You’ve come to the right spot to quickly learn more about The Camino de Santiago.
The word Camino means way, or “The Way”.
The Camino de Santiago is universally referred to as The Way of St. James, because historically, the ultimate destination, is to visit his enshrined remains in St. James Cathedral, in the city of Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
The Camino is a network of back-packing trails across much of a 500 mile stretch of the Galicia region in Northern Spain. The journey’s various arteries begin at trailheads in Spain, as well as in France, Portugal, Germany, and, several from even further reaches of Europe, with all trails terminating in Santiago.
For over 1200 years, people trekked this journey, primarily as a Spiritual Pilgrimage, to St. James. In fact, about 700 years ago, The Knights Templar completed this Pilgrimage, to submit their Petitions to St. James, asking for his intercessions upon their quests.
Their motivational cry was Ultreya! Onward!
Over the years, Pilgrim numbers have swelled to 200,000 annually. Their cry remains Ultreya! In designated Holy Years, the numbers of Pilgrims are dramatically larger. Increased media attention, including several inspirational movies and many biographical books, have contributed to the popularity and attraction in recent years. It’s fascinating to note, Santiago de Compostela is the third most visited location in all of Christendom, behind only The Holy Land, and The Vatican.
The Camino is known to often be life changing because it is experienced on several levels simultaneously.
- The Camino is a cornucopia of scenic beauty, living history, and, cultural enrichment .
- It is indeed a substantial back-packing adventure, an athletic challenge, an accomplishment of self-actualization.
- Much of the journey is in the head, dominated by the mind’s perpetual self-talk.
- Most significantly, The Camino is enjoyed within the interior of the heart, not un-like Prayerful intentions, giving thanks, and, setting new Resolutions.
- Finally, The Camino is shared in community. This is the ultimate Gift and Blessing of The Camino. Generosity of spirit, and acts of authentic kindness prevail over language barriers and diversity.