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.