To most modern-day thinkers a pilgrimage entails a journey to a sacred place. Thus, the primary purpose of the voyage is to reach a locale that holds special meaning for the pilgrim. Typically, the end destination is a place where a significant familial, historical or religious event has occurred. In contrast to this contemporary understanding of pilgrimage, some Irish Christian monks of late antiquity undertook sacred journeys of an indefinite duration with no express terminus in mind. Furthermore, these monastic sojourners exiled themselves from their homeland vowing never to return to kith and kin. This working paper explores the practice of self-exile and ceaseless wandering—called peregrinatio—and pays particular attention to the potential motivations behind the actions of these early Irish pilgrims.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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