Pilgrimages were booming again since the early 19th century and their character changed dramatically. Suppressed during the Enlightenment in the late 18th century and restauration era after 1815 German Catholics saw their spectacular comeback at the meticulously organised mass pilgrimage to the Holy Robe in Trier in 1844. The context was the rising ultramontanism, the orientation towards the Pope in Rome. It is contested whether pilgrimages were modern. New ways of propaganda and transport certainly fostered them but what was really modern was the clerical control over the masses. A typology shows that fourteen different varieties can be distinguished. The case of the “wild” pilgrimage to the village of Marpingen, where Virgin Mary appeared in 1876, reveals how successful ultramontanism was internalised even against wary priests and Church officials.