“Alms for Palms”
- “But that we [says Jesus to Peter] may not scandalize them [Jews collecting tax on the service of the temple], go to the sea, and cast in a hook: and that fish which shall first come up, take: and when thou hast opened its mouth, thou shalt find a stater [a coin]: take that, and give it to them for me and thee.” Mt. xvii, 26
Pilgrims have relied upon the generosity of others since the first days of pilgrimage. The act of begging alms is foremost a spiritual exercise in humility for the giver & the receiver. The giver needs the prayers of the one who has chosen the better part — indeed, to pray and seek after God. The receiver is humbled in the act of acknowledging he cannot take even a first step on his own strength, but relies on others to draw him toward God.
It takes a lot of generosity to make it to pilgrimage. One must make the decision to forgo income from employment. Then, one must make provision for sizable expenses like transportation and accommodations while away. And there is the registration fee — significantly less than the other expenses, but an added cost all the same.
A sponsor with extra charity can give alms to support the poor pilgrim, and the charitable pilgrim can give his “palms” (in prayer) to the sponsor who otherwise would be poorer but for the prayers.
So that God may bless and reward the generosity of both pilgrim and sponsor, we wish to make it as easy as possible to complete your combined good efforts.
The general idea is for pilgrims to beg benefactors to provide them directly with the cash to cover the costs of pilgrimage. In exchange, the pilgrim promises to bring the intentions of his benefactors to the destination shrine in prayer & penance along The Way.
But pilgrims and their sponsors can also use the alms for palms webform to underwrite the registration fee — which also helps the pilgrim to walk without taxing his budget and the sponsor to walk away with a tax deduction.
In that way no soul or family need be turned away from the pilgrimage for want of material means, including a registration fee.
To sponsor a pilgrim via mail click the below link and download the mail-in form.