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Good Friday in New Orleans: The Nine Churches Pilgrimage

goodfridayneworleans1Did you know that there is a tradition in New Orleans that a lot of New Orleanians don’t even know about? It’s the nine churches pilgrimage on Good Friday.

I’m Catholic and didn’t know about this tradition until a few years ago. I was talking to a cousin last night who knows a lot about New Orleans customs and she had never heard of it either.

On good Friday people get out with family and friends and go into nine churches and pray several stations of the cross until at the ninth church all thirteen are completed.

Some walk from church to church starting uptown and ending their pilgrimage at St. Louis Cathedral. Others drive to different churches they have an affinity for throughout the area. All Catholic Churches are open and some churches like St. Patrick’s on Camp Street have a stream of pilgrims throughout the day.

I don’t know of any other city that has this tradition in America and I’m not sure where it was imported from in Europe. But you can see groups of people laden with backpacks filled with food and water and other necessary supplies to last the long hike through city streets in honor of Jesus’ walk to Calvary and His crucifixion.

Just another of the traditions that make the Crescent City unique.

Posted in New Orleans Life.

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2 Responses

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  1. Myrtle says

    You might want to check your facts. Thirteen Stations of the Cross? Really? I don’t think so.

    There are 14 original. Occasionally a 15th is added, the Resurrection of Jesus.

    But 13? No, no.

  2. Richard Bienvenu says

    You are absolutely right, it’s 14 stations of the cross.I stand corrected. Thanks for pointing it out.

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