Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Santiago Matamoros

Saint James the Moor-slayer
-Juan de Flandes


July 25 is the feast of St. James, who happens to be my baptismal patron.  Many years ago, as I attempted to live a pilgrim's life, I wanted to imitate as far as possible the early Franciscans, and make a pilgrimage to the Saint's tomb to renew my baptismal vows.

I arrived at Compostela with a family of French Traditionalists/Royalists.  They were very kind - the dad quite holy, I think.  The family invited me to ride along with them from Garabandal to Compostela.  My pilgrimage actually began in Assisi, and instead of walking the entire route, I mostly hitched rides, although trusting in providence for lodging and food. 

We arrived at the pilgrim center at Compostela, after the friar guest-master for pilgrims was told that I needed lodging for the poor - he laughed me off and insisted I was lying, explaining, "Americans can't be poor!"  Thus I found perfect joy in being eyed with suspicion and refused hospitality.  The French couple and their son took pity upon me and allowed me to share a room with their son.  Together we venerated the Saint's tomb after Mass the next morning, and I was left alone to pray for some time.  As I was getting ready to depart, the family insisted I accompany them to Porto (Vilar) - where Sr. Lucia first entered religious life and where the vision of the Holy Trinity took place.  The loneliness of pilgrimage may explain why I allowed myself that consolation, and why, after only a short time, we felt very close to one another.  Thus, when it was time to finally part at Porto, as I was going on to Fatima, it was very sad for the four of us to say good bye.  I pray for them today. 

 

12 comments:

  1. The next day 7 begin the road to Santiago,from Roncesvalles.I will pray for you

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    1. Angelo - thanks very much! Happy feast day.

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  2. Terry,

    That's a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing it. When you told me you were in Garabandal I was trying to envision you being there. I find it providential that you met that devout family. Did you remain in contact with them? Also prayers and blessings on your baptismal anniversary. It's interesting you referred to "perfect joy". Mother Angelica this morning dedicated her program to the same thing.

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    1. Unfortunately I did not remain in touch with them - I always wonder if the son became a priest in the SSPX.

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    2. That's sad. I am always saddened when people God somehow brings together are separated but you are united in prayer. What made you think the son would have become a priest in the SSPX? There are worse things to befall a young man.

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    3. They were devoted to a Monsignor Lefevbre.

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    4. Then that would makes sense especially considering their being royalists. I would have liked to have met these people. You always meet the most interesting people on pilgrimage.

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  3. Terry,

    Our Lady led you there (Garabandal & Compostela) and provided you with the companionship of those kind people. I'm sure you know that.

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  4. I started the pilgrimage this year (cannot get the 5 weeks of work) so walked from St. Jean to Burgos in 14 days. I met so e of the most fantastic people from all over the world old and youg. Next year start at Burgos and go from there. Will say a prayer for you when I finally make it. God bless

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  5. Amazing story! Vive le roi!

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