A Pilgrim going to Loretto.
PILGRIMAGES have generally been neglected during these latter years. The shrines of Loreto and St. James of Gallicia cannot, like that of St. Thomas of Becket at Canterbury in former times, show the stones worn away by the devout kisses of the modern far-wandering penitent.
Devotion is old-fashioned every where on the continent, and the prayer of the higher ranks is more often copied from the wild imaginations of St. Rousseau or St. Goethe, than from the more sober works of St. Austin or St. Carlo Borromeo. In the lower orders there are yet some few who, from devotion really, with bare feet and sackcloth round their body, perform the religious journey to some holy shrine; and there are many who put on this dress in hopes that the cross may excite christian charity, when they find by experience that human pity is extinct.
They are frequently seen begging their way to Loreto; their large hat is sometimes slung back; they carry a cross, from which relicts are frequently suspended; the shoulders are generally covered with oil-skin, to which are fastened shells, crosses, &c. Many of these travel over the most rugged roads barefoot. The back ground shows one of those crosses constantly met with on the high ways in Italy.
Source: Sketches Illustrative of the Manners and Costumes of France, Switzerland and Italy. Illustrations by Richard Bridgens. Text by J.W. Polidori London. Baldwin, Cradock & Joy. 1821.