I will be leaving for Spain on May 20. I’ve been working on updating the website and will be ready to start taking pledges for this trek in the next few days. I’m tired of preparing (too much work!) and ready to just start walking.
The Camino de Santiago is one of the oldest and most famous trails in the world. It is not really a single trail but a network of hundreds of routes leading to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwest Spain. Pilgrims have traveled there since 812 AD.
One of the great proponents of the pilgrimage in the 12th century was Pope Callixtus II, who started the Compostelan Holy Years. The official guide in those times was the Codex Calixtinus. Published around 1140, the 5th book of the Codex is still considered the definitive source for many modern guidebooks.
The pilgrim route is a very good thing, but it is narrow. For the road which leads us to life is narrow; on the other hand, the road which leads to death is broad and spacious.
The pilgrim route is for those who are good: it is the lack of vices, the thwarting of the body, the increase of virtues, pardon for sins, sorrow for the penitent, the road of the righteous, love of the saints, faith in the resurrection and the reward of the blessed, a separation from hell, the protection of the heavens.
It takes us away from luscious foods, it makes gluttonous fatness vanish, it restrains voluptuousness, constrains the appetites of the flesh which attack the fortress of the soul, cleanses the spirit, leads us to contemplation, humbles the haughty, raises up the lowly, loves poverty.
It hates the reproach of those fueled by greed. It loves, on the other hand, the person who gives to the poor. It rewards those who live simply and do good works; And, on the other hand, it does not pluck those who are stingy and wicked from the claws of sin.
Codex Calixtinus (Published around 1140 AD)