Via Michaelica: a “Ley Line” Pilgrimage, and You

Have you ever heard of a “ley line”?   These are straight lines that can be draw on a map linking both man made and natural sites that line up in a significant way.  For example there is a Ley Line of St. Michael in Southern England, which links up various abbeys, etc.

However, there is an even more spectacular Ley Line of St. Michael the Archangel.


This ley line of this Via Michaelica links…

  • Skellig Michael in Ireland
  • Saint Michael’s Mount in Cornwall
  • Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, France
  • La Sacra di San Michele in Piemonte, Italy
  • Santuario di San Michele Arcangelo di Monte Sant’Angelo in Gargano, Italy
  • St. Michael Monastery, Panormitis on the Island of Symi, Greece.
  • Ruins of the Carmel on Mount Carmel.

As a friend recently wrote to me about how to get to these places:

Fly to Shannon, from Shannon go to Cork and get a boat to Cornwall, then train to London, chunnel to Paris, bus to Mont St. Michel, then back to Paris and train to Torino, — bus to San Michele — , train/bus to Gargano-Monte Sant’Angelo, back to Rome, then fly to Istanbul, and train or bus to Marmaris and the island of Symi (belongs to Greece, not Turkey — you could even do a side trip to Patmos), then back to Istanbul and a short flight to Tel Aviv.

So… imagine a pilgrimage with daily TLM and really good food.

¡Hagan lío!

Just thinking aloud, as it were.



Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio, contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium. Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur: tuque, Princeps militiae caelestis, Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo, divina virtute, in infernum detrude. Amen.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. James C says:

    I live 40 minutes from Monte Sant’Angelo in the rugged Gargano National Park of Puglia. It’s a wondrous place, and a very nice untouristed part of Italy with magnificent food. Do come!

  2. Dan says:

    Sound so wonderful. Sign me up for 2 spots :-)

  3. Mightnotbeachristiantou says:

    This looks like fun. There is something called Eurostarsnap. You pick the day and they pick the time. Tickets can be as low as 25€.

  4. Muv says:

    “…go to Cork and get a boat to Cornwall…”

    Possible in the 19th century, no doubt, but not now.

    Please allow me to amend the first part of the itinerary, so as to avoid crossing the Irish
    Sea by boat (notorious), missing out London altogether, and hitting Paris only once:-

    From Skellig Michael (Kerry) travel to Cork. Fly to Bristol. Train from Bristol to Penzance.
    Short bus ride to St Michael’s Mount.
    Train from Penzance to Plymouth. Boat to St. Malo.
    Short bus ride to Mont St. Michel.
    Bus to Rennes. Train to Paris. Train to Turin.
    Short bus ride to La Sacra di San Michele.
    Train from Turin to Rome, then Rome to Foggia.
    Bus to Monte Sant’Angelo….

    Fascinating that all these places can be joined with a straight line, as the angel flies. I’ll join you on the trip.

  5. HyacinthClare says:

    Sign me up for two spots, also. And we better do it quickly before the dark descends for another thousand years…

  6. Charivari Rob says:

    What projection is that map, Father?

  7. Muv says:

    Part 2…
    Miss out Turkey altogether.
    Fly from Rome to Rhodes, then boat to Simi to visit monastery at Panormitis. Then back to Rhodes to fly to Tel Aviv.

  8. Benedict Joseph says:

    I’ll go!
    Father should get in touch with one of those pilgrimage conglomerates and work this out for Spring 2017. If he gets enough pilgrims they will give him the trip for free! On the way home we can go to Fatima.

  9. ts says:

    Speaking of Fatima: Is there a ley line between Fatima and Jasna Gora? Or Fatima and any other point?
    Fr. Z. Do you have more information on ley lines in general and Via Michaelica specifically. How was it ‘found’?
    Back to the pilgrimage…let’s do it! Would it be 2 weeks? more or less?

  10. majuscule says:

    I just googled “ley lines” and some of the images are…interesting I guess.

    But I would not let the New Age connotations stop me from going on a ley line pilgrimage! Some folks propose that ancient civilizations used some now lost method to build their sites on “the line” but we know better, don’t we!

    Here’s something I dredged up searching “ley lines” and “Fatima”…

    “The most significant Marian apparitions have occurred on or near the 40th parallel.”

    And –“The distance between the grotto of Lourdes to the church of Saint Jean where the
    shrine is kept is 11.62 miles. The distance between the Podbordo Vallery where the
    Medjugorje Madonna was first seen and the church in Mostar is 11.61 miles.
    This is obviously more than a coincidence.”

  11. Ed the Roman says:

    I only take seriously great circle Ley lines drawn on a globe. Those rhumb line Ley lines are a joke. ;-)

  12. KateD says:

    Having a common thread that runs through a pilgrimage can offer cohesiveness and focus for contemplation…a spiritual nugget to chew on. Following a ley line would be a way of incorporating a specific theme of prayer. Many pilgrimages are 10 days, which would be perfect for a Novena to Saint Michael….and maybe leave tomorrow…or end on September 29, 2017….

    We sure could use Archangel Michael’s help right now!

    Why not end the pilgrimage at the site of Jesus Christ’s Ascencion into Heaven, where the Golden Legend says Saint Michael will defeat Satan?

    You’d have to start with an arrival on Septmeber 28….and roast goose dinner with Michaelmas pie in Ireland on the 29th?

    I may steal this itinerary, Father, depending on how the election goes in November!

  13. Shonkin says:

    I second what Charivari Rob and Ed the Roman said. A straight line, other than a meridian, drawn on any projected map has no physical meaning. If you plot a great circle that passes through Mount Carmel and Mont-Saint-Michel, it misses the other points. In fact, it misses Ireland completely.
    The pilgrimage looks like a great thing. (A great thing for those who have the money and leisure to do it, of course. People with family obligations, unless they are very rich, need not consider it. ) Let’s just not pretend that ley lines mean anything at all, or that those points are on a great circle.

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