Sun, Saints and Santiago

D653When thinking of where to go on holiday, many people choose a destination for its bustling lifestyle; sun; gorgeous scenery, and delicious cuisine. Then there is the ultimate shopping experience along the Champs-Élysées or Las Ramblas. But if you find yourself searching for something more, why not consider the rich Catholic culture that lies in the midst of some of the most popular holiday destinations.

Spain is home to one of the greatest and oldest pilgrimages, the El Caminode Santiago. For those who do not wish to walk the whole road, there is a possibility of starting the trail at various different points. (More information below).

The pilgrimage itself is one of the most difficult trails to complete. Many have had to stop due to the gruelling toll: the exhaustion, the leg fatigue and, not to mention, the tricky roads you have to walk!

But don’t fret!

Though challenging, it is a beautiful pilgrimage where one can experience a profound sense of the love of God through the other pilgrims. Whether it is the person you happen to pass along the Camino, or the little old lady you help down the stairs of the Cathedral; one thing many pilgrims and tourists say on is that this pilgrimage has changed their life in some way. Sharing in the faith through this pilgrimage, they can testify that “where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them” (Matthew 18:20).

If you cannot get to Santiago, there are many other ways to experience Pilgrim Spain. There is Sagrada Familia, in Barcelona, for a truly aesthetic pilgrimage! For the more practical pilgrims, there is the possibility of walking in the footsteps of St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross in Toledo and Avila. If you are on a family holiday, or needing to “escape from the confinements of daily life” (Baldwin, 13) there is a niche for you in Spain. Challenge yourself to do something different this summer. As Malcom McKay says (article attached below): “we are all capable of far more than we think we are”.

More Information:

Planning your Pilgrimage: Routes to Santiago

Walk of a lifetime: Why the epic Camino trail across Spain is a route to true happiness

Spanish Holiday Essentials:

Libro de Oracion Comun

Teresa of Avila

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