|To be a Pilgrim ?|
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The history of the pilgrimage routes through Europe to Santiago de Compostela are covered in many books. But the gist is well covered in this extract from the WWW …
"According to this tradition
St. James the Greater, having preached Christianity in Spain, returned to Judea
and was put to death by order of Herod; his body was miraculously translated to Iria Flavia in the northwest of Spain, and later to Compostela, which town,
especially during the Middle Ages, became one of the most famous places of
pilgrimage in the world."
The Bishop of Le Puy + a bunch of palls, did the pilgrimage himself in AD951 . Doing this, he starting an activity that has been going on with varying degrees of enthusiasm ever since.
The Le Puy route is considered one of the most famous and currently has a good infrastructure to support modern day pilgrims. However pilgrimages to Santiago started wherever you lived in Europe...
Mine (If pilgrimage is the
right word?) Starts from Salzburg along the old pilgrimage route,
diverts off it for a more interesting and exciting route across
Switzerland, then joins the original route at Geneva. Also I walked
the Via de la Plata route from Seville going north.
The original route for the pilgrims has been a movable feast over the years,
depending on many factors; not least the many wars that ranged over Europe. It
is probable that a lot of the original route is now under tarmac,
but monasteries and churches along the way testify that the
villages, towns and cities have always been on the road.
At the turn of the millennium I was planning my escape from paid employment to paid loafing (a skill I
am currently developing into a higher art form) when I came across the whole
Camino thing. In truth at the time I was thinking more in the terms of a good
walk and the thought of a pilgrimage had not entered into my head. But like many
people I met before and on the road, the lines become blurred.…. But with the long
list of misdemeanours St Peter is holding for me at the pearly gates; let us not
knock any extra possible opportunities that this journey might have.
The journey is now complete, I am contemplating shorter activities.... but it was a great adventure.