The Prayer Labyrinth was adopted by the Catholic Church across Europe during the medieval times, being often used as a means to meditate, pray and connect with God in a higher spiritual way. Numerous cathedrals in Europe have prayer labyrinths embedded into their floors, with the Cathedral of Chartres, located about 80 km from Paris having one of the most famous prayer labyrinths in the world. Prayer Labyrinths were often viewed and modeled as a journey to Jerusalem, serving as a spiritual pilgrimage for those who could not afford to travel to there.
The widest accepted Prayer Labyrinth in the Church was the eleven-circuit labyrinth, which is more symbolic of Christ's cross with its four quadrants, and grace being symbolized by the never-ending path to the center and back, allowing the pilgrim to walk the path at his own pace, stop for prayer and meditation as needed.
The Prayer Labyrinth is not a maze and rather has one path on which one cannot get lost, serving a powerful symbol of individual life journeys and pilgrimage in faith.
A Catholic writer describes their spiritual significance in this way:
"The labyrinth is a universal symbol for the world, with its complications and difficulties, which we experience on our journey through life. The entry to the labyrinth is birth; the center is death and eternal life. In Christian terms, the thread that leads us through life is divine grace. Like any pilgrimage, the labyrinth represents the inner pilgrimage we are called to make to take us to the center of our being."