This paper deals with a certain aspect of the so called “pilgrim books”, which appeared from time to time during the last years but are still to be described as “marginal”: We read texts letting us feel the consternation of the authors, although they are not directly touched by the event they described. Usually pilgrim books contain texts with individual references, but in certain cases we find texts with collective references - taken as a theme we see war and peace, catastrophes, party and social politics. The lecture discovers this topic not only on the basis of different pilgrim books, but asks also the question, if and how often we find such kind of text in pilgrim books analysed by other scholars in the last decades.
The article deals with various therapeutic aspects of writing down one's requests and problems in a so called pilgrim book. With help of text passages people's strategies and different scopes are illustrated. Simple formulas e.g. established within the religious context can help to bridge speechlessness and silence, the falling back on traditionally proven forms and behaviours may create a certain feeling of security. Certain tendencies of “using” religion become apparent: religion has to place categories at people's disposal to compensate experiences of contingency connected with pressing problems, personal crises and social border experiences. The “benefits” of the religious system are in demand above all in the case of individual crises, where the social mechanisms of contingency absorption do not work any more or do not work enough. The article focuses also on the specific communication with God, Jesus or Mary: as they “know” what people mean, there is no risk to be misunderstood. The pilgrim book figures as mirror of longings, deficits, doubts and fantasies in recent societies.