among them Muslim Saracens and pagan Vikings and Magyars. In addition, there was the usual run of famines and epidemics.
”Medieval folk lived in a more or less constant state of apocalyptic expectation,” said Bernard McGinn, a leading scholar of medieval religion at the University of Chicago.
A good Christian spent his life in a state of repentance, obeying the sacraments and doing everything possible to be closer to God and assured a place in Heaven. In an age with no trains, planes or automobiles that meant travelling on foot on pilgrimage to worship at religious shrines to show your piety and close the gap between earth and heaven. To stand on the threshold of Heaven, pilgrims travelled to the Holy Land to the site of Jesus Christs tomb at Church of the Holy Sepulchre. For those who couldn’t travel so far, heaven was brought closer to the Abbeys and Monasteries in the form holy relics (bits of saints and anything that might have come from Jerusalem around the time of Jesus). In Medieval Normandy the main pilgrimage destination was the tidal Island of Mont St Michel.