Pfeiffer was born in Hafroschen, Bavaria in Germany on November 24, 1852 and
moved to the United States in 1867 at the age of 15. His studies were carried
out at St. Meinrad and the St. Joseph Seminary in Indianapolis, and he was
eventually ordained by Bishop St. Palais in May of 1877. On August of the same
year, Pfeiffer was sent to St. Joseph�s Church, in Jennings County, Indiana
where he was reverend for almost seven years. On May 12, 1882, he was
transferred to Enochsburg, Indiana and remained for seventeen years, enjoying
the longest pastorate in the history of his respective parish. In the latter
part of 1883 and most of 1884, Pfeiffer was given charge of the St. Maurice
Mission, which had come to Enochsburg from Hamburg. The last baptismal record
from Pfeiffer�s time in Enochsburg was dated February 19, 1899. He then was sent
to St. Wendel parish, where he remained for thirty-seven years until his death
on February 2, 1936.
Pfeiffer began his
pilgrimage on February 21, 1889 from Hoboken, New Jersey and traveled by
steamship until landing in Cherbourg, France. From Cherbourg, he traveled by
train through Paris, Mersailles, Pisa, Florence, Assisi, Rome, Naples, and other
stops throughout Europe taking time out to tour the Catholic holy sites. He then
took steamship to Egypt and landed in the city of Alexandria, traveling also to
Cairo and making stops along the Nile River. Next, Pfeiffer left Africa from the
Port Said and landed in Jaffa of the Holy Land, from where he traveled to
Ramleh by covered wagon. Pfieffer and his group continued on to Jerusalem and stayed there for just over three weeks, visiting the Holy Sepulchre Church and other holy sites.
The trip continued through Bethlehem, Nazareth, and Beyrout and later to
Constantiople and Athens. Finally, the trip concluded with the final stops in
Italy and Germany by train including Venice, Milan, Strasburg, Munich, and
Hamburg. From Hamburg, Pfeiffer took a steamship back to New York where he landing on July 13, 1889.
Brief History of the Text:
Pfeiffer�s travel diary, The First American Catholic Pilgrimage to Palestine,
1889 was published in 1892 by Jos. Berning & Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio. It is
the first and only edition of the book that is available.
- Pfieffer, James. The First American Catholic Pilgrimage to Palestine,
1889. Cincinnati: Jos. Berning & Co., 1892.
- Map of Itinerary
- Student Papers
Travelling to Jerusalem