The Way of a Pilgrim

The Way of a Pilgrim

"The Way of a Pilgrim" is the English title of a 19th century anonymous Russian work, detailing the narrator's journey across the country while discovering practicing the Jesus Prayer devoutly, with the help of a prayer rope, and studying the "Philokalia". It came to a remote monastery in Greece in the 19th century and was first published in 1884. Whether it is literal, fictitious, metaphorical, or pedagogical is unknown. The Russian title of the book is actually much longer than its English translation: "Откровенные рассказы странника духовному своему отцу" - literally, "Candid tales of a pilgrim to his spiritual father'.

The book as a whole appears to be an allegory to both the life of Jesus, and the struggle of Orthodox Christianity. It details the gradual spiritual development and struggles of the narrator, and the effect the narrator's spirituality has on those around him (to quote St. Seraphim of Sarov, "Acquire the spirit of peace, and a thousand souls around you will be saved"), as well as the results upon the narrator of the struggles of those he encounters, and the stories they tell him.

The book is first in a series, followed by the sequel "The Pilgrim Continues his Way".

It is the focus of the story "Franny" from the 1961 novel "Franny and Zooey" by J.D. Salinger.

See also

*Hesychasm
*Jesus prayer
*Poustinia
*Hermit
*Richard Rolle of Hampole
*Theosis

Available editions

* "The Way of a Pilgrim: and The Pilgrim Continues His Way" (1954) R. M. French (translator), Huston Smith (introduction), Harper SanFrancisco 1991 reprint: ISBN 0-06-063017-5
* "The Way of a Pilgrim, and The Pilgrim Continues His Way" (1978) Helen Bacovcin (translator), Walter Ciszek (foreword), Image Doubleday 1985 reprint: ISBN 0-385-46814-8
* "The Way of a Pilgrim and A Pilgrim Continues His Way" (1991) Olga Savin (translator), Thomas Hopko (foreword), Shambhala 2001 reprint: ISBN 1-57062-807-6
* "The Pilgrim's Tale" (1999) edited and with an introduction by Aleksei Pentkovsky, T. Allan Smith (translator), Jaroslav Pelikan (preface), Paulist Press, ISBN 0-8091-3709-7
* "The Way of a Pilgrim" (2001) abridged translation and annotation on facing pages by Gleb Pokrovsky, Skylight Paths, ISBN 1-893361-31-4
*"The Way of a Pilgrim: And the Pilgrim Continues His Way (Translated by Helen Bacovcin)", Doubleday, 1985. ISBN 978-0-385-46814-5

External links

* [http://www.ccel.org/contrib/ru/Strannik/Strannik.htm The Way of a Pilgrim] - full text, in Russian


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