The idea of an Orthodox pilgrimage to Mull, Iona and the neighbouring isles has been suggested to me in practically every parish I visited this past year. I have been initially (and still remain) rather afraid to try organising any pilgrimage before we have built our small monastic house, but I confess I’m thinking more and more about it. It all changed after I was on the pilgrimage led by the Orthodox Friends of Iona this August (I should take this opportunity to thank His Eminence Metropolitan Kallistos and Bruce Clark for inviting me to join them, and for their kindness and generosity towards me and our monastery).
There are so many beautiful places to see in the Hebrides, such powerful spiritual landscapes, such strong presence of the Saints, it would be a pity not to at least give the idea some serious thought. I’ve also been fortunate enough to see how the OFI organize their pilgrimages, and I’ve done my best to learn from their experience as much as possible. Perhaps it would be a good idea to start with a ‘trial’ pilgrimage next summer, for just a small group of people who are friendly and kind (that is, people who would not ask for my head if it all turns our badly).
Although, how could it turn our badly? The isles are so visibly blessed, the Saints are so overwhelmingly present, all we’d need to do is let ourselves melt in their grace. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting photos and notes I’ve taken during the OFI pilgrimage in August, as a taste of what awaits one in the isles; this week, I attach a few photos from the Isle of Lunga, the largest of the Treshnish Isles.
I’ll think about it very carefully; please let me know (at firstname.lastname@example.org or in the comments section below) what you think of this idea and whether you would be interested to join me.
May it be God’s will.