Friday, September 22nd 2017

Camino de Santiago pilgrimmage

The trail had lots of hikers but few pilgrims

PhyllistheAuthor — Two friends have asked my Baptist husband if after the pilgrimage, he is going to become a Roman Catholic. How much these people missed the point of the Camino. It was not a religious exercise like kissing the hem of the Pope’s robe. It was a spiritual journey.

In fact, I didn’t meet anyone who was overtly religious on the Camino. No one wished us a “Blessed day” or mentioned God or religion. I have no idea what, if any religion, my fellow pilgrims followed. In asking people what brought them to the Camino, I got a variety of answers. No one said he/she was doing the Camino for a religious purpose. We only met one person who made a point of the fact that for him, it was just a hike. We met only one woman who proclaimed that she had no faith.

In contrast, signs of a spiritual journey were everywhere: In the stones left at kilometer marking. In the hearts, flowers, and crosses along the way. In the quiet contemplation of the pilgrims in churches. In journals being kept by pilgrims, In the respect shown the countryside through which the pilgrims walked. In the kindness of one pilgrim to another.

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