GLORY TO JESUS CHRIST!!!
Many people who have encountered Pilgrim George have a sense that it was ordained by God, and not just by sheer chance. As for me, I definitely feel that it is part of God's plan that I should have met this holy man and this blog is my very small contribution in assisting in His plan.
Pilgrim George is a humble and softspoken man who has a great sense of peace, love, and joy that surrounds him and that comes from his personal closeness with his savior, Jesus Christ. His steps are those of faith, and his purpose is in lifting the name of Jesus as he walks along the highways.
This blog is meant as a meeting place for all friends, old and new, of Pilgrim George. I hope will be a wonderful testimony to the impact that God has, through his servant, Pilgrim George, on the lives of so many people.
I welcome comments and stories about your fellowship with Pilgrim from his current 2009 Pilgrimage, or any of the past.
Pilgrim will need your prayers as he ventures forth from his poustinia, in Butler, PA, in early May. His 2010 pilgrimage is in honor of the Our Lady of Conquest. May God bless you all.
Yours in Christ,
Rachel (Rae) Baer
How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
who brings good news,
who announces salvation,
who says to Zion, "Your God reigns." (Isaiah 52:7)
Now You Can Join us on FACEBOOK! Sign up and click on the link above for the "Friends of Pilgrim George" group!
Pilgrim George also has his own individual page, if you'd like to contact him there as well.
Pilgrim George's Bible and Chotki (prayer beads)
"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner"
For anyone who uses Facebook, there is a group..also called, "A Pilgrim for Christ". It's located at: http://www.facebook.com/?sk=2361831622#!/group.php?gid=164859287534
There's also a slideshare application that goes to a location where you can view some of Pilgrim George's journals and itineraries (past and present).
FRIENDS OF PILGRIM GEORGE (now on Facebook):
Come sign up and join the group!
Sunday September 6, 2009
Pilgrim George walks to share God's word
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Pilgrim George sits in the tiny kitchen of the rectory of Father Mojmir Zalcik of Saint Mary's Orthodox Church in Westover. Zalcik pulls a steaming bowl of Haluski -- a Slovakian dish of fried noodles -- and a chicken leg from the microwave to serve to the pilgrim for lunch.
George is taking a short break on a four-month-long trek. He's on the final leg and hopes to be at his destination -- Uniontown, Pa. -- by Monday.
Pilgrim George begins eating and Zalcik pets his dog as the two strangers converse about the times they crossed paths in life without knowing it.
There are several "you were there, then?'' and exclamations of "you knew him?'' as the two realize they have mutual friends.
There is even some theological discussion over Genesis 3:15 (the verse that talks of good vs. evil) and the picture that hangs around Pilgrim George's neck.
The picture is of baby Jesus being held by his mother Mary. The picture is not the only feature that is predominant with the Roman Catholic pilgrim. He has a long, white beard that he said he realizes leads some people to call him Moses. His patchwork robe is made of denim; one that he can replace while on the road.
Zalcik is from the Czech Republic and came to Westover three years ago. He still speaks with a heavy accent. But that doesn't slow the two down.
The two discuss how they ended up where they are. Both say they received a call from God. For Zalcik it was to become pastor of St. Mary's; for Pilgrim George it is walking the Earth.
"If he gives you a call,'' Pilgrim George said, "He gives you the means to fulfill it.'' Zalcik is one of the people who has helped Pilgrim George fulfill his call, by providing food to the self-described man of poverty.
Pilgrim George -- whose birth name is George Walter -- walks across different parts of the United States every summer. He ends his journey every year at Mount Saint Macrina Monastery in Uniontown for Labor Day.
He spends about four months walking and then spends the other months inside his home at the Holy Trinity Monastery in Butler, Pa.
The monastery had a vacant house and the officials there permit Pilgrim George to stay there even though he is not a member of the monastery.
On Tuesday, Pilgrim George walked through the Morgantown area. He said was in the area three years ago. He began walking in 1971, after arriving in Jerusalem at the end of a 4,000-mile hike. Before then, he was in seminary training to become a Catholic priest. The 68-year-old said that in Jerusalem he received his call from God telling him he should walk all over the world. And he's been doing that ever since.
Pilgrim George said he walks from sunup to sundown and usually covers eight to 10 miles a day. Jesus walked the earth and Pilgrim George said he walks to "lift Jesus up.'' It is part of God's plan, and he will continue to do so until he gets a new message, he said.
"Till Jesus comes back or takes me home,'' Pilgrim George said, "whichever comes first.''
Pilgrim George he said he wants people to take notice of his walking stick -- a large cross atop a long rod -- more than to see him.
He carved the rod near the Cave of Elijah on Mount Sinai 10 years ago.
"The cross is what I hope they see first,'' Pilgrim George said. The cross is the reason he is walking, and he wants people to notice it and get its message, Pilgrim George said. But, it's hard not to notice the man carrying the cross. From his long flowing beard to patchwork clothing to the bags of supplies he carries, he is a head-turner for many motorists.
Many motorists moved over to give him room to walk along U.S. 19 on Tuesday morning. Others slowed and watched out their car windows as they passed. A few even stopped to take pictures, for which Pilgrim George gladly posed.
In his 31 years of walking, Pilgrim George said he has never been hit by a car or had to visit the hospital while walking. When he sees a car, Pilgrim George said he prays for the driver. He also prays for everybody who crosses his path each day.
Occasionally, Pilgrim George said he gets harassed by motorists or other pedestrians will yell things at him. Pilgrim George said this does not deter him, he doesn't take offense to it because they have not seen God's message yet. Sometimes, police will show up to ask him what he is doing, Pilgrim George said. Most of the time, it is because someone has called them.
"Most of the time, they want to make sure I haven't escaped from a mental hospital or have Alzheimer's,'' Pilgrim George said. He said he doesn't let those questions bother him, because people only go by what they see and the stereotypes they have formed.
During his walks, Pilgrim George said he is completely dependent on the kindness of strangers. He carries no money and only a handful of snacks, such as nuts. Many times strangers offer him bottled water or hot meals, Pilgrim George said.
Some will occasionally offer him a place to stay, but most nights he spends in a tent that he pitches in a quiet, secluded place along his path.
Pilgrim George said his favorite part of walking is the chance to meet people.
"Looking into the eyes and seeing the soul of the brothers and sisters of Christ,'' Pilgrim George said. "In other words, you see genuine love.''
One of those people he came across Tuesday was Zalcik. While walking through Westover, Pilgrim George reached the Dollar General. Zalcik was waiting for him.
Zalcik said he saw the man while he was driving and had to find out what he was all about. That's when he invited George to join him for lunch and a tour of his church.
"It's a revelation,'' said Zalcik, moments after Pilgrim George left Zalcik's church to continue his journey. "You don't meet people everyday like him.
"I won't forget him,'' Zalcik said. "Not now, not in the future
SEE ALL PHOTOS IN THE WIDGET BOX ('MY BOX' FILES above).
My son, Levi, rushes to assist Pilgrim George in lighting his processional candle (Annual Pilgrimage, Mount Saint Macrina, Labor Day Weekend/Sunday 2009)
HOLY MAN WALKS THROUGH CALHOUN - Pilgrim George's Footprints Have Covered 40,000 Miles
"A pilgrim is at home everywhere, and nowhere is his home,"
said Pilgrim George, as he walked through Calhoun this week
By Bob Weaver
He was an apparition on the Calhoun landscape, a Moses-looking man walking down US 33-119 at Millstone, wearing his long patchwork robe on a hot summer day and his sandals made of tire tread, held together by bolts and wire.
We stopped to inquire of his presence to discover Pilgrim George.
The humble, soft-spoken man has been on walking pilgrimages over three decades, traveling about 40,000 miles, literally walking around the world.
He doesn’t carry money in his three sacks, simply water, dried fruit, nuts and a tent. He doesn't want worldly belongings, but does accept the generosity of people be meets along the highway.
Pilgrim George's staff was carved by the cave of the prophet Elijah on Mount Carmel, and has been to holy places - Nazareth, Bethlehem and Calvary.
Pilgrim George shares faded photos of early pilgrimages
to Mexico (left) and meeting Pope John Paul II in 1996 (right)
We drove to the Sand Ridge church to spend a little time, telling him the story about the Polings building the round church, "so the devil could find no place to hide."
This year's walk is taking him from Pittsburgh to Alabama and back.
Internet websites say people who have encountered Pilgrim George have a sense that it was ordained by God, not just sheer chance.
The Holy Man said three people had stopped to inquire of his presence in Calhoun, and one bought him a soda at Arnoldsburg.
"I stayed last night in Spencer. People who pass by often want a photograph and a little visit," he said.
The 69-year-old George Walters says his steps are those of faith, and his purpose is in lifting the name of Jesus as he walks along the highways of the world.
He dropped from studying to be a priest, saying "There was something missing. I had knowledge but I lacked faith."
On his walking pilgrimage while in America's Rocky Mountains, he said "I discovered why I'm here on earth, that I am God's creation, a part of the magnificent."
"Being a child of God became real," he said.
In 1958 he walked to Guadalupe, Mexico with a mule, and later walked to the Holy Land, with a a few lifts across water. In 1996, he met the late Pope John Paul II.
A Holy-land pilgrimage
He said "My first pilgrimage was in 1970 when I walked from Barcelona Spain to Jerusalem. I’ve been in 41 countries and walked over 39,000 miles."
When asked about the most trying times on his journeys, he said one time he was stoned in Israel and was struck over the head from behind by a mentally-ill youth in California.
Pilgrim George leaves footprints on the land that he traverses, but also on the hearts of people along the way.
"Being a child of God became real" - Pilgrim George
In a message from Pilgrim George, he writes:
..."The Lord got me a new tent for my birthday (a week early): my old one was leaking profusely (after 15 years and being put up and down 1,500 times, is it any wonder?). I am sending this from Tazewell TN and tomorrow should cross back into Kentucky. The Lord continues to give me many opportunities to witness...."
Pilgrim George's birthday is July 25th (today)!
God bless Pilgrim George and a very happy birthday!!!! God grant him many more, blessed, happy, and healthy years! Mnohaja l'ita, blahaja l'ita, mnohaja, blahaja l'ita. Vo zdraviji i spaseniji, mnohaja, blahaja, l'ita!
On his birthday, Pilgrim George writes:
"....Today is my 68th birthday and I am in Pineville, Kentucky, planning to go to mass at the tiny Catholic Church mission here tomorrow morning at 9 am. Then I pick up the beginning of Route 119 that will take me all the way to Mt. St. Macrina - God willing."....
God Bless Pilgrim George today, in a special way, and always!
Met you in Corbin, Ky. , I think it was in June 2009. It was a blessing to talk to you. I'm attaching the picture my wife took of you and me. May God bless you on your journeys for Him. Like you said,"I'll see you at the end of the journey".
Walking for the Lord
By Tonia Rose, staff writer
May 27, 2009 — He doesn’t carry money or food – just simply water and a tent.
Folks traveling along U.S. 60 Monday might have wondered who he is and why he was wearing peculiar clothing in the sweltering temperatures.
George Walters, known to most as Pilgrim George, has begun his 2009 May through August pilgrimage from Pennsylvania to Alabama.
The humble 69-year-old looks like Moses and certainly dresses like Moses. He is a man of God who sports a long patchwork robe made of white denim and sandals made of tire tread, held together by bolts and wire.
Along his journey Monday, George was spotted trekking very slowly up Cribs Hill in Carter County. While heading toward Sandy Hook, he stopped for a few minutes to talk about his mission that began 39 years ago and about his family.
“There is the body of the church and I am the feet,” he commented while standing alongside U.S. 60. “I am here to lift up Jesus. Those who must leave their family for the sake of the kingdom will get a larger family, the body of believers. My family is the family of God.”
Held tightly in his hand, a uniquely carved staff that George said was cut by the cave of the prophet Elijah on Mount Carmel in Israel.
“This staff has been placed on all holy places -– Nazareth, Bethlehem and Calvary,” he described while holding the staff high.
Strapped around his neck were several white denim pouches and bags weighing over 40 pounds. Inside those bags, his necessities – a Bible, blanket, a few other small items and needles and thread for on-the-road repairs.
George left Butler, Pennsylvania May 4 and plans to reach Hanceville, Alabama, June 27.
“My first pilgrimage was in 1970 when I walked from Barcelona Spain to Jerusalem,” he said. “I’ve been in 41 countries and walked over 39,000 miles. I am a disciple for Jesus.”
Although George is without food and money, he never fears starvation or safety.
“Only God knows where I will lay down my head each night,” he said. “As for food, I am fed daily. Folks along the way take care of me. God makes sure I receive nourishment. This morning I was treated to Dairy Queen by Pastor Clell Lucas.”
While walking four months out of the year, George admits to being a hermit the other eight months. “The last three years I’ve stayed at a monastery in Pennsylvania,” he said. “The people there gave me a house to live in and that’s where I hermit myself until time for the next year’s pilgrimage.”
However, George does enjoy a bit of modern technology, while reading his e-mails at libraries along his journey.
His yearly pilgrimage will end Aug. 29 at Mount St. Marcina in Pennsylvania. It’s a place where thousands of Byzantine Catholics from across America have gathered over the past 74 years for a Labor Day weekend of prayer, teachings, fellowship and food.
For those intrigued enough to stop and say hello to George, don’t be surprised by a firm, friendly handshake – and possibly a blessing. To read more about Pilgrim George’s journey visit www.421kolorae.bravejournal.com.
May 24 – Huntsville, W.Va.
June 7 – Williamsburg, Ky.
June 21 – Winchester, Tenn.
June 26 – Cullman, Ala. (Ave Maria Grotto)
June 27 – Hanceville. Ala. (Our Lady of Angels Monastery)
July 12 – Dayton, Tenn.
July 19 – Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Aug. 2 – Spencer, W.Va
Aug. 15 Spencer, W.Va.
Aug. 29 – Uniontown, Penn. (Mount Saint Macrina)
Pilgrim George has begun his 2009 May through August pilgrimage from Pennsylvania to Alabama. He was spotted along U.S. 60 at Cribbs Hill in Carter County Monday and stopped in at the Grayson Journal Enquirer for lunch and to read his e-mails
photo/Tonia Rose / Journal-Times
Pilgrim sent a note from Booneville (he says "yes, of Daniel Boone fame"), Kentucky on June 1st. He further writes, "it is the half way point to my destination in Hanceville, Alabama. A man by the name of Jack went out of his way to bring me here and then brought me lunch and a drink. This are has been flooded out and has been declared a disaster area so that there is a lot of cleanup work being done." He continues, "Last Sunday I was at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in West Liberty: it serves three whole counties and still has only 35 registered members; this is still "Appalachia area" which is usually associated with West Virginia. All is going well."......