Every year, millions of Muslims make the Hajj to Mecca. Many in the southern Philippines get financial help from Muslim charities to do so.
So I was startled to read in WhispersInTheLoggia blog that the shrine of our Lady of Guadalupe has a lot more visitors (see earlier post about the pope and this shrine)
Wikipedia notes that 3.1 million made the pilgrimage in 2012.
so is this the pilgrimage site with the most visitors?
Not quite: From Travel and Leisure:
Number one is the Meiji shinto shrine in Japan.(30 million visitors a year)
Number two is Kashi Vishwanath Temple, a sacred site for Hindus in India.(21.9 Million)
Number three is the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in Mexico city (20 million)
I disagree with a lot of the sites mentioned in T/L: because a lot of them, like Notre Dame of Paris, are visited as museums, or visited by tourists who are visiting a lot of places, in contrast to these three, which are visited by those who go as an act of prayer.
and then there are repeat visits by locals: the shrine of Guadalupe for example estimates 10 million visitors per year. Well, this makes sense: A lot of us make repeated visits to shrines near our homes. I used to take my boys to the Fatima shrine in Gallitzen to say a rosary, and several times we went to the Lourdes grotto in Emmitsburg (where Mother Seton used to visit and pray) to hear mass.
And Lolo, like many OFW, made a yearly visit to our Lady of Good Voyage in Antipolo to thank her for his safety.