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2010 Discounts for pilgrims + other news


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Time of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
News from ROSINA

Pilgrim Discounts:
Last month the Xunta (governing body of Galicia) finalized the steps to create a “Pasaporte Xacobeo” (Jacobean passport) with which pilgrims will be able to obtain discounts in the purchase of goods and services in the villages and cities from establishments located in the villages and cities throughout the various various Caminos to Santiago. The Xunta clarifies that all sorts of establishments pilgrim-oriented, such as hotels, transportation companies and restaurants that feature “pilgrim menus” will participate in the initiative. The amount of the discount will be set by the participating entities, and the “Concelleria de Cultura y Turismo” (Culture and Tourism Board) will coordinate the activity.
The “passport” will be obtainable by “bona fide” pilgrims in albergues, hostels, churches and the like. The passport will be valid January-March and October-December of next year. The purpose is to spread the number of Holy Year pilgrims throughout the year rather than having them concentrate during the summer months.

Melide albergue.
The Melide albergue (one of the busiest since Melide lies in the last stages of the French Camino, after Sarria) will close soon for repairs and renovations and will remain closed at least until May of next year. The mayor of the town, Socorro Cea, has stated that the closing is necessary because of humidity and water leakages throughout the structure. No to worry, the Mayor adds, because since last July a second provisional albergue has been fitted out in the “Palacio de Congresos y Exposiciones” to take care of pilgrims.
It is not clear how this will be achieved since this provisional albergue only counts with 37 spaces, whereas the closed albergue counted with 130 beds and 87 “colchonetas” (cot-less mattresses for the use of pilgrims. Ms Cea adds, however, that school gyms and other sport facilities will be pressed into pilgrim service, if need be. The mayor made no reference to the astonishing ill-timing for the closing of the albergue.

Opening of the Holy Door

Incredible as it seems, it is only three months until the opening of the Holy Door and the preparations proceed in earnest with many novel additions. The President of an Association called “Caminos to Santiago en Europa”, Carmen Furelo, has announced that in cooperation with Camino Associations and religious authorities replicas of two famed nativity scenes will come to Santiago from Italy. One from Assisi which will reportedly will be set up in a church and the other from Greccio to be put up in the Santiago Alameda.
For one, I do not understand how the Assisi nativity scene can be replicated in a church. I have seen it there and it consists of several life size figures, a stable and live animals. In Assisi it takes up the better part of the garden space in front of the upper Basilica.

The one from Greccio commemorates the first one set up by Saint Francis of Assisi in 1223 in his desire to duplicate the Nativity scene as described in the Matthew and Luke gospels. Reportedly Saint Francis sent his friend Giovanni de Bollita to obtain the materials, and the live animals, including an ox and a donkey, necessary from nearby towns, and then the Saint and his fellow Franciscans built the Nativity scene and spent the entire Christmas night lighting it with candles and torches. This ritual is repeated every Christmas today both in Assisi and Greccio and will be duplicated in Santiago.

The Albergue in Rome
Last November the Rome Confraternity entered into an agreement with the Suore Figlie Della Divina Provvidenza (Sisters, daughters of the Divine providence) to establish an albergue in their monastery. Because some of the sisters are medical doctors or registered nurses their monastery renders medical assistance, but the agreement was to provide the facilities for an albergue for those going to Santiago as pilgrims.
The albergue, “Spedale per Pellegrini Della Providenza di San Giacomo” (Refuge for Pilgrims protected by the Providence of Saint James….. sort-of), opened last Holy Week, it is tended by volunteers from the Rome Confraternity and it is located in Via Galvani 51 in the Testaccio neighborhood. Reportedly it is pretty busy.
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