorative of special legends Edit

Of this class the famous Cross of Saint Ulrich of Augsburg may serve as a specimen. A cross is supposed to have been brought by an angel to St. Ulrich that he might bear it in his hands in the great battle against the Magyars, A.D. 955. Freisenegger's monograph "Die Ulrichs-kreuze" (Augsburg, 1895) enumerates 180 types of this object of devotion sometimes in cross, sometimes in medal form, often associated with the medal of St. Benedict.

Although not precisely devotional in purpose, a very large number of Papal medals commemorate ecclesiastical events of various kinds, often the opening and closing of the Holy Door in the years of Jubilee. The series begins with the pontificate of Martin V in 1417, and continues to the present. Some types professing to commemorate the acts of earlier popes, e.g. the Jubilee of Boniface VIII, are reconstructions or fabrications of later date. [9] [10]

Nearly all the most noteworthy actions of each pontificate for the last five hundred years have been commemorated by medals in this manner, and some of the most famous artists such as Benvenuto Cellini, Carsdosso, and others have designed them. The family of the Hamerani, papal medalists from 1605 to about 1807, supplied most of that vast series, and are celebrated for their work. [11]

Other types of medals have been struck by important religious associations, as for example by the Knights of Malta, by certain abbeys in commemoration of their abbots, or in connection with particular orders of knighthood. On some of these series of medals useful monographs have been written, as for example the work of Canon H. C. Schembri, on "The Coins and Medals of the Knights Of Malta" (London, 1908).

The Agnus Deis [12] seem to have been blessed by the popes with more or less solemnity from an early period. In the sixteenth century this practice was greatly developed. The custom grew up of the pontiff blessing rosaries, "grains" medals, enriching them with indulgences and sending them, through his privileged missionaries or envoys, to be distributed to Catholics in England. On these occasions a paper of instructions was often drawn up defining exactly the nature of these indulgences and the conditions on which they could be gained. The Apostolic Indulgences attached to medals, rosaries and similar objects by all priests duly authorized, are analogous to these. They are imparted by making a simple sign of the cross, but for certain other objects, e.g. the medal of St. Benedict, more special faculties are required, and an elaborate form of benediction is provided. In 1911 Pius X sanctioned the use of a blessed medal to be worn in place of the brown and other scapulars.

Steve Cribb's collection of over 10,000 devotional medals is now in the British Museum and the University Museum of Bergen collections.


For those familiar with the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, the scallop shell is a welcome sight. It is a symbol that guides pilgrims along the way towards their ultimate destination, and is frequently worn by those who embark on such a journey.

The scallop shell can also be seen in medieval representations of St. James the Greater as well as basic depictions of pilgrims. It is an ancient symbol, one that has become closely associated with the Camino and Christian pilgrimage in general.

Why is that? How did the scallop shell receive such an association?

Part of it was due to certain legends surrounding the arrival of St. James’s body in Spain. One story recounts that after James was martyred in Jerusalem in the year 44, his body was taken to Spain and when the ship reached the shore a horse was spooked and fell in the water. The story goes on to say how both the horse and rider were miraculously saved and came forth from the water covered in scallop shells.

On a more practical level scallop shells are naturally found on the coast of Galicia near the location of St. James’s tomb. For pilgrims in the Middle Ages the journey was typically done to fulfill a penance given by a priest. In order to verify that the pilgrim did in fact reach the final destination, a local souvenir was required. Over time pilgrims began to take the scallop shells they found and then presented them as proof when they returned home.

At first pilgrims who wanted a scallop shell had to continue the journey past the tomb of St. James to Finisterre, but by the 12th century vendors saw the lucrative opportunity and began selling the shells near the cathedral.

Besides being a souvenir for pilgrims, the scallop shell was also used as a bowl for food and water.

From this close association with the Camino the scallop shell was more generally known as a symbol of pilgrimage. It was used to symbolize the Christian’s journey towards heaven, evoking the Letter to the Hebrews and how we “are pilgrims and strangers on the earth” (Hebrews 11:13).

The Catechism further explains how, “Pilgrimages evoke our earthly journey toward heaven and are traditionally very special occasions for renewal in prayer. For pilgrims seeking living water, shrines are special places for living the forms of Christian prayer” (CCC 2691).

With this in mind the scallop shell was also used in the administration of the sacrament of Baptism. Not only did it prove to be a practical tool to pour water on someone, it also carried that same symbolism of pilgrimage with it. Baptism is the start of the Christian journey and so when a priest uses a scallop shell to pour water on a child, he is initiating that child on a pilgrimage towards heaven. This is also why the scallop shell can often be seen artistically represented in baptistries or on baptismal fonts.

The scallop shell is an ancient Christian symbol, one that has a long and rich history.



Read more:
You want to walk the Camino de Santiago? Here are 10 things you should know


Settling at Plymouth

After sending an exploring party ashore, the Mayflower landed at what they would call Plymouth Harbor, on the western side of Cape Cod Bay, in mid-December. During the next several months, the settlers lived mostly on the Mayflower and ferried back and forth from shore to build their new storage and living quarters. The settlement’s first fort and watchtower was built on what is now known as Burial Hill (the area contains the graves of Bradford and other original settlers).

More than half of the English settlers died during that first winter, as a result of poor nutrition and housing that proved inadequate in the harsh weather. Leaders such as Bradford, Standish, John Carver, William Brewster and Edward Winslow played important roles in keeping the remaining settlers together. In April 1621, after the death of the settlement’s first governor, John Carver, Bradford was unanimously chosen to hold that position he would be reelected 30 times and served as governor of Plymouth for all but five years until 1656.


The Pilgrim’s Progress: A Dream That Endures

THIS GREAT AND SIMPLE OPENING of The Pilgrim&rsquos Progress may remind us that in 1678 Bunyan&rsquos dream was delivered to a reading public ready to receive it. For not only the British but Europeans generally had become all too familiar with the moral complexity of the natural world and the hardness of its going their every path was a perplexity, their wandering footsteps stumbled in a maze, a labyrinth, a wilderness. Already John Amos Comenius, that great educational reformer of international renown, had published his Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart (1631), in which he hoped to show &ldquoboth the vanity of the world and the glory, happiness and pleasure of the chosen hearts that are united with God,&rdquo while a host of other hortatory works in English with titles suggestive of Bunyan&rsquos were in widespread circulation during the first half of the seventeenth century.

It is consequently hardly surprising that The Pilgrim&rsquos Progress should have met so early with &ldquogood acceptation among the people,&rdquo as publisher Nathaniel Ponder happily observed in an appendix to the fourth edition of 1680. Furnishing as it did much counsel, caution and consolation amid the toilsome traffic of daily life, it bore a message that was at once both useful and agreeable. What is more remarkable is the degree of its success as a best-seller. Bunyan&rsquos first editor, Charles Doe, noted in 1692 that about one hundred thousand copies were at that time in print in England alone and that the book had already appeared &ldquoin France, Holland, New England and in Welch&rdquo, a phenomenon suggesting to Doe how Bunyan&rsquos fame might yet &ldquobe the cause of spreading his other Gospel-Books over the European and American world, and in process of time may be so to the whole Universe.&rdquo So overwhelming indeed was the continuing popularity of the book that even learned critics of the eighteenth century, like Samuel Johnson and Jonathan Swift, could not forbear to cheer.

Nevertheless, the Age of Reason generally found Bunyan lacking in finesse, and it was left to the Romantics to uphold this very absence of refinement as a peculiar virtue. If Bunyan was an unlettered tinker out of Bedford, his allegory must be the untutored work of one who was truly a &ldquonatural&rdquo genius his pilgrim, after all, had power enough to affect the businesses and bosoms of all sorts and conditions of men. William Blake was sufficiently moved by Christian&rsquos adventures to create his twenty-nine incomparable water-color illustrations, while Samuel Taylor Coleridge thought the allegory &ldquothe best Summa Theologiae Evangelicae ever produced by a writer not miraculously inspired.&rdquo Adulation continued unabated throughout the nineteenth century and reached a peak in the evangelical fervor of the Victorian era.

American interest in The Pilgrim&rsquos Progress was initially fostered and later sustained by the prevalence of an apocalyptic view which anticipated the establishment of the New Jerusalem in the new world as the climactic event of history. The parallel between the vision of Christian&rsquos journey through a harsh and hostile world to a shining city on a hill and their own utopian dream and millenarian hope was too sharp for most Americans to miss. Accordingly, the influence of Bunyan&rsquos allegory in America was pervasive it is indicated not only by the astonishing number of American adaptations produced in the nineteenth century, of which Hawthorne&rsquos The Celestial Railroad is no doubt the best known, but also by the inspiration the allegory provided for authors as disparate as Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, Mark Twain, and E. E. Cummings.

Despite the current status of The Pilgrim&rsquos Progress as a world&rsquos classic, there is no question that in the twentieth century, with the general decline in piety, popular interest in the book on both sides of the Atlantic has waned enormously. Interestingly enough, however, there has been a compensatory attachment to the work at the academic level, for within the last twenty-five years Bunyan has been taken up by the universities. In what is surely a major irony The Pilgrim&rsquos Progress is now subjected to the most rigorous critical analysis by such leading scholars as Stanley Fish and Wolfgang Iser, who regard the allegory as an object of sophisticated art from which we can learn much about the capacity of literature to engage the reader&rsquos mind it is likewise appreciated by other students who have mined its resources for numerous doctoral dissertations. Today, the appearance of the allegory in the fine collected edition being published by the Oxford University Press bears eloquent testimony both to its durability and to the permanent validity of what it has to say.

Given these vagaries of the book&rsquos cultural history, can we explain why the dream has lasted? The main reasons are the nature of its message and the archetypal imagery which conveys it. While the image of life as a journey actually pre-dated the Christian era, it was from the start adopted to become one of the most potent metaphors in Christian thought, especially when wayfaring is combined, as here, with its cognate image of warfaring. For its use Bunyan was actually indebted to the popular culture of his time, because many English Puritan preachers had given precedent and sanction to the &ldquosimilitude&rdquo in writing their own accounts of the spiritual life. It is, then, to the interplay of tradition and the individual talent that we owe the metaphoric structure of The Pilgrim&rsquos Progress, a heterocosm of romance and adventure in which the Calvinist scheme of salvation is set forth as a progress from one discernible city to another and a process which has a definable beginning, a middle, and an end.

The initial scene is magnificent in its evocation of the solitariness of the long-distance runner. The picture of a man reading his Bible and experiencing a conviction of sin is the first indication of conversion: his anguished cry, &ldquoWhat shall I do to be saved?&rdquo opens the story with a query about individual responsibility, and the episodes that follow are so arranged as to demonstrate divine initiative and intervention in the course of salvation. As a general rule it may be said that the events that happen (such as the capture of Christian and Hopeful by Giant Despair) and the places visited (for instance, the Delectable Mountains) represent states of mind experienced during the progress. To read the book is thus to observe the elected soul negotiating the tricky and treacherous currents between the Scylla of over-confidence and the Charybdis of despair. Or it is to recognize that Christian&rsquos world is the world of Humpty Dumpty, but with this significant difference, that whereas not all the king&rsquos men could put Humpty Dumpty together again, Christian falls to rise, is baffled only to fight better. From this perspective The Pilgrim&rsquos Progress is largely a pictorial representation of the doctrine of sanctification, a fact which helps us to understand why the crucial scene at the Cross comes so early in the book after less than one third of the story has been told. It also goes a long way towards explaining why this beautiful scene, in which Christian loses his burden of sin in the imputed righteousness of Christ and receives a token of his election from the Three Shining Ones, is so economically if deftly sketched. Bunyan&rsquos especial allegorical interest in sanctification is no more than the artistic correlative of that development of Calvinist theology which seventeenth-century English Puritans had made specifically their own and for which they had become famous throughout Europe.

Yet the concentration on sanctification is by no means exclusive all other steps in the plan of salvation find their place in the design of the whole. Following the scene at the outset comes the masterly episode of Mr. Worldy Wiseman which describes the period of formal or legal Christianity preceding effectual calling. The pilgrim is thereafter pressed onward to the Cross where his justification is made plain by his change of raiment, the mark on his forehead and the receipt of his roll. Now that the bargain has been sealed, the sequel deals with the pilgrim&rsquos growth in grace but every in his vicissitudes we are made to feel the binding nature of the covenant entered into at the Cross. That is why, for example, the debate with Apollyon concerns its contractual basis, the argument turning on the relationship between master and servant. And since the pilgrim does continue to follow his Master, the bond is ultimately ratified when sanctified Christian passes to the glory of the New Jerusalem.

Election, vocation, justification, sanctification, glorification: such are the stages Bunyan maps out as the progress of the elect soul. Christian is therefore not Everyman, but he is every man&rsquos paradigm, and his application is universal. Nowhere, it seems, has the scheme of salvation been set forth more attractively and with such force and clarity. In its lack of moral ambiguity the allegory highlights a peculiar beauty of Calvinist theology as Bunyan represents &ldquothe Way&rdquo with a definitiveness one would have to go back to the first-century Didache to match. It is this concrete quality of the work, founded as it is upon the bedrock of human need and aspiration, that grounds our experience of it in reality and accounts in large measure for its permanence.

The same unabashed moral frankness, the same refusal to shrink from the disagreeable aspects of life, so reminiscent of the Shakespeare of King Lear or the Milton ofLycidas, are apparent also in the memorable characters that inhabit the allegory. Since The Pilgrim &rsquos Progress is a drama of predestination, all the characters met with are either doomed and damned or enskied or sainted. This sharp demarcation is evident throughout the allegory, so that Bunyan, in writing his Apology about how he quickly had his thoughts &ldquoin the black and white,&rdquo speaks no less than the figurative truth. It is not that he is insensitive to nuances of character or subtleties of behavior, but rather that he consistently expresses a moral position based on assurance and such an attitude determines his character delineation. If Faithful be truly the type of Christian martyr, he must stand fixed in a self-denying humility as constant as the Northern Star. If Lord Hate-good condemn him, he must display peacock pomposity and bluster in braggadocio. There is nothing crude about such character-drawing indeed, it is motivated by a desire for artistic integrity.

Within these limits Bunyan characteristically proceeds to create personae of great individuality. His creatures are not mere types or pale ghosts tagged with allegorical labels, but men and women of flesh and blood. Even the best souls are not without their shortcomings, as Christian sometimes appears too self&mdashcentered for our liking, too intent on winning his own felicity nor are Faithful and Hopeful easily acquitted of superciliousness from time to time.

The portrait of Ignorance is the richest painting of a villain in the whole book, and he is realized economically at the outset by a phrase, &ldquoa very brisk lad,&rdquo which places him as one concerned with only the externals of religion. On the other hand, By-ends is categorized by a skillful handling of context: he is from the town of Fairspeech yet will not speak his name but he does name all his kindred until he stands exposed as a fair-weather supporter (&ldquomost zealous when religion goes in his silver slippers&rdquo) whose motive is self-interest. Like so may other characters, By-ends is etched indelibly on the reader&rsquos mind and he exemplifies but another aspect of Bunyan&rsquos art that sustains continuing interest in the allegory.

These separate excellencies of structure, theme and characterization still might not move us were they not fused by a style which is rightly praised for its simplicity, directness, economy and vigor. George Bernard Shaw was even prepared (with typical Shavian extravagance) to award the palm to Bunyan against Shakespeare for the brilliance of Apollyon&rsquos speech. Certainly much of the narrator&rsquos persuasive power derives from Bunyan&rsquos manipulation of language, which is often homely and colloquial in dialogue yet opulent and expansive in its range of biblical imagery and reference (particularly apocalyptic), to focus our attention where he wishes, all with the object of involving us in the action. And the case remains true whether we are trapped in Doubting Castle, restoring ourselves after the struggle with Apollyon, fearfully picking our way through the Valley of the Shadow of Death or solacing ourselves upon the Delectable Mountains.

Such are the qualities that have enabled Bunyan&rsquos dream to endure and to confront the challenge of time and circumstance. What of the future? There is some hope that Bunyan&rsquos little book may once again be returned to its original ownership, the common people, for while it has suffered from the disrepute into which many Puritan works have fallen, there are within it some identifiable elements far less dated than we often find it convenient to admit. Like all classics, The Pilgrim&rsquos Progress asserts values that are of a timeless validity, and what remains from our experience of it is a vision of human life and destiny which far transcends any other consideration. Through its emphasis on the worth of the individual soul, its forceful expression of a life beyond the present and the meaning this gives to the here-and-now, the dream can yet deliver a message supremely relevant to our nuclear age. For still the cry remains: &ldquoWhat shall I do to be saved?&rdquo CH

By James F. Forrest

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #11 in 1986]


According to Christianity, one of the original 12 apostles – Santiago, aka Saint James – helped spread the religion throughout the Iberian Peninsula. One theory states that when he died, his disciples put his body in a boat, which landed on the coast of Spain, just west of where Santiago de Compostela stands today. The other maintains that his body was found by a Galician farmer near the town of Padrón centuries later. Either way, it’s said that King Alfonso II ordered the relics to be buried in a specially built chapel, which would later become the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, attracting pilgrims from across Europe.

The Camino grew in popularity in the Middle Ages, with more than 250,000 pilgrims visiting every year, and it became one of the three most popular Christian pilgrimages – the other two being to Jerusalem and Rome.


Pilgrim Psychiatric Center

In 1927, New York Governor Alfred Smith, with public support, pressed the legislature to appropriate money to obtain a minimum of 10,000 beds needed to relieve overcrowding and treat the increasing numbers of people who would need treatment in a mental institution.

Such a big hospital had to be located out in the country where land was cheap. One thousand acres in Brentwood was chosen for this reason.

Pilgrim State Hospital was created by the Legislature in 1929 and named for Dr. Charles W. Pilgrim, Commissioner of Mental Health in the early 1900s. The hospital officially opened for the care and treatment of patients on 825 acres with 100 patients transferred from Central Islip State Hospital on October 1, 1931. Nine months later, 2,018 patients were hospitalized at Pilgrim. The census rose to its peak in 1954, with 13,875 patients.

Pilgrim was the largest facility of its kind in the world when it was built. The hospital community was independent in that it had its own water works, electric light plant, heating plant, sewage system, fire department, police department, courts, church, post office, cemetery, laundry, store, amusement hall, athletic fields, greenhouses, and farm.

Over time, as increasing numbers of patients were able to be discharged and greater support and services became available in the community, the need for such large facilities to treat the mentally ill diminished. Following the trend, Kings Park Psychiatric Center and Central Islip Psychiatric Center were consolidated and relocated to the Pilgrim campus in the Fall of 1996. The following Fall, those facilities were merged into Pilgrim Psychiatric Center under one name.

Pilgrim Psychiatric Center provides a continuum of inpatient and outpatient psychiatric services. The campus includes several residential agencies including:

  • Central Nassau Guidance Center and Transitional Services
  • Charles K. Post Addiction Treatment Center
  • Phoenix House, a residential treatment center for those with substance abuse diagnosis

Pilgrim operates four outpatient treatment centers and one ACT Team throughout Suffolk County.

Inpatient Services offer a wide variety of treatment options within two modern complexes. Treatment focus:

  • Rapid recovery with symptom reduction
  • Programs that develop skills to manage psychiatric illness and better function in the community
  • Active discharge planning and support for individuals returning to community living

Multi–disciplinary teams provide treatment in individual and group formats. On–ward treatment spaces reflect state–of–the art design and a therapeutic environment. Off–ward program and recreational space are available within each building.

There are 12 inpatient wards including 3 admission wards, 2 geriatric wards (1 admission), and 7 Psychiatric Rehabilitation wards.

Regular Visiting Hours

  • Monday to Friday: 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Weekends and Holidays: 10 a.m. to noon, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Certain restrictions apply with regard to items brought when visiting patients. Visitors should call the ward personnel prior to the visit for further information on this policy.

Intensive Treatment Unit Visiting Hours

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Thursday: 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Sunday: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Sunday and Holidays: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Quality Report

Pilgrim is accredited by the Join Commission. We are in compliance with all applicable Behavioral Healthcare and Hospital Standards. Pilgrim has been recognized as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures in the past.

You can access Pilgrim PC's Joint Commission Quality Report. Visit www.qualitycheck.org and search for Pilgrim Psychiatric Center.

To report concerns about patient safety and quality of care, contact Pilgrim's Quality Management Department at (631)761-2912.

We provide a comprehensive array of treatments and services that inspire people with unique mental health needs to experience hope, self-determination and success in their lives.

We envision a mental health system that is driven by the goals and aspirations of the people we serve and provides a healing experience through exceptional collaborative treatment.

Professional and personal growth and full accountability for our actions are essential.

When we work together as a team, we can accomplish more than any one person can accomplish alone.

Every individual can lead a life with meaning and purpose.

Every person is different, each shaped by unique life experience. We recognize that differences in age, race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, physical ability, thinking style, and background bring richness to our work environment. Our differences help us connect better to the health needs of the people we serve.

We believe that attracting, developing, and retaining a base of employees that reflect the diversity of our customers is essential to success.

Integrated and evidenced based mental health care helps individuals maximize resilience and achieve wellness.

Interactions with individuals must be engaging, empowering, empathic and tolerant and respectful.

It is the policy of Pilgrim Psychiatric Center to provide services that are culturally sensitive and linguistically competent.

We deliver treatment services in a manner compatible with preferences that reflect a patient&rsquos:

  • Personal values
  • Beliefs
  • Preferred language
  • Cultural, ethnic, and/or religious heritage

Empathetic and respectful communication is vital to the delivery of our services. Together, we determine an individual's language needs before admission. If they need interpretive or assistive listening devices, we provide the service during the admission process.

In addition to on&ndashward treatment, Pilgrim offers a variety of off&ndashward locations for treatment, recreation, and programming. Alternate treatment environments are available to address the needs of our patients.

  • Centralized Treatment Programs provide a variety of active treatment groups within a lesser restrictive environment and using additional available resources. The Treatment and Learning Center is a daily program offering classes in many areas of recovery including: medication education, social skills training, constructive use of leisure time, self-management skills, and related group sessions aimed at helping patients acquire the skills needed to become ready for discharge and function successfully in the community. A model apartment setting assists patients in community living preparation. Professional staff uses discussion groups, visual aids, and multi-media presentations to engage groups in the learning process.
  • The MSTE ROOM (multi-sensory therapeutic environment) is a dedicated room that brings together a variety of multi-sensory equipment in one place to stimulate senses at the desired level. This area promotes feelings of well being and is utilized in treatment to promote choice, interaction, and relaxation through planned sensory stimulation. The patient is the one who sets the tone for each session as the staff facilitate the development of self-regulatory skills.
  • Rehabilitation Services provides a variety of treatment activities aimed at assisting the individual to improve and maximize independent functioning and consider the role of work in one’s life. Through group and individual counseling, consumers set goals, develop motivation and engagement, and improve skills in the areas of coping/stress management, social and interpersonal communication, wellness, and cognitive enhancement. Concentrated services such as vocational counseling, assessment, job exploration and readiness preparation, as well as, job placement can be provided once discharged back to the community.
  • The Nature Center consists of a greenhouse and surrounding gardens where patients have the opportunity to participate in horticulture therapy.
  • The Barn hosts an Animal&ndashAssisted Therapy and Activities program in which therapeutic treatment takes place using the interactions between patients and farm animals as the intervention.
  • Music Therapy involves a systematic process of intervention wherein the therapist helps the individual to promote health using music experiences and the relationships that develop through them to enable a therapeutic milieu. Sessions are provided on an individual or group basis and techniques include vocalizing with individuals using various instruments, song-writing, and musical improvisation.
  • The Discharge Academy Program is designed to provide members with the opportunity to practice daily living skills prior to discharge. These skills will enhance the ability to live successfully in the community and to prepare for more independent living. The program takes place in a model apartment environment where an educational session is followed by hands-on practice of skills learned. Individuals graduate at the end of the program and a new session begins with others readying for discharge.

The Rehabilitation Center provides centralized space for many off–ward programs. This state–of–the art facility hosts a Swimming Pool, Bowling Alley, Gymnasium, Game Room, Fitness and Exercise Room, and Library and is available daily Monday to Friday, select Evenings, and Saturday Mornings. Classrooms for patient education, treatment groups, ceramic studio, kitchen areas, and meeting space are utilized here. A large Auditorium (capacity 289) is used for staff presentations, conferences, and patient activities. Recent movies are programmed and broadcast weekly for patients' viewing during evening and weekend hours and are also shown for direct viewing on a 22’ long movie theater style screen with surround sound.

The Long Island Psychiatric Museum is located on the Pilgrim campus and offers a vast collection of memorabilia, artifacts, and photos representing the history of the three Long Island hospitals (Kings Park, Central Islip, Pilgrim) that were active at one time and have since been merged with Pilgrim Psychiatric Center.

The Museum is accessible to the public by appointment only. Hours of operation are limited. For further information, please call (631)761-3805.

The Pilgrim Psychiatric Center's Internship Program is accredited by:

This one-year (Sept. &ndash Sept.) experience is for Doctoral candidates in Psychology which follows an apprenticeship/practitioner model.

This internship provides intensive, experiential training in the core skills of clinical psychology, within a state psychiatric hospital, working with severely and persistently mentally ill patients in the public sector. The population we serve consists mainly of individuals with severe impairments, whose diagnoses include:

  • schizophrenia,
  • affective and anxiety disorders,
  • substance abuse problems,
  • and personality disorders.

Interns work side by side with seasoned clinicians. They have a variety of assignments and opportunities to observe and treat serious and persistent mental illnesses, witness the effects of treatment, and assist the patient towards therapeutic re&ndashintegration into the community (i.e., discharge).

Learn more about the Doctoral Psychology Internship Program. If you require additional assistance in viewing the document, you can write or call: Telephone: (631) 761&ndash2399, Fax: (631) 761&ndash3770.

APA/Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) Approved

This one-year (June-July) clinical experience is an APA accredited program for 3rd or 4th year Doctoral candidates in Psychology. The program follows an apprenticeship/practitioner model.

Externs are considered volunteers as they are unpaid and have 16-hour weekly schedules.

Learn more about the Doctoral Psychology Externship Program. If you require additional assistance in viewing the document, you can write or call: Jennifer May, Ph.D. at 631-761-3275.

At Pilgrim Psychiatric Center, the families of our patients are considered an integral part of the treatment process and family involvement is welcome.

The facility provides the following Family Support Services:

  • Family Advisory Board: The Family Advisory Board is comprised of a group of relatives of past and present Pilgrim Psychiatric Center patients. The Family Advisory Board meets monthly with the Coordinator of Family Support Services to discuss issues related to overall patient care and treatment. Issues raised by the Family Advisory Board are communicated to the hospital administration. The Coordinator and the Family Advisory Board also plan annual events, such as the Family and Friends Open House, and the holiday gift distribution project.
  • Family and Friends Center: The Family and Friends Center is currently located in Building 45, 1 st floor. It is a visiting area where patients and their relatives or friends may enjoy a visit in a home&ndashlike atmosphere. There is a stereo, televisions, a game table, coffee&ndashmaker and microwave oven available for the convenience of families .

Specialty Services for Inpatients

Specialized treatment and services are offered for those patients with varying needs, as follows:

  • Substance Abuse Services: group and individual counseling assisting individuals to gain knowledge and insight and develop coping skills to manage use of substances that regularly impact on functioning.
  • Geriatric Services: Age&ndashspecific services for individuals age 65 and above reflective of treatment techniques that address changes in physical, psychosocial and cognitive abilities.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): an inpatient program for individuals with Borderline Personality features that provides individual therapy and group skills training in stress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.
  • DBT,S (Substance Abuse): weekly inpatient program emphasizing the use of DBT skills to help in recovery for substance abuse.
  • Intensive Treatment Unit (ITU): offers short &ndashterm specialized services to those patients who require extensive individualized treatment interventions to achieve a state of equilibrium and who require additional safeguards for their personal well&ndashbeing until they are able to function within a more standard treatment format. Modalities include individual and groups psychotherapies, as well as behavioral programs. After stabilization of the target behaviors, patients are returned to their regular treatment unit. Treatment to individuals who are referred by the court system for observation is also provided.
  • Bridger Program: this program provides linkage and support for inpatients with long hospital stays when the possibility of discharge becomes imminent. Dedicated "bridger" staff work with patients to enable them to move into the community with greater hope, confidence and an increased probability of success.
  • Polydipsia Program: a program providing specialized care and treatment for patients who display excessive water drinking, water intoxication, and/or hyponatremia, a potentially life threatening loss of sodium. The focus is on a ward&ndashbased token economy system, with additional psychotherapy and psychoeducation to increase knowledge and awareness about the disorder, and behavior therapy to increase skills needed to manage the condition.
  • CONNECTIONS Program: this program involves consumers who are transitioning from the inpatient to outpatient setting and aims to establish a relationship with the patient necessary to providing effective transitional/community supports which are based on individual needs and recovery goals. Using person-centered planning, program staff meet with the resident for a four-week period. Collaboration between the staff of the Connections Program, residence staff, and client is encouraged and essential to making the successful transition to community living.

Pilgrim Psychiatric Center operates a broad range of outpatient services both on campus and throughout the community in Suffolk County. Sites are staffed with psychiatrists, social workers, psychologists, community mental health nurses, rehabilitation and recreation staff, peer specialists, and paraprofessional staff. Services available include: recovery services, treatment services -evaluation, medication, counseling and therapy, vocational services, co-occurring disorder services, life enrichment, peer run services, crisis intervention, psycho-education.

Biannual Family Nights are held at each clinic to offer support from clinic staff and other family members, orientation to services available at our clinics, and education about mental health issues.

For detailed information on intake, treatment and social support services, call the number listed for each location.

Specialty Services for Outpatients

  • The Intensive Case Management Program provides an intensive level of supervision to those clients who are frequent system users and have specialized needs in the community. This program serves as a support and follows clients throughout outpatient and inpatient admissions.
  • The Case Management Program is a "step&ndashdown" program for those clients who need support to function in the community but do not require the level of intensity provided by the ICM program.
  • Both Case Management Programs serve consumers in the community but may follow them back into the facility if re&ndashhospitalization becomes necessary.
  • A crisis Hotline provides 24 hour crisis phone intakes, referrals, and contacts after business hours for psychiatric crisis needs. The Crisis Team operates Monday to Friday, 10 am to 6:30 pm and can be reached by calling the Suffolk County Crisis Hotline @ (631)952-3333.
  • The Mobile Crisis Teams provide outreach services in Suffolk County for psychiatric emergencies. The Team provides on&ndashsite assessment, counseling, referral, and hospitalization, as needed.
  • The Mobile Integration Team provides community-based treatment and support services by licensed clinicians, non-licensed para-professionals, and Peers. The goal of the program is to: support efforts to maintain the person in his or her natural environment, provide immediate access to treatment services designed to stabilize crisis situations, reduce environmental and social stressors, and effectively reduce demand on emergency departments and inpatient hospital services. The program is designed to provide an intensive level of care that is fully community-based and occurring in the individual’s home environment or another preferred community setting.

Residential programs range from the semi&ndashindependent living of the State Operated Community Residence, to the shorter stay Crisis Residence Units, to the home care of the Family Care program. Each program offers a unique set of advantages to consumers, promoting empowerment and self determination, while ensuring care and safety.

  • Crisis Residence: This on&ndashcampus 17 bed residence provides temporary housing and is an alternative to admission for those consumers who are experiencing housing or other situational crises. Residents receive psychiatric services from Pilgrim's community programs or from other providers as needed.
  • Family Care: For those consumers who have functional limitations and who need supervision on a continual basis, the homes provided by the Family Care Program offer a family setting. Home services range from a family like setting to the more intensive "personal care" homes for those who need assistance with the most basic aspects of caring for themselves. Homes are located throughout Nassau and Suffolk County.
  • State Operated Community Residences (SOCR) &ndash sponsored by the New York State Office of Mental Health and Pilgrim Psychiatric Center, eleven residences throughout Nassau and Suffolk County provide transitional placement. Homes range from 10 beds to 24 beds and are supervised by staff 24 hours/day. Services are provided to improve independent living skills and enable individuals to move to a less restrictive setting in the community.

Comments or questions about the information on this page can be directed to the Pilgrim Psychiatric Center.


Pilgrim Accommodation

Prices an opening hours can be found at nidarospilegrimsgard.no, booking

  • Private parking is possible on site (reservation is needed) and costs NOK 150 per day.
  • Free wifi.

For questions, contact us by phone: +47 73 52 50 00.

Pilgrim prices for accommodation

Pilgrims can book a bed in the dormitory at a reasonable price, or rent a room with a discount. Visit nidarospilegrimsgard.no, pilegrim booking.

  • The pilgrim price is valid for 2 nights only. For guest nights beyond this, our standard rates apply.
  • Dogs are allowed! inform us of the extra guest when booking a room. An extra fee will be added for the dog.

Remember to bring a valid pilgrim passport that shows you have walked the Pilegirmsleden.


The Medieval Christian Tattoos You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

For religious pilgrims, souvenirs of the journey can be a powerful reminder of the sacrifice and devotion along the way. Beginning in the Middle Ages, religious pilgrimages for Christians became the main form of extended trip for many people. While the wealthy could travel at leisure, other classes would have had to save up in order to make the trip, often walking incredible distances. Once at their destination, often Canterbury, Rome, or Jerusalem, they would take a shell or a piece of a shrine as a token. But, starting about 700 years ago, another popular form of pilgrim’s badge was tattooing.

Today tattoos often get a bad rap, but there was a time when this ancient practice was a mark of distinction among Christians, though early Christian edicts do distinguish between the relevance of secular and Christian tattoos: “When an individual undergoes the ordeal of tattooing for the sake of God, he is greatly praised.”

While the practice of tattooing goes back thousands of years, it was during the Crusades (beginning in 1095) that Christian pilgrims began getting ink once they reached the Holy Land. The practice was also popular among Coptic Christians in Egypt and beyond. A tattoo is still required before admittance in some Coptic churches to show your true faith.

The known history of Christian tattoos dates back to the 6th or 7th century in Egypt and Jerusalem and spread to Africa and Europe from there. There is still one family who give pilgrim tattoos in Jerusalem and have been doing so for 270 years. Razzouk Ink is a family shop near the Tower of David that has been servicing pilgrims since 1750 and the tradition has been passed down from father to son over the centuries.

Popular tattoo designs are images of saints, the Virgin Mary, or the Jerusalem cross (seen below). Often the years of pilgrimage will be added to the tattoo, with a trip to the tattoo parlor becoming a part of the pilgrimages themselves.

Razzouk Inkis the last remaining tattoo shop for Christian pilgrims in Jerusalem. After the Israeli War of Independence many families fled and never returned as the Razzouk family did which means there are now no other tattoo shop for pilgrims in the area. The shop also now does modern secular tattoos as well, after the current tattooer, Wassim, took over from his father and made some updates.

The Razzouk family use some of the historic stamps which were used in antiquity, as well as modern paper transfers, to produce the tattoos. Razzouk Ink is the only place where pilgrims can get a tattoo from these historic wooden stamps, which have been in his family for centuries.

We often think of tattoos today as something on the fringes or done as an act of rebellion. In the 20th century tattoos became more normal when sailors began getting ink in the Pacific. But, even then it was considered a rarity for anyone who wasn’t in the armed forces. But, for pilgrims in medieval times (and now) it is a sign of devotion.


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