Saturday, March 20, 2021

El Camino - The Way #32

Good morning - praying that this day finds you in good spirits - this day on pilgrimage we walked along the highway - flat surface - we learned that the dirt path was more comfortable for the feet - more cushion on soil.  This day more incline - again heading up the mountain.  Another pilgrim ahead on the left - we are not alone - Jesus always next to us.  Our goal today O'Cebreiro - site of a Eucharistic miracle.

Further along rocky mountain side - another babbling stream of 
water - making this section peaceful 

Warning sign - steep incline - slow our pace - conserve energy
By now in Lent many trying desperately to catch up - better to rest in the Lord

Pilgrims ahead approaching another albergue & food 

Approaching the Galicia region - leaving brown behind - much greener - more rain 

Just ahead a very challenging uphill through the mountains to O'Cebreiro

At this point we needed to take a break - we had completed 20 kilometers by 11:30 and were feeling good but not looking forward to the last 10 kilometers - the steep incline promised to be more than we should attempt - what to do? As we were walking we came to a cafe and on its awning it said - food - drink - taxi. Yes - we asked for all three and the young lady behind the counter provided all three. We had to wait for forty-five minutes - but in the end we arrived in O'Cebreiro - still alive and breathing!

Father Don Elias Valina Sampedro 

The Camino de Santiago is thousands of years old - from the time of Saint James. Christianity had been spreading throughout the world. The Apostles were very active in traveling to the known world spreading the Gospel. Saint James had focused on Spain and made multiple trips to Spain. Over that time of thousands of years - with growth and development - the original Camino trail has been modified. At one point it had fallen into a sad state because of robbers focusing on pilgrims - robbing them of their money - clothes - even killing some. That was what the Knights Templars were doing - protecting pilgrims as they walked.

Father Sampedo renovated the Camino - He is the one who came up with the yellow arrows painted on roads - buildings - to help pilgrims avoid getting lost - following safe paths - in the late 60s others helped to renew interest in the Camino - approximately a quarter of a million pilgrims from around the world walk this Camino these days.

Father Sampedro buried inside  the church floor 

Statue of Saint Francis - church maintained by Franciscans 

Adoration Chapel

One of the attractions to 
O'Cebreiro is Iglesia de Santa Maria Real - one of the earliest surviving buildings on the Camino de Santiago - dating from the 9th century and associated with the Pilgrim Way. On display and venerated by pilgrims is the chalice and paten associated with the miracle of O'Cebreiro Santo Milagro - in which an arrogant celebrant of Holy Mass - dismissive of a devout and humble peasant - saw the bread and wine turn into the body and blood of Christ as he offered them to the peasant who had risked life and limb to attend Holy Mass in a terrible snowstorm.  The priest thought - why am I here for this single person - who showed up in this storm and made me celebrate Mass - the priest got his answer when the bread and wine were transformed into flesh & blood before his eyes. Often in Lent we ask ourselves the same question - why am I here - why am I doing this - what is the reason - we wait - in expectant faith for the answer. 

Evening Holy Mass - 5:00 PM 
Followed by a pilgrim's dinner - then blogging about the day's events 

View from the top - very impressive - major tourist attraction 

Lots of people here - pilgrims on foot - many tourists in cars - vacationers

Food - drink - dinner - bed 

Another Camino day - a lot of walking - making it to our final destination - 151 Kilometers to Santiago - we are in good shape. Tomorrow - another day - another adventure 
Thank you Lord

Deacon Dale