World Labyrinth Day

Image: Saint Catherine’s Labyrinth © Jan L. Richardson

This Saturday, May 4, is World Labyrinth Day. In celebration of the occasion, I thought I’d share this piece of art that I created for a friend some years ago. It’s called Saint Catherine’s Labyrinth, and the words along the path are from Saint Catherine of Siena. (You can find the text here on my main website.)

And of course a blessing for the day as well:

Walking Blessing

That each step
may be a shedding.
That you will let yourself
become lost.
That when it looks
like you’re going backwards
you may be making progress.
That progress is not the goal anyway,
but presence
to the feel of the path on your skin,
to the way it reshapes you
in each place it makes contact,
to the way you cannot see it
until the moment you have stepped out.

Happy World Labyrinth Day to you, and blessings on your path!

“Walking Blessing” © Jan L. Richardson from In Wisdom’s Path: Discovering the Sacred in Every Season.

For more about World Labyrinth Day, visit The Labyrinth Society.

[To use the image “Saint Catherine’s Labyrinth,” please visit this page at Your use of helps make the ministry of The Painted Prayerbook possible. Thank you!]

10 Responses to “World Labyrinth Day”

  1. Joy Fry Says:

    It was a delight to hear and meet you at the “Women’s Convocation” in Seattle, Jan! Enjoyed your husband’s gift of music also. I did not know there was a World Labyrinth Day! Thank you for the image (I got this card at the convocation :-) and the “Walking Blessing”. Just what I needed today. With gratitude for your presence.

  2. John Barnard Says:

    “Walking Blessing” is truly inspired. The spirit of your elegant, well-chosen words have provided much needed Light to my path. Thank you, dear friend. Thank you, as well, for your kind, intentional care and love for my children! You are a treasure!

  3. Heather Collver Says:

    Beautiful, as always. Thank you so much for sharing your gift, Jan!

  4. Michael Landon Says:

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful artwork and the blessing is pure gift. I was instantly touched by the line, “That each step be a shedding.” This shedding allows us to be more present to the divine presence.
    I will be holding both the image and the blessing in my heart…

  5. Carolyn Sargent Says:

    I am reading these words with a new lens as we will be walking the labyrinth of overseas travel! We will join with long time f
    riends in their ‘fete de la vie’. Shedding, feeling lost, presence, oh yes. The blessing makes a wonderful traveling companion. Blessings back to you.

  6. lesley brogan Says:

    Thank you for this beautiful gift. The words are true of the walking and being inside. Blessings on you and your day.

  7. Linda Goddard Says:

    Beautiful Jan! Your Saint Catherine’s Labyrinth is one of my many favorites of your work! Love your blessing, too! I think I’ll walk San Pedro’s Labyrinth on Saturday. Thank you for letting the folks who follow your blog know about Labyrinth Day!

    Blessings to you and Gary!

  8. Lori Says:

    I loved what you did with the Chartres Labyrinth.

    I am hoping that this year the labyrinth I designed will be going in the ground. We ran into some weather trouble in 2011 and mechanical trouble in 2012. Hopefully all of our problems will be behind us and next World Labyrinth Day my labyrinth will be a reality.

  9. Jan Hoffman Says:

    Dear Jan of Blessings,
    Tonight we bless Pam’s labyrinth, a new tool for our congregation. I will pray, giving thanks for those who walk with us in spirit and in presence, thinking of you and G. It is a beautiful blue sky sunny day. Your posting today reminds us of the blessed mix of joy and sorrow on this special day. You continue to be a gift to me and to the congregation i walk with. May you know the blessings from afar that greet you this afternoon and evening. With hugs of gratitude. You are with us, as Garrison is with you. Much love, Jan

  10. susan cummings Says:

    Dear Jan;

    I have been soothed and encouraged since the day I picked up your books , In Wisdom’s Path and Night Visions in a Dominican bookstore in Adian, Michigan, where I was completing a labyrinth facilitator training with Lauren Artress. In the fifteen years since I have offered public labyrinths walks weekly and sometimes more than one a week in the beautiful chapel where I manage pastoral care and ethics for mental health and addictions. I work one on one as well with patients and clients in this setting each week and your work has always graced this hallowed spot. I have made large copies of your poems and sometimes excerpts of text posting them on a wall or door always indicating your name and source. You have been a very real guide for us all in how we can be shedding and not afraid to be naked. You have sheltered us when the pain was very great and clothed us in new life sometimes vibrant and sometimes soft and intricately subtle like the lovely brown ducks that nest outside the chapel window this time of year.

    I live in Newfoundland, surrounded by the North Atlantic. This climate is often bracing and even brutal. It is the climate of challenge and loss. Your words acknowledge this reality but in true Celtic spirit you open your door and never turn a stranger cold and unnourished back out into the elements. Your words are sturdy skeletons that my experience clothes and into which grace breaths new life.

    I don’t have big turnouts any particular week but I am always amazed by how those who need the labyrinth find it and I have been blessed in my labyrinth ministry by your constant companionship. I am the only facilitator in Newfoundland offering the experience consistently and I would be so poor and lonely without your company.

    Blessings on you as you unwind your path into tomorrow.


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