Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Santiago de Compostela


Today is the feast day of my baptismal patron, St. James.

I did the Franciscan pilgrimage, imitating the early friars, going from Assisi to Santiago de Compostela.  Medieval and modern pilgrims walk to Compostela, I took trains, hitched rides, and walked - at times working for my keep at hostels - I have fond memories of one in particular at Lourdes.

Porziuncola, Assisi

I left Assisi by train, arrived in Lourdes.  From Lourdes it was walking and hitching a ride.  I stayed in San Sebastian before walking to Garabandal, and then on to Compostela.

No pilgrim's shell, no papers were awarded to me - except the Guestmaster was kind of rude ... perfect joy!

I did the northernmost route - I visited
Garabandal on the way.

It was a quiet, prayerful, and poor pilgrimage - albeit unconventional.

St. James on panel in antique frame.
T. Nelson

O glorious Apostle, Saint James, who because of your fervent and generous heart was chosen by Jesus to be witness of His glory on Mount Tabor, and of His agony in Gethsemane; you, whose very name is a symbol of warfare and victory:
obtain for us strength and consolation in the unending warfare of this life,
that, having constantly and generously followed Jesus, we may be victors in the strife and deserve to receive the victor's crown in heaven. Amen.

I think I'll go on a spiritual pilgrimage now - to live as a pilgrim and a stranger ...

The pilgrim "withdraws from his acquaintance and those dear to him, and keeps his mind disengaged from all temporal comfort, so the blessed apostle Peter beseeches the faithful of Christ to keep themselves as strangers and pilgrims in the world." - Imitation of Christ


  1. I've never heard of a baptismal patron before today. I suppose St. James is mine too as it's the anniversary of my baptism!

  2. That painting/icon has a good presence.

  3. A priest who has been on the Camino several times said that all the routes taken on the Camino are good.

  4. Thank you Terry for sharing your experience on the road to Compostela. I know three people who have walked parts of the trail. One in particular describes it as a life changing experience. I have seen documentaries about it and dream of one day being fortunate enough to walk some part of it. I love seeing the giant censor swing among the congregation at St James Cathedral. As an altar boy I had a particular fascination with the censor and incense. Don"t ask me why. Just one of my peculiar idiosyncrasies I guess. As usual, you have given me some much needed reflective food for thought.

  5. Happy feast day!

  6. Great painting of St. James...and happy belated baptismal day. Mine was July 22 and how prophetic that patronal day turned out to be!!


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