The Festival

“The pilgrimage is an experience that moves us, but the exterior movement is not enough if it’s not accompanied by one on the interior. The theme of the interior journey is important because it distinguishes these itineraries of faith from existing offerings that do not give the possibility of an interior experience that allows us to find the truth in ourselves concerning God and our world.” Father Cesare Atuire,

Josp Fest, Journeys of the Spirit Festival, is the First International Festival dedicated to the “Journeys” of the Spirit. Created and organized by the Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi, the Vatican’s institutional unit of the Vicariate of Rome, Department of the Holy See, Josp Fest is an innovative event that “celebrates” pilgrims and also involves all people who desire to “begin a journey” that stimulates and contributes to spiritual growth.

Josp Fest is event to experience in the first person. The festival, which will bring together the general public and industry operators, is not only a way to encourage pilgrimages to shrines in Europe and the Middle East, but it’s also a vehicle to experience faith through different and new mediums. The festival, a fusion of history and technology, is an opportunity to meet and create a dialogue with diverse churches, faith-based communities and religions, as well different nations and civilizations.

Why a Festival on the Itineraries of the Spirit

Josp Fest is the result of the continuing popularity of religion and spirituality as motivation for travel.
This type of travel, or pilgrimage, which dates as far back to Egyptian Empire when out-of-towners streamed into the city to attend religious festivals, has over the years become associated with stereotypes such as niche market and trips for adults of a certain age.
Josp Fest, however, is the great opportunity to help eliminate those stereotypes and to retrain the tourism industry to focus on the dynamic aspects of the pilgrimage experience.

Rome as the host city

Rome, the city of Pope Benedict XVI, is the host city for Josp Fest because it’s the capital of Christian faith and the only city in the world that has had 2.000 continuous years of Christianity.
Rome, rich in religious sites and monuments, is the place to begin a spiritual journey, and its central geographical location also makes it the ideal departure point for pilgrims to take off from and visit the rest of the religious world.
Rome also has a great capacity to receive people. The city is known for its elasticity and its people are highly regarded for their ability to receive visitors of all cultures with open arms.

The Theme

“Sing also now, not just to enjoy the rest, as to relieve the fatigue. Sing as a traveller. Sing but walk. Sing to alleviate the difficulty of the march, but don’t indulge laziness singing. Sing and walk.”
(Saint Augustine)


“Sing and walk” is the theme of the first edition of Josp Fest because it accurately describes the pilgrimage experience.

Walking is a sphere of life, and together with song, it can help to overcome the obstacles faced during a journey, especially when shared with others.