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Am I a Pilgrim?

2020 Camino Guides

Cathy G

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 25 Oct 3 2016
My husband and I walked a portion of the Camino de Santiago Sept 25 - Oct 3 from SSJP to Logrono. It was all the time we could take from work and decided when planning to do the Camino in 3 stages over 3 years. We've been home for 3 weeks now and the high is still on. However this past week while talking to some people about our experience and our "Camino family" one person asked how it felt to walk with "real pilgrims" implying we were not because we didn't walk the entire 800 km in one go. Another person implied they agreed with that person. Has anyone else has a similar experience? I identify as a pilgrim of the way and I must say, I am normally a strong person who is not overly influenced by the opinion of others. However one of these people is someone I highly respect and frankly it brought me down and somewhat sullied my experience.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Many pilgrims take time and walk the Camino in sections, so yes you are a pilgrim. Don't let the judgemental attitude of others spoil that for you.
Buen Camino
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Hi Cathy,

You are a pilgrim .

Please do not let people tell you otherwise.

And respect goes both ways imho.

Ultreia! And happy preparations for next Camino.
 
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inmari

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - Pamplona (2013)
El Camino de San Olav, Burgos - Covarrubias (2014)
Pamplona - SdC (2015)
Yes, you are absolutely a pilgrim. You have taken on the pilgrimage, it's in your spirit, and you will still be a pilgrim when you have reached your final goal.
 
S

Satírico

Guest
My husband and I walked a portion of the Camino de Santiago Sept 25 - Oct 3 from SSJP to Logrono. It was all the time we could take from work and decided when planning to do the Camino in 3 stages over 3 years. We've been home for 3 weeks now and the high is still on. However this past week while talking to some people about our experience and our "Camino family" one person asked how it felt to walk with "real pilgrims" implying we were not because we didn't walk the entire 800 km in one go. Another person implied they agreed with that person. Has anyone else has a similar experience? I identify as a pilgrim of the way and I must say, I am normally a strong person who is not overly influenced by the opinion of others. However one of these people is someone I highly respect and frankly it brought me down and somewhat sullied my experience.
It depends on how you choose to define 'pilgrim'. Someone on a religious journey, or simply a long journey, which could also be your life from birth to death; in which case, you're still on your way. Some people are genuine believers on their way to a magnificent shrine, treading in the footsteps of fervid medieval travellers who went in pilgrim's garb and lived on charity.

Ask yourself what your intention is (or was) and you will have your answer.

Buen camino
 
W

whariwharangi

Guest
Whilst on the camino I met a fellow who started walking in Rome.

We both walked about 20 km per day, stayed at albergues, ate menu peregrino. The only difference was in the number of days spent on the camino.

The experience of the camino is yours no matter how far you walked or where you stopped. Don't ever let anyone take away from that experience.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
You are what you feel you are. Do not listen to others. Only you know you.
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy
I don't think there is any specified means of transport for pilgrims. unless it's Lourdes in which case it's a luxury coach ;) Don't worry, the camino police can't actually send you to the inquisition.
 

Doogman

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
?
Don't let it bother you. Listen to the people on this forum, most of which have vast experience and vast wisdom. (I exclude myself from both of those categories). There is a great post from @dougfitz from this morning on this very topic. It is in the thread "Musings Now I'm Home". It is worth reading.

Due to time constraints from my employment, I walked the Le Puy route in three sections over three years. If that somehow lessens my status in some people's eyes, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a d---".* That is their problem, not mine.

* To give rightful accreditation, the quote is from the movie "Gone With The Wind".
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
Of course you are pilgrims.
Not everyone interested in walking the Camino has the luxury of taking 4-6 weeks holiday in Spain to walk the Camino. They have jobs, family matters, etc that prevents it.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
You, and only you, know the answer to this. We can help you think about what it might mean, but it's about your motivation. The answer is in your heart, where none of us can see, least of all the naysayers.
 
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Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Camino(s) past & future
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
because we didn't walk the entire 800 km in one go.
800 km is not the entire route. it's also not a magic number. SJPdP is not the place to start. and none of that makes anyone a pilgrim. Nor does never using public transport, or always staying in albergues, or never using pack transport. Not even walking the last 100km and getting two sellos a day makes you a pilgrim, but that does entitle you to a Compostella (if you state, true or not, that you walked those 100km with religious/spiritual intent), and perhaps a free meal at the Parador if you are lucky.

imho a 'true pilgrim' (oh, how I wish to erase that phase from all languages) spends time focused on more important matters than what the other walkers are doing in regard to all of the above, or the mileage that they themselves are ticking off. God will not check anyone's pedometer.

I think it's odd that your friends who knew nothing about the camino would call the others 'real pilgrims'--that's usually a distinction made by people who have already walked. So if they walked already, perhaps they missed the point of pilgrimage. If they hadn't, did they pick up on your disappointment at having to leave mid-way through? Either way, not worth worrying about. I hope you soon forget about this and return to your good feelings about your walk.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lourdes/Burgos/SdeC (by train) 77; Frances 12,15,17; Finisterre 17; Lourdes/Aragones 18; Meseta 19.
Allow me to attach my clerical collar and presume (ahem!) to preach a sermon on pilgrimage.

Why you walk to SdeC is infinitely more important than how you get there. The Camino is the finest walking holiday in the world, without a doubt. You can walk it simply to enjoy the extraordinary experience it offers, and more power to you if you do! You'll have the time of your life! But when you get to SdeC you'll be asked if you walked the Camino for spiritual/religious reasons - and there's the rub! Merely arriving in SdeC does not make one a pilgrim.

Most of the folks I encountered on my two previous Camino walks spoke of themselves as pilgrims, and they were completely wrong. Fine folks - I relished their company! - but folks who missed the essence of pilgrimage entirely.

I more than once heard one saying "We true pilgrims are here because we choose to be, not because we have to be. This is a burden we take upon ourselves." Another would proclaim that, "We are to here prove ourselves, to purify ourselves, to separate ourselves from the lazy and shallow world out there." Another says, "And we do this by relying only on ourselves. A true pilgrim must walk the whole way to Santiago, and never use a car or bus. A true pilgrim must carry everything he needs on his back, and be as totally self-sufficient as possible.” A fourth says that "Suffering is the key to all this. A true pilgrim proves his purity, his detachment from the world, his worthiness, by suffering. The truest pilgrim would be the one who relies on no-one else, who walks all the way barefoot, who sleeps in the open air, who lives on nothing but what he can cook himself."

One thing I seldom heard is that a pilgrim talks with God, and trusts God to meet his needs. And that’s why every time these folks got going on about the true pilgrim and left God out of the equation, I’d head for my bunk. I don’t like to argue.

Walking the Camino as a pilgrim is not at all the same thing as walking it as an extreme sport.

And walking the camino as a pilgrim has nothing at all to do with "them." It has everything to do with what's going on inside you.

The purpose of walking the Camino as a pilgrim is not to prove to oneself, or to anyone else, how tough one is, how earnest one is, how superior one is to everyone else. Walking the Camino as a pilgrim is a faith exercise. The Camino provides an exceedingly precious opportunity to unplug from the grid, (at least for 100 K!) and get back to talking again with God. And the true pilgrim, in my opinion, is precisely not the one who is there because he chooses to be, he is there because, in a mysterious way reminiscent of a calling to the priesthood, he's there because he’s called to be there. It's not about self-sufficiency at all. It’s about listening to the still, small, voice! That's something most modern Camino walkers are too remote from the Faith even to contemplate.

And I suggest that one reason that so many of the walkers in Spain find this hard to understand, is that it goes completely against the whole notion of self-sufficiency, which remains a dominant value in Western/American culture. Self-sufficiency is so important in America that there’s a whole industry dedicated to equipping people to go out and test themselves. If you go into an adventure sports store like Gander Mountain or REI you're going to find everything you might want or need to make it, on your own, in the woods. And I do mean everything! You can be fully prepared for any contingency. You can take care of yourself, entirely by yourself, you won't need anything from anybody. You can be in control. You can be the master of your fate.

But - does that sound like a pilgrim? I don't think so!

A pilgrim knows that he controls little or nothing. A pilgrim puts his trust in God.

I have no wish to offend, here. I offer these my thoughts in the uniquely ecumenical spirit of the Camino. And I ask you to to pray for me, a sinner.

Pax
 
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Debora

Beautiful Burgos
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago May (2016)
It's so unfortunate when some pilgrims get hung up on the number of km and not the simple experience of having a chance to walk more deliberately with God. You cannot take it personally. I hope this string of comments has made you feel better. Of course you are a pilgrim...you were a pilgrim from the moment you were born...in fact we are all just "pilgrims passing through". It's mysterious what happens on the Camino...because God is mysterious. You felt that mystery...like we all did. You rock sister!! See you on the path.
 
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William Garza

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, The Jakobsweg
Santiago told me to tell you" Thank You"
for walking with him for a while...
And he left a little gift for you to find..deep inside when your ready.

You walked under the river of stars
Breathed the same air as the generations who have gone before

Your prints are eternally imprinted along the Way.
Your.."I" I!
was Here ...
is written on the rolls.

You were there.

You are still there
A little piece of you stayed behind
And you brought back a piece with you

Ide say a good trade.

You have "been"
They..have not.

Take the Blessing and go forth into the world surely and with firm steps.

You have been on The Way
If you were called..then The Way has been inside you for a ling time.

Go forth and be Blessed Pilgrim on The Way...
For you have touched upon Eternity and awoke the True Self inside.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I love this thread and in fact have "liked" every single post!

I suspect that those who sit in judgment have only very superficial knowledge. Not many people spend time reading the history of the walking pilgrimage paths through Europe. It just makes a nonsense of the idea that there is a proper starting point. And, as everyone says, being a pilgrim is not defined by a walk from point a to point b, nor hardship, nor adhering to any specific behaviours.

I'd suggest to your friends they do the "real" pilgrimage themselves, and by that you mean they start walking from their own front door and only use the transport that was available in the middle ages.

A while ago we had a (amusing) thread where everyone put forward their ideas of what should go on the test of whether someone is a "true pilgrim". Here's a couple of suggestions:

- Obviously the starting point is St-Jean-de-Port. Unless you are Spanish, in which case it is Roncesvalles.
- A true pilgrim carries everything for the journey on his back.
- A true pilgrim eats only nuts, berries and the occasional bit of dry bread.
- A true pilgrim walks with eyes lowered, so as to ensure no distraction from inward contemplation..
- A true pilgrim does not mix with the other walkers on the road, those who are not true pilgrims.
- A true pilgrim suffers.
- A true pilgrim is not distracted by worldly things, such as music or culture.
- A true pilgrim attends mass at least daily.
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Camino(s) past & future
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
I do have one thought on those who walk straight through (whatever the distance) vs. those who break it into blocks, and it relates to what my jumpmaster told me before my first jump--that the second jump is a lot harder than the first, because you know. I truly believe it is easier to walk it all at once, you are in the rhythm, you're kind of committed because of return flight dates, it's just now getting fun/easier, everyone back home is expecting you to finish...

But to know all the pros and cons, yet still book another 10-14 days, and then another, ....that is true commitment to a cause.
 

MCFearnley

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ponferrada to Santiago (September 2016)
@rappahannock_rev, I would like to be able to LIKE your post many, many times. You said it so well, especially about the call to the Camino and the trusting in God's providence. Personally, I felt that call and it became irresistible as God was saying "I need you there". In less than a month and a half after the call I was flying out to Madrid. Had I simply wanted to go off on a walking holiday overseas, I would have gone to England and gotten together with my uncle who loves fellwalking in the Lake District. It would have been cheaper as my accommodations would have been free at my uncle's house.

Along my pilgrimage from Ponferrada to Santiago I met holiday walkers and I met pilgrims. It was not possible to tell at a glance who was what. It is not by the pack on their back, the distance they walked/rode, not even by the shell they wear that I could tell the difference. It was by talking with them and listening to their story. The motives of going on the Camino de Santiago, whatever the starting point may be, are what make a person a pilgrim or a holiday walker. I met a wonderful young Irishman at the albergue in Portomarin who had started in Sarria and was on his first night on the Camino. He was a pilgrim. His motives were religious/faith-based and he only had the time to walk the 100 km. Sadly, he put himself down that he could "only" do 100 km and not "the whole thing". I think I managed to reassure him that it was not the distance that made his pilgrimage true, but his mindset and reasons for doing it that made it real and true.

What is a whole Camino anyway?

A whole pilgrimage starts where ever you start it and ends at the cathedral in Santiago de Compostella. There is an infinite number of starting points, but only one destination on the Way of Saint James.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
As many have said, walking a full route, which ever one is mapped and named, in one go, does not make you a pilgrim. I, like you, can only take so many weks of at a time, so the only full Camino I have completed is the Primitivo.

This being said, I have walked with many who walked a whole named route in one "sitting" but were only on an inexpensive holiday, prefering to spend their € on wine and baggage transport rather than leave a donativo in albergues, waltzing in drunk night after night in albergues waking everyone up, etc.

The Cathedral is clear, your goal should be Santiago. Some of us just take three years to get there! But it should be a goal for a reason, not just as a random point on a map.

And then comes the surprise that messes everything up: the journey also makes a different. Not just the destination.

I do not consider myself a pilgrim, while an actual Catholic, but as a tourist who walks with all the respect that those who are deserve, and one who grows on the journey. I treat the shop owners with respect, cover my cost in donativos and then some, and that is also fine: that is what the certificate of distance or the alternative (can't remember what ot's called) certificate.

You only can decide if you are a Pilgrim. What is clear is that your friends have no idea of what it takes to walk long distances day after day after carrying their pack and sleeping in less than optimal conditions, so they get no say on what you are.
 

Cynthia Knapp

Rock Hopper
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances SJPDP-SDC 2016, Camino Portuguese 2018
Finisterre-Muxia 2018
Santiago told me to tell you" Thank You"
for walking with him for a while...
And he left a little gift for you to find..deep inside when your ready.

You walked under the river of stars
Breathed the same air as the generations who have gone before

Your prints are eternally imprinted along the Way.
Your.."I" I!
was Here ...
is written on the rolls.

You were there.

You are still there
A little piece of you stayed behind
And you brought back a piece with you

Ide say a good trade.

You have "been"
They..have not.

Take the Blessing and go forth into the world surely and with firm steps.

You have been on The Way
If you were called..then The Way has been inside you for a ling time.

Go forth and be Blessed Pilgrim on The Way...
For you have touched upon Eternity and awoke the True Self inside.

Beautiful...I relate strongly with your lovely and wise poem.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I suspect that those who sit in judgment have only very superficial knowledge. Not many people spend time reading the history of the walking pilgrimage paths through Europe. It just makes a nonsense of the idea that there is a proper starting point. And, as everyone says, being a pilgrim is not defined by a walk from point a to point b, nor hardship, nor adhering to any specific behaviours.

I'd suggest to your friends they do the "real" pilgrimage themselves, and by that you mean they start walking from their own front door and only use the transport that was available in the middle ages.
You only can decide if you are a Pilgrim.
Why does it matter to you what the other people have said?
 

Ko.Z

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk the Camino-Portugues/Primitivo (2017)
My husband and I walked a portion of the Camino de Santiago Sept 25 - Oct 3 from SSJP to Logrono. It was all the time we could take from work and decided when planning to do the Camino in 3 stages over 3 years. We've been home for 3 weeks now and the high is still on. However this past week while talking to some people about our experience and our "Camino family" one person asked how it felt to walk with "real pilgrims" implying we were not because we didn't walk the entire 800 km in one go. Another person implied they agreed with that person. Has anyone else has a similar experience? I identify as a pilgrim of the way and I must say, I am normally a strong person who is not overly influenced by the opinion of others. However one of these people is someone I highly respect and frankly it brought me down and somewhat sullied my experience.
Hi Cathy
We are all pilgrims on a journey in this world whether you walk a mile or a thousand, do the Camino de Santiago or just at home.
Don't let your spirit down, it is your own journey!
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
Cathy, others have given you many words of wisdom on the nature of pilgrimage and how it is, or isn't defined.

On a less serious note, you'll probably discover over time that people who haven't experienced the Camino don't quite get it. Most of our friends and family think we're a bit bonkers for returning to the Camino year after year. I've learned to smile and allow them to express their point of view. Sometimes I engage in a conversation and other times I just nod politely. I certainly wouldn't waste time and energy on a 'friend' who felt the need to question the nature of my journey.
 

Thomas1962

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2010: Porto - SdC - Finisterra 2011: E4 on Crete 2012: Le Puy - SJPdP 2013: Camino Madrid -> Del Salvador -> Primitivo 2014: European Peace Walk. 2015: Amsterdam - SdC & Barcelona -Burgos. 2016:Norte & hospitalero
A pilgrim can be defined as someone who is traveling to a holy place. So in that strict sense, one could say that, if you're not traveling to a holy place this year, you're not a pilgrim. One can walk to, let's say Logrono, and go back home. This is not a holy place so, for some people, this can not be a pilgrim, I suppose Cathy's friend is one of them. That's okay. Me, and most people here on the forum, would define a pilgrim different. At the same time, I know that if I walk for weeks and weeks, my experience gets more and more deeper.

More interesting for me is why the definition of your friend does this to you. I do see that you do the maximum to your abbilities to experience the camino.
I understand that your friend would like to talk to someone who walks from SJPdP to SdC in once. If so, he needs to continue his search.

And to you Cathy:
Buen camino Pilgrim
 
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nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
Well in an odd and Camino like way perhaps those friends did you a favour? Pausing to reflect and consider what your/our motivations and values are is a blessing and a gift. And just look what a treasure trove of shared thoughts, poetry and reflections your question unlocked!

Having done it both ways I agree that in some aspects walking a sectional pilgrimage is harder-it's certainly more expensive. But it also presents a pilgrim with the chance to not only learn but to really absorb and embed those learnings and to try and apply them the next time one's 'on the road' (as well as in one's own life of course) in a way that one may not have the opportunity of doing in the simple but challenging daily routine of the Camino/Chemin/Jacobsweg etc. That incremental learning opportunity is a benefit that those lucky enough to make more than one long distance pilgrimage also experience.

There is something terribly energising and joyous about the life, and dare one say evangelical fervour, of the first timer -whether a sectional pilgrim on their first 'bit' or 'thru pilgrim' (God forgive me for that phrase)-or a indeed 'once in a lifetime' pilgrim. And I admit to feeding off that wonderful joy, energy and vocal (even on occasion noisy!) enthusiasm when feeling a bit low or knackered.

But on my first long distance pilgrimage approaching SDC I met an older lady who had walked from Switzerland over the course of 10 years or so and her gentle wisdom and observations are something I'll always carry with me. It's often the unassuming voices of those asking tentative questions that are worth attending to rather than the ones making assured declarations or confident presumptions don't you find?

As for whether one's a pilgrim? Well perhaps it's actually in the striving to become one that the answer lies -that it's the 'making good his right' and the 'labouring night and day to be' that's key? Maybe it's that dynamic and unceasing pilgrims process (sorry for the pun) of 'becoming' rather than attaining an externally authorised & once conferred eternal status (and stasis) of being 'a pilgrim' that's the point?

He who would valiant be ’gainst all disaster,
Let him in constancy follow the Master.
There’s no discouragement shall make him once relent
His first avowed intent to be a pilgrim.

Who so beset him round with dismal stories
Do but themselves confound - his strength the more is.
No foes shall stay his might; though he with giants fight,
He will make good his right to be a pilgrim.

Since, Lord, Thou dost defend us with Thy Spirit,
We know we at the end, shall life inherit.
Then fancies flee away! I’ll fear not what men say,
I’ll labor night and day to be a pilgrim.
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
What is a whole Camino anyway?
This is worth a thread in it's own right.
The inaccurate idea that THE Camino goes from SJPP to Santiago has a life of its own, thanks to Hollywood, Shirley MacLaine, and Paolo Coelho...and enough people saying it over and over again (so it must be true, right?).

But you can relax, @Cathy G--the truth is other than that!
Whether you're a pilgrim or not is totally about the heart--if you have a pilgrim's attitude and intention, you're a pilgrim--even before you set foot on the way. The pilgrim's journey actually begins for many of us long before we lace up our shoes and shoulder our packs.

A genuine pilgrim knows that he controls little or nothing.
Absolutely...and is grateful for whatever s/he receives, like it or not--because it's all grist for the mill.
Beautiful post @rappahannock_rev, thank you.
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
I do have one thought on those who walk straight through (whatever the distance) vs. those who break it into blocks, and it relates to what my jumpmaster told me before my first jump--that the second jump is a lot harder than the first, because you know. I truly believe it is easier to walk it all at once, you are in the rhythm, you're kind of committed because of return flight dates, it's just now getting fun/easier, everyone back home is expecting you to finish...

But to know all the pros and cons, yet still book another 10-14 days, and then another, ....that is true commitment to a cause.
It has taken us a few years to complete our walk from French Basque country (and stages before in France) finally we arrived at Santiago and walked on to Finisterre late September /early October.

Each time we returned to our Camino walk we were older and wiser.
Do not let anyone belittle your achievements.
 
D

Deleted member 36903

Guest
Allow me to attach my clerical collar and presume (ahem!) to preach a sermon on pilgrimage.

One thing I seldom heard is that a pilgrim talks with God, and trusts God to meet his needs. And that’s why every time these folks got going on about the true pilgrim and left God out of the equation, I’d head for my bunk. I don’t like to argue.

Walking the Camino as a pilgrim is not at all the same thing as walking it as an extreme sport. The purpose of walking the Camino as a pilgrim is not to prove to oneself, or to anyone else, how tough one is, how earnest one is, how superior one is to everyone else. Walking the Camino as a pilgrim is a faith exercise. The Camino provides an exceedingly precious opportunity to unplug from the grid, and get back to talking again with God. And the true pilgrim, in my opinion, is precisely not the one who is there because he chooses to be, he is there because, in a mysterious way reminiscent of a calling to the priesthood, he's there because he’s called to be there. It's not about self-sufficiency at all. It’s about listening to the still, small, voice! That's something most modern Camino walkers are too remote from the Faith even to contemplate.

A genuine pilgrim knows that he controls little or nothing. A genuine pilgrim puts his trust in God.

I have no wish to offend, here. I offer these my thoughts in the uniquely ecumenical spirit of the Camino. And I ask you to to pray for me, a sinner.

Pax
Thank you Cathy G for starting this thread (sorry your friends were unkind and ill-informed) and thank you rappahannock_rev for your wonderful post which I wish I could 'like' ten times over. Reading it in its entirety I kept thinking, 'Yes, Yes, that is exactly what it was and what it means'.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
My husband and I walked a portion of the Camino de Santiago Sept 25 - Oct 3 from SSJP to Logrono. It was all the time we could take from work and decided when planning to do the Camino in 3 stages over 3 years. We've been home for 3 weeks now and the high is still on. However this past week while talking to some people about our experience and our "Camino family" one person asked how it felt to walk with "real pilgrims" implying we were not because we didn't walk the entire 800 km in one go. Another person implied they agreed with that person. Has anyone else has a similar experience? I identify as a pilgrim of the way and I must say, I am normally a strong person who is not overly influenced by the opinion of others. However one of these people is someone I highly respect and frankly it brought me down and somewhat sullied my experience.
To paraphrase one Forrest Gump's mother "pilgrim is as pilgrim does". So (imho) you used the time available to walk the initial phase of the Camino Frances - St Jean to Logrono! No one should be judging you harshly/unfairly.
You have completed approx 160 km - so now only 640 km to go. Don't worry about doing it in stages - from observations & comments on these pages nearly half the Spanish pilgrims do it in two week stages - per year or per season according to how much time they can get away from the work/life requirements. Return when you can, walk your kilometres/miles; collect your pilgrim passport/credencial stamps and have some fun whilst getting your exercise. A true Buen Camino.:);)
 

marbuck

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Condom to Pamplona April 2016.
Le Puy to Condom France - April-May 2015.
Roncesvalles to Santiago April - May 2014
Finisterre to Muxia May 2014
God will not check anyone's pedometer.
I like that Smallest Sparrow.
We have caught a bus, we stay in private accommodation, we have had our pack sent on when my back hurt, we have eaten in Michelin Star restaurants and we are 'Pilgrims'
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Frances (2018}
My husband and I walked a portion of the Camino de Santiago Sept 25 - Oct 3 from SSJP to Logrono. It was all the time we could take from work and decided when planning to do the Camino in 3 stages over 3 years. We've been home for 3 weeks now and the high is still on. However this past week while talking to some people about our experience and our "Camino family" one person asked how it felt to walk with "real pilgrims" implying we were not because we didn't walk the entire 800 km in one go. Another person implied they agreed with that person. Has anyone else has a similar experience? I identify as a pilgrim of the way and I must say, I am normally a strong person who is not overly influenced by the opinion of others. However one of these people is someone I highly respect and frankly it brought me down and somewhat sullied my experience.
What is a real pilgrim. I have heard so called purists decry those who only walk from Sarria, those who send their backpacks by taxi, those who have no faith and reserve beds in advance and the really big cheaters who for one reason or another hop a bus. Personally, I find these so called purists to be the lesser of 'real pilgrims'. I have driven to the Marian shrine in Ireland, Knock, I am called a pilgrim. My parents flew to Lourdes and stayed in a hotel. They were pilgrims. On a cruise last year we stopped in Vigo. While others took bus tours to here there and everywhere, I took the bus to Santiago where I went to confession Mass and Communion. Was I a pilgrim. You can bet your boots I was. So yes, like me you are a pilgrim. No such thing as a 'real' or 'true' pilgrim, just pilgrims. It is what is in your heart that makes you a pilgrim, not the distance you walk. If that was the case, how do those who walk from St Jean compare to those who walk from Paris. Ignore anyone who puts down what you have done. You crossed the Pyrenees, no mean feat, and got as far as your time allowed, great job and well done. I am retired or as I say 'time rich' so can do it in one go (actually 2 goes for my first) but I admire those who come back many times to finish it. They sometimes have to spend a whole lot of money to do so while I can get there for around €100. I reckon those people are more dedicated than I so Buen Camino peregrinos
 

Cathy G

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 25 Oct 3 2016
Allow me to attach my clerical collar and presume (ahem!) to preach a sermon on pilgrimage.

Why you walk to SdeC is infinitely more important than how you get there. The Camino is the finest walking holiday in the world, without a doubt. You can walk it simply to enjoy the extraordinary experience it offers, and more power to you if you do! You'll have the time of your life! But when you get to SdeC you'll be asked if you walked the Camino for spiritual/religious reasons - and there's the rub! Merely arriving in SdeC does not make one a pilgrim.

Most of the folks I encountered on my two previous Camino walks spoke of themselves as pilgrims, and they were completely wrong. Fine folks - I relished their company! - but folks who missed the essence of pilgrimage entirely.

I more than once heard one saying "We true pilgrims are here because we choose to be, not because we have to be. This is a burden we take upon ourselves." Another would proclaim that, "We are to here prove ourselves, to purify ourselves, to separate ourselves from the lazy and shallow world out there." Another says, "And we do this by relying only on ourselves. A true pilgrim must walk the whole way to Santiago, and never use a car or bus. A true pilgrim must carry everything he needs on his back, and be as totally self-sufficient as possible.” A fourth says that "Suffering is the key to all this. A true pilgrim proves his purity, his detachment from the world, his worthiness, by suffering. The truest pilgrim would be the one who relies on no-one else, who walks all the way barefoot, who sleeps in the open air, who lives on nothing but what he can cook himself."

One thing I seldom heard is that a pilgrim talks with God, and trusts God to meet his needs. And that’s why every time these folks got going on about the true pilgrim and left God out of the equation, I’d head for my bunk. I don’t like to argue.

Walking the Camino as a pilgrim is not at all the same thing as walking it as an extreme sport. The purpose of walking the Camino as a pilgrim is not to prove to oneself, or to anyone else, how tough one is, how earnest one is, how superior one is to everyone else. Walking the Camino as a pilgrim is a faith exercise. The Camino provides an exceedingly precious opportunity to unplug from the grid, and get back to talking again with God. And the true pilgrim, in my opinion, is precisely not the one who is there because he chooses to be, he is there because, in a mysterious way reminiscent of a calling to the priesthood, he's there because he’s called to be there. It's not about self-sufficiency at all. It’s about listening to the still, small, voice! That's something most modern Camino walkers are too remote from the Faith even to contemplate.

And I suggest that one reason that so many of the walkers in Spain find this hard to understand, is that it goes completely against the whole notion of self-sufficiency, which remains a dominant value in Western/American culture. Self-sufficiency is so important in America that there’s a whole industry dedicated to equipping people to go out and test themselves. If you go into an adventure sports store like Gander Mountain or REI you're going to find everything you might want or need to make it, on your own, in the woods. And I do mean everything! You can be fully prepared for any contingency. You can take care of yourself, entirely by yourself, you won't need anything from anybody. You can be in control. You can be the master of your fate.

But - does that sound like a pilgrim? I don't think so!

A genuine pilgrim knows that he controls little or nothing. A genuine pilgrim puts his trust in God.

I have no wish to offend, here. I offer these my thoughts in the uniquely ecumenical spirit of the Camino. And I ask you to to pray for me, a sinner.

Pax
Thank you Pax. This is why I did the Camino and why I identify as a pilgrim. I felt closer to God during those 9 days than ever before. Talking to Him for hours and relying on His strength through injury I felt a peace that's difficult to grasp in the frenetic pace of our western world.
Thank you everyone for your comments. We do intend to head back next year for a couple of weeks and I have recaptured that peaceful easy feeling
 

Cathy G

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 25 Oct 3 2016
Santiago told me to tell you" Thank You"
for walking with him for a while...
And he left a little gift for you to find..deep inside when your ready.

You walked under the river of stars
Breathed the same air as the generations who have gone before

Your prints are eternally imprinted along the Way.
Your.."I" I!
was Here ...
is written on the rolls.

You were there.

You are still there
A little piece of you stayed behind
And you brought back a piece with you

Ide say a good trade.

You have "been"
They..have not.

Take the Blessing and go forth into the world surely and with firm steps.

You have been on The Way
If you were called..then The Way has been inside you for a ling time.

Go forth and be Blessed Pilgrim on The Way...
For you have touched upon Eternity and awoke the True Self inside.
Wow! This is beautiful. Who is the author of this poem?
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
I find the discussions about "real pilgrims" a nonsense. To me, pilgrims are pilgrims because of their motivation, not their means of transport. But on the other side, there are particular rules in the Camino de Santiago, clearly stated in the credential and albergues. When I ask for the credential, or for lodging, I considering myself morally bound to respect them.
But as you know, rules don’t say anything about minimal distances, or starting places. Actually, the pilgrim's bureau in Compostela only cares for the last 100 km.
As for opinions, I am not a psychologist, but I think that behind many negative comments there is frequently some more else (maybe envy?). I try to identify the negative feeling or situation and ignore (or try to solve) the hidden conflict.
Buen camino!
 
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Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Camino(s) past & future
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
As for opinions, I am not a psychologist, but I think that behind many negative comments there is frequently some more else (maybe envy?). I try to identify the negative feeling or situation and ignore (or try to solve) the hidden conflict.
I agree, and envy is a good guess (as in 'i wish I could also send my bag ahead/take the bus'). I think fear is another (as in 'will I still get a room, too?', or 'will I still seem macho if little old ladies also walk')...maybe even jealousy ('i wish I had the camino all to myself')...or anxiety ('I need to control things to feel better, so I will define what makes a pilgrim')
so interesting what can motivate humans, and how sometimes things we say give glimpses
 

Koidream

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francès 2012
Camino Finisterre 2012
Being a pilgrim or not has nothing to do with the kilometers/ miles you walk in a period, but has everything to do with how you feel yourself deep inside...
In other words, without knowing you I am pretty sure you are more pilgrim than those who think they are more pilgrim than you because they did ...
 

bsewall

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata & Camino Frances (2013 & 2016).
I've been thinking a lot about this topic since I walked my first Camino in 2013. My current view is that a pilgrim is a person on a journey to find something greater than themselves.

The journey can be to a specific destination or to a place in the heart.

It's that simple.

We over complicate the question with judgments, rules and objectification.

If I feel in my heart that I am a pilgrim, then I am.

Side note - I walked over 700 miles in Spain this year and never made it to Santiago. I just kept walking until I knew I was done. It was divine.
 
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C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
one person asked how it felt to walk with "real pilgrims" implying we were not because we didn't walk the entire 800 km in one go. Another person implied they agreed with that person.
I've been thinking a bit more about this. Is it not possible that the initial question was just posed clumsily, by a person who had little experience related to the Camino and pilgrimages? You said that you "identify as a pilgrim" so what was your response to that person? What is it that you particularly identify with? It was an opportunity to point out information about the destination, walking from home or another starting point, the sense of community, the way the Camino has evolved, the influence of popular media, etc. You are still absorbing your impressions, and you might have thoughts about the pros and cons of longer walks and shorter sections. There is no clear statement about who belongs on the Camino, or what you should call them. Depending on our circumstances and personalities, our feelings are affected by satisfaction, pride, envy, defensiveness, etc. - that's human nature.

I expect that you did have some of this discussion with your friends, and that everyone learned something. I am just putting these thoughts forward to suggest that your friends may have been ill-informed, but were not necessarily unkind. All of us have impressions and opinions that can change.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Camino Frances SJPP / 2014 Camino Portugues / 2015 Camino Ingles / 2015 Hospitalero Training
2016 (fall) Camino Sanabre / Hospitalero?
Read "The Art of Pilgrimage" it is much more generous with the definition of Pilgrim. I like the fact that fans going to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown are on pilgrimage
Did you know "Romeo" a term for people going to Rome means Pilgrim...... Ultreya...... Willy/Utah/USA
 

linda piso

Member
Camino(s) past & future
English (Summer 2016)
Portuguese (Fall 2017)
My husband and I walked a portion of the Camino de Santiago Sept 25 - Oct 3 from SSJP to Logrono. It was all the time we could take from work and decided when planning to do the Camino in 3 stages over 3 years. We've been home for 3 weeks now and the high is still on. However this past week while talking to some people about our experience and our "Camino family" one person asked how it felt to walk with "real pilgrims" implying we were not because we didn't walk the entire 800 km in one go. Another person implied they agreed with that person. Has anyone else has a similar experience? I identify as a pilgrim of the way and I must say, I am normally a strong person who is not overly influenced by the opinion of others. However one of these people is someone I highly respect and frankly it brought me down and somewhat sullied my experience.
Hey Cathy G, You are a pilgrim.
 

andreak58

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago/Muxia/Finisterre-Sept 2016
Valenca-SDC-Sept 2018
What an interesting topic. When I walked last September, I went with a tour. It just manifested in that way and in future I will walk differently. I remember thinking that I was inferior to those walking by me, carrying their packs, not sure where they were going to rest at night, and walking way more kilometres than I would walk. A man passed me, sweating, grunting, carrying a huge load, and was clearly in physical agony. He said, "It must be nice to send your luggage on ahead" in a very demeaning tone.
Kind of the tone I was using on myself.

Then I realized how ridiculous all this judgement was. We are all pilgrims, we are all walking the path of life.

:)
 

kelleymac

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
My husband and I walked a portion of the Camino de Santiago Sept 25 - Oct 3 from SSJP to Logrono. It was all the time we could take from work and decided when planning to do the Camino in 3 stages over 3 years. We've been home for 3 weeks now and the high is still on. However this past week while talking to some people about our experience and our "Camino family" one person asked how it felt to walk with "real pilgrims" implying we were not because we didn't walk the entire 800 km in one go. Another person implied they agreed with that person. Has anyone else has a similar experience? I identify as a pilgrim of the way and I must say, I am normally a strong person who is not overly influenced by the opinion of others. However one of these people is someone I highly respect and frankly it brought me down and somewhat sullied my experience.
I spent a fair bit of time walking the Camino wondering when a long walk becomes a pilgrimage. There were times I felt I was simply taking an awfully long walk, but then at about day three, I felt a shift. I'm not quite sure how to explain it-- perhaps I can say that my heart became aligned with a pilgrimage, and my life trajectory was changed. -- I was asked by a friend at church if I spent all my time praying while on the camino. I laughed and said "No, I slept, ate, talked and showered too!". But then I told them I had more time for prayer and thought-- and I sang while I walked. Then I realized that my definition of prayer had grown. While I walked I became more open to God, to others. -- So now, I've gone off topic. Suffice to say I consider myself a pilgrim, and I walked (the first time) from Leon to Santiago. The second time, I walked from SJPP to Burgos. I'm still missing that meseta bit from Burgos to Leon, but perhaps next time I'll cover that section. I'll start in Le Puy to get there. I wish I could do the whole way at one time, but I have responsibilities here at home. Ultreia!
 
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biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Yes indeed! I walked my first "Camino" from SJPDP to Logrono for 10 days in 2011. I was totally unprepared, I knew nothing about the guidebooks or how to pack. I had awful blisters but was forever hooked and have since walked every year except 2016. I'll be back in Moratinos at the end of the month to help with the Ditch Pig clean-up in Palencia. Next year perhaps I will have do depend on a bicycle to get me there. God only knows.
 

rometimed

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(SJPdP: 2015, June2020!) (Eng Way: 2015)
My husband and I walked a portion of the Camino de Santiago Sept 25 - Oct 3 from SSJP to Logrono. It was all the time we could take from work and decided when planning to do the Camino in 3 stages over 3 years. We've been home for 3 weeks now and the high is still on. However this past week while talking to some people about our experience and our "Camino family" one person asked how it felt to walk with "real pilgrims" implying we were not because we didn't walk the entire 800 km in one go. Another person implied they agreed with that person. Has anyone else has a similar experience? I identify as a pilgrim of the way and I must say, I am normally a strong person who is not overly influenced by the opinion of others. However one of these people is someone I highly respect and frankly it brought me down and somewhat sullied my experience.
Of course. The journey is whatever it is for you not for others.
 

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
My husband and I walked a portion of the Camino de Santiago Sept 25 - Oct 3 from SSJP to Logrono. It was all the time we could take from work and decided when planning to do the Camino in 3 stages over 3 years. We've been home for 3 weeks now and the high is still on. However this past week while talking to some people about our experience and our "Camino family" one person asked how it felt to walk with "real pilgrims" implying we were not because we didn't walk the entire 800 km in one go. Another person implied they agreed with that person. Has anyone else has a similar experience? I identify as a pilgrim of the way and I must say, I am normally a strong person who is not overly influenced by the opinion of others. However one of these people is someone I highly respect and frankly it brought me down and somewhat sullied my experience.
Cathy, of course you are a pilgrim, you have used the time you had to walk it and eventually you will arrive to Santiago and able to embrace St James as a loving pilgrim like any others.
But in a same time I would like to stress out that there is a difference if someone is driving or bussing or arriving by plane which is all fine but I call that a visitor and there is nothing wrong with it.
I have taken (in all my camino) everything was coming at me, rain, heat, wind, blisters, fatigue, wanting to stop, the joy to meet pilgrims from all over the world exchanging our believes and trauma of our life.
My first camino ment to be my only one but once at home I found myself watching those video posted by pilgrims, I had shivers coming up my arm and tears in my eyes, it was like if James was calling me. I then decided I had to be there again with my fellow pilgrim and that is what I have done since.
Of course the Km doesn't mean anything but for example next year my purpose is to start from Rome,
visit St Peter pry for a few second, collecting his regard and take them to St James as the knew each other. It may seem a foolish thing but that is the force that will be drive me to Santiago.
I am sorry if my English is not up to standard course is not my native language (as someone pointed out on this forum)
Buen Camino Peregrinos
 

marbuck

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Condom to Pamplona April 2016.
Le Puy to Condom France - April-May 2015.
Roncesvalles to Santiago April - May 2014
Finisterre to Muxia May 2014
I can't like this enough.
Thanks Karen2017, the Camino Frances is full of wonderful pilgrims. They all have their own story, take the time to listen to them and ignore the so called 'Camino police'. Walk it as you see fit but most of all enjoy your walk.

You no longer have to wear a 'Hair Suit' or live on 'Garlic Soup' to be a 'Real Pilgrim'!
 

m108

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011-2016
this sense is very familiar to me..... I walked more than 1300km (and I have not come to Santiago-once I will, when the time comes) pilgrimage for me is not only goal, the more is the way. However, I still hear comments as: "Yesterday I heard the lecture of" true pilgrim ".... the first time I was surprised (and a little hurt, I admit), but now is just funny .....
 

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
I like that Smallest Sparrow.
We have caught a bus, we stay in private accommodation, we have had our pack sent on when my back hurt, we have eaten in Michelin Star restaurants and we are 'Pilgrims'
I went to a greengrocer and ask for an apple, he handed me an orange insisting that was an apple, after a 20 minutes discussion to make him happy, I took the apple(orange) and left.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
I went to a greengrocer and ask for an apple, he handed me an orange insisting that was an apple, after a 20 minutes discussion to make him happy, I took the apple(orange) and left.
There are walking pilgrims and there are other types of pilgrim.
We had a friend who went to Lourdes every third year - in a 'Jumbulance' ( a coach/ambulance with medical staff). The other 2 years she raised money for others to be able to make the pilgrimage using this method. No way she would have walked, she was in a wheelchair. nor could she have been aided walking with the wheelchair as medical conditions meant that she had limited time to receive medical attention if needed. however she was a pilgrim in the best sense of the word. It is the heart that makes the difference not the externals IMO.
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
I am sorry that they people who told you this are ignorant and judgmental. On our walk in the spring we met a bus load of pilgrims who were doing their transportation on wheels. There were about 20 of them all physically handicapped. One gentleman with a walker apologized and told me that he didn't feel like a "real pilgrim" because he couldn't walk like we were doing. I attempted to explain that the real pilgrimage comes from the heart and soul and that he was very much a pilgrim as was those walking every step. True pilgrimage comes from who a person is, not what they can physically accomplish.
 

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
There are walking pilgrims and there are other types of pilgrim.
We had a friend who went to Lourdes every third year - in a 'Jumbulance' ( a coach/ambulance with medical staff). The other 2 years she raised money for others to be able to make the pilgrimage using this method. No way she would have walked, she was in a wheelchair. nor could she have been aided walking with the wheelchair as medical conditions meant that she had limited time to receive medical attention if needed. however she was a pilgrim in the best sense of the word. It is the heart that makes the difference not the externals IMO.
If you think I don't respect what people do regardless they problem on the camino you are mistaken, far from it, I have got only admiration for them, and I saw many of that in the past years.
It is not those peregrinos that I am thinking of. I didn't want to say anything but I could not stop thinking what I also saw on the ways. The camino is loosing its meaning and it eventually will die out.
Yes business wise is great, I think (that's only me thinking) tourism is taking over and for it peregrinos will be looked at and treated like a tourist and that is sad. Please you don't have to take me seriously is not my intention to offend people they are only my thoughts and I of course I can be wrong.
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
If you think I don't respect what people do regardless they problem on the camino you are mistaken, far from it, I have got only admiration for them, and I saw many of that in the past years.
It is not those peregrinos that I am thinking of. I didn't want to say anything but I could not stop thinking what I also saw on the ways. The camino is loosing his mining and it eventually will died out.
Yes business wise is great, I think (that's only me thinking) tourism is taking over and for it peregrinos will be looked at and treated like a tourist and that is sad. Please you don't have to take me seriously is not my intention to offend people they are only my thoughts and I of course I can be wrong.
I don't think you're alone in worrying about the growth in popularity of the Camino bringing with it walkers with different expectations, demanding more certainty about accommodation, meals, etc. Certainly, it appears that those wanting to walk a more traditional walking pilgrimage are going to find it more difficult in some ways but I don't expect it to be impossible.
 
D

Deleted member 36903

Guest
I wish I could hand this printed on a card to everyone stepping out of SJPdP
I support that but would you let me seek sponsors to pay for a message to be printed on the reverse of the card that asks all pilgrims not to leave toilet paper and litter on the Camino, and to bin their sharpies and aerosol cans of spray paint. I loved Saint Mike's post earlier
'To paraphrase one Forrest Gump's mother "pilgrim is as pilgrim does"'.
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Camino(s) past & future
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
I support that but would you let me seek sponsors to pay for a message to be printed on the reverse of the card that asks all pilgrims not to leave toilet paper and litter on the Camino, and to bin their sharpies and aerosol cans of spray paint. I loved Saint Mike's post earlier
'To paraphrase one Forrest Gump's mother "pilgrim is as pilgrim does"'.
I'm not as trusting. While distracting them with the card I'd have a colleague searching their bag for sharpies and spray paint:)

Speaking of bins, I found this
http://www.amigoscaminobierzo.org/en/noticias/asalto-limpio-a-la-cruz-de-ferro
Where volunteers cleaned up the pole/grounds and hoped new bins they placed would limit what was left behind. I wonder how that's working
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Camino(s) past & future
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
new children's size cotton handkerchief inside.
You're probably right...though it was just wishful thinking on our part to encourage kindness, even in my imagination i now see people tossing the cards. I also see them writing notes on the handkerchiefs and attaching them to the mile markers and the cruz de ferro:(
 

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Catholics is brought up believing that Christ died for us on the cross, I don't think that in front of Ponzio Pilato when he rialise that it was be sentence to die by crucifixion he said "No just a minute let's talk about it"

Although I am a no practising of the religion but have retained the teaching. I was made aware of the importance of the Apostol, and as James is one of the 12 and I was told in Europe we only know to have two of them

(Saint Peter and Saint James) and realising St Peter is in my country and having see a documentary about the Camino de Compostela and finding very interesting, I decide that when I had the chance I woul look into it.The actual distance itself has nothing to do with the ego but in my way of thinking the longer the distance and the suffering that goes with it the moore closer you feel to James and God and becouse I am still a catholic to me all this is very important and take this pilgrimage very seriously. If James wasn't in Santiago there would have been no Camino that is wy by my action I call myself a peregrino and not for any artificial reason.

In the past I felt the way Spanish people feel about the pilgrim, the way when they come about you on the camino you can heare quite often "buen camino" and that does spear mi on regardeless of your pain you are going trough course of blister, fatigue, rain, heat, wind, mud, Km you set yourself to do.

Many time I found myself lost in the middle of the country not knowing if to go up, down, left or right and nobody around to give me direction, but then I called upon James to help me and (may be coincidentally you would say) some one arrive, one time it happen while walking and talking up a hill with a French peregrino when we realise not have seen the arrow for quite a while, not a sole around, the french peregrino heard me sayng "Come on James send me somebody" soon I said that, we saw a car from the local police descending the hill and a man coming up, at that point the French peregrino looked at me as he was thunderstruck, of which I said " don't worry, James and I are good friend by now".

I could go on and on, I don't want to bore you any further with my covictions.

Buen Camino to all Peregrino

backpacker randonneur escursionista mochilero
mochilero
 
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SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
"the longer the distance and the suffering that goes with it the more closer you feel to James and God ".

I can only say that my late grandmother ,who was a devout Catholic but above all a good person, only walked 200 metres when she was ninety to the local chapel of Saint Rita to pray there .
And she went with the Women's Association by bus to Banneux http://www.sacred-destinations.com/belgium/banneux-shrine . Again to pray and worship there.
She actually covered less than one kilometre on foot combining both pilgrimages most probably.

I think she suffered enough during her life ( World War II comes to mind but many other things too ) to make me believe her life in itself was a pilgrimage.

Just my musings though....
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
It seems to be a feature of humanity that some people need to comment on the behaviour of others - when this is none of their business. On Camino that is a danger for all of us. We can easily entertain feelings of superiority to those who don't carry their rucksack, sleep in Albergues, go to mass etc. A long time ago I learned that the best thing I can do is to keep my nose out of other people's pilgrimages.
That brings me to a wee personal story. Earlier this year I was walking a part of the Camino Inglés with a friend. We were carrying little day rucksacks. We stopped for a coffee at a bar with a terraza where there were two or three other groups of pilgrims. Spotting the two of us one opinionated pilgrim proceeded to lecture everyone in their group in a stage whisper about foreign touriginos who didn't carry their own stuff. Furtive glances were cast in our direction. I suspect they thought we didn't understand. We left.
Within a couple of kilometres they passed us in embarrassed silence as we had removed paint, brush and shears from our day packs to repaint yellow arrows and cut back foliage. I must admit to some satisfaction in wishing them "Buen Camino".
 

Thomas1962

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2010: Porto - SdC - Finisterra 2011: E4 on Crete 2012: Le Puy - SJPdP 2013: Camino Madrid -> Del Salvador -> Primitivo 2014: European Peace Walk. 2015: Amsterdam - SdC & Barcelona -Burgos. 2016:Norte & hospitalero
I agree fully with the wise words of Johnnie Walker. Sorry to hear about the painfull (my word for it) suggestions and glances in your directions.

There is no need for me to raise the point here who is a pilgrim or not. There is no point to it. If anyone could have a point, it is the cathedral in SdC who puts up requirements for a compostella.
Personally: Last year I felt I was a pilgrim (after a long internal debat), this year I walked for 10 days the Northe and didn't feel like it. I felt a walker using the camino. (and was a hospitalero after...)
So personally, I also do not describe everyone else who walks on the camino as 'a pilgrim'. There is a judgment in it, but in describing any walker as a pilgrim there is a judgement too.
I cannot believe that everyone who did react here does describe every walker on the camino as a walker. I miss this aspect in this thread.

Or am I wrong?
 

Karen2017

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Santiago May 2017
We may or may not be the true Pilgrims when we walk, why do People feel the need to/ 0r that you have the right to personally judge us. We are only walking 300km, our main luggage will be transferred due to arthritis and shoulder replacement and we will be sleeping in private rooms. We intend to enjoy every single second so please don't pass your
perceived superiority onto us and dampen our Camino.
 
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TerryB

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
this sense is very familiar to me..... I walked more than 1300km (and I have not come to Santiago-once I will, when the time comes) pilgrimage for me is not only goal, the more is the way. However, I still hear comments as: "Yesterday I heard the lecture of" true pilgrim ".... the first time I was surprised (and a little hurt, I admit), but now is just funny .....
Back in 2009 after walking 600+ K from my front door in the U.K. to Santiago, using the ferry as my only means of transport, I was asked by a fellow pilgrim in Santiago "Where did you walk from?". Answer "Home in the U.K." "Which way did you come?". "Santander - Oviedo - Lugo - Melide". "Oh, you didn't walk the Pilgrimage route then!" "What's that?" I said, knowing full well what he meant! His reply - "There is only one real Camino to Santiago - the Camino Francés. If you didn't walk from San Jean you are not a pilgrim!"
As you say - now it is just funny :p

Blessings on ALL pilgrims
Tio Tel
 

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
"the longer the distance and the suffering that goes with it the more closer you feel to James and God ".

I can only say that my late grandmother ,who was a devout Catholic but above all a good person, only walked 200 metres when she was ninety to the local chapel of Saint Rita to pray there .
And she went with the Women's Association by bus to Banneux http://www.sacred-destinations.com/belgium/banneux-shrine . Again to pray and worship there.
She actually covered less than one kilometre on foot combining both pilgrimages most probably.

I think she suffered enough during her life ( World War II comes to mind but many other things too ) to make me believe her life in itself was a pilgrimage.

Just my musings though....
My grandfather, my grandmother, suffered in WW I and WW II, and so have other people.
Here we are dealing with something different. We are doing pilgramige not only for us but for all our loved one.
I am 70 I got, slip disk, in my back, hernia in my belly, my right knee and leg in pain specially when I walk 30Km plus. I had prostate cancer, six operation in both eyes but still next year (God willing)
my camino will be about 33ooKm, I will start it and take the day as they come, this year from Lisbon
I made a false start and on my first day, I ended up walking for 12 and a half hour and over 59Km under the rain. I don't intend to blame anybody for it.
I wanted to keep all this for myself but you force me to it.
again Buen Camino
 
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SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
Pilgrim comes from the Latin word peregrinus which is a compound of 'per + agrum' = 'over the fields'. I stick to that, everything else is decoration and interpretation.

Buen Camino, SY
 

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Pilgrim comes from the Latin word peregrinus which is a compound of 'per + agrum' = 'over the fields'. I stick to that, everything else is decoration and interpretation.

Buen Camino, SY
per + agrum'= passing field = across the field.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Or do as I do; take some zip lock plastic bags with a new children's size cotton handkerchief inside. Give them out to women in the first albergue as gifts to reuse and rinse each night instead of leaving toilet paper on the path. Ask them to spread the message.
A very nice idea, @Kanga! Do you get receptive feedback?

A long time ago I learned that the best thing I can do is to keep my nose out of other people's pilgrimages.
The best advice I've read in a very long time, with the added benefit of being short and to the point.
Thanks, @JohnnieWalker! (Your story was also a winner. Whatever we think about other people at first glance is so often dead wrong...but we believe it anyway.)
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
Each Sunday morning, my wife and I , get in our car, the climate control set to auto, and drive the five miles or so, through the country backroads where we live, to attend Church. a trip to a place of worship and religion, a Pilgrimage, to a religious site, with many others , some within walking distance , some drove for many miles, still a Pilgrimage, done by Pilgrims ..........
It is an interesting thought that regular local church attendance would be redefined as a pilgrimage.
 

CaptBuddy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Fall 2012, again Fall 2014.
It seems to be a feature of humanity that some people need to comment on the behaviour of others - when this is none of their business. On Camino that is a danger for all of us. We can easily entertain feelings of superiority to those who don't carry their rucksack, sleep in Albergues, go to mass etc. A long time ago I learned that the best thing I can do is to keep my nose out of other people's pilgrimages.
That brings me to a wee personal story. Earlier this year I was walking a part of the Camino Inglés with a friend. We were carrying little day rucksacks. We stopped for a coffee at a bar with a terraza where there were two or three other groups of pilgrims. Spotting the two of us one opinionated pilgrim proceeded to lecture everyone in their group in a stage whisper about foreign touriginos who didn't carry their own stuff. Furtive glances were cast in our direction. I suspect they thought we didn't understand. We left.
Within a couple of kilometres they passed us in embarrassed silence as we had removed paint, brush and shears from our day packs to repaint yellow arrows and cut back foliage. I must admit to some satisfaction in wishing them "Buen Camino".
Have I told you that my life is enriched by knowing you?
It is.
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Camino(s) past & future
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
A long time ago I learned that the best thing I can do is to keep my nose out of other people's pilgrimages.
i am still printing imaginary cards in my head. this is added to the pack. You are also much nicer than I am...I would have held out a paintbrush and asked them to join in....
I think she suffered enough during her life ( World War II comes to mind but many other things too ) to make me believe her life in itself was a pilgrimage.
as so often with your post, a thousand likes for this
 

7wood

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013 SJPP to Pamplona. 2014 Pamplona to Burgos. 2015 Burgos to Sarria. 2016 Sarria to Santiago de Compostla,Finisterre,Muxia. 2016. 2017 Porto to ???
009.jpg Saw this on a "tourist info booth" in Negreira says it all.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
@Viranani yes, great feedback and gratitude for the gift. On my last walk I met up with two of the women much further down the track and they eagerly showed me that they still had their handkerchiefs and ziplock bags. One said she found it invaluable to use in the traditional way - i.e. for her nose, when it was running because of wind and cold. Tissues disintegrate too quickly.

It creates an easy opportunity to talk about managing the walk without leaving litter. Whether or not the handkerchiefs get used.

I even iron mine when staying upmarket in a hotel - stick them wet on a mirror and they dry overnight beautifully - to the amusement of my fellow travellers.

Leon Washday Handkerchiefs P1030732.JPG
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
It's a lightweight, thoughtful, and very useful thing to give away--thanks for the idea, @Kanga! Maybe it will spread here and more people can start those conversations...I hope so. (I'll certainly do that. Here in Myanmar it's easy to find very nice lightweight (but inexpensive) cotton hankies.)
 

Karen2017

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Santiago May 2017
@SEB I'm afraid your card would finish up as litter on the path. Make a donation or join the Ditch Pigs instead: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/ditch-pigs-camino-cleanup-2016-theyre-back.44059/#post-457990

Or do as I do; take some zip lock plastic bags with a new children's size cotton handkerchief inside. Give them out to women in the first albergue as gifts to reuse and rinse each night instead of leaving toilet paper on the path. Ask them to spread the message.
I am taking this tip with me Kanga, thanks
 

KatyMac

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - Leon to Santiago (Sept 2016)
My husband and I walked a portion of the Camino de Santiago Sept 25 - Oct 3 from SSJP to Logrono. It was all the time we could take from work and decided when planning to do the Camino in 3 stages over 3 years. We've been home for 3 weeks now and the high is still on. However this past week while talking to some people about our experience and our "Camino family" one person asked how it felt to walk with "real pilgrims" implying we were not because we didn't walk the entire 800 km in one go. Another person implied they agreed with that person. Has anyone else has a similar experience? I identify as a pilgrim of the way and I must say, I am normally a strong person who is not overly influenced by the opinion of others. However one of these people is someone I highly respect and frankly it brought me down and somewhat sullied my experience.
Sorry that this comment has spoiled your experience. What constitutes a real pilgrim? Someone who walks the whole distance or one who walks with the right attitude and intention? We met a couple who were completing their Camino after many years and it made them no less pilgrims than we were. I hope you get back soon and find fulfilment. We also intend to complete our Camino in 3 years time. Buen Camino
 

MikeC

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Cycled SJPP to SDC September 2016
Starting Camino Ingles June 2018
Hi Cathy,
You are truly a pilgrim, even though you are currently resting between active stages of pilgrimage, and you will have been changed by your experiences.
Your friends probably see this and may be a bit unsettled by it and try to deny reality by denigrating your achievements.
One thing my Camino taught me was to try and be less judgemental, both in the way I view others and also myself.
So don't beat yourself up over this; put it behind you and trust that your friends will learn to recognise and respect the 'new you'..
Mike C
 

Pong

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés - April - May 2016
Camino del Norte - April - May 2017
Frances - March-April 2018
Although others can affirm you or dismiss you, what really matters is what you believe about your experience.
 

Pong

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés - April - May 2016
Camino del Norte - April - May 2017
Frances - March-April 2018
I think I'll go with pilgrim is as pilgrim does....And leave off the hair shirt, and share wine with anyone who wants it.
Actually, I believe more in pilgrim is as pilgrim is, but will join you and decline a hair shirt and accept the wine!
 

Botaivica

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May - July 2016
SJPP - Santiago - Finisterra
May 2017
Caminho do Tejo
June 2017
Fatima - Santiago
My husband and I walked a portion of the Camino de Santiago Sept 25 - Oct 3 from SSJP to Logrono. It was all the time we could take from work and decided when planning to do the Camino in 3 stages over 3 years. We've been home for 3 weeks now and the high is still on. However this past week while talking to some people about our experience and our "Camino family" one person asked how it felt to walk with "real pilgrims" implying we were not because we didn't walk the entire 800 km in one go. Another person implied they agreed with that person. Has anyone else has a similar experience? I identify as a pilgrim of the way and I must say, I am normally a strong person who is not overly influenced by the opinion of others. However one of these people is someone I highly respect and frankly it brought me down and somewhat sullied my experience.
Hi Cathy :)

if you feel as a pilgrim, you are a pilgrim.

No matter what anyone says ;)

Bota :cool:
 

Phil W

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2016; Hospitalero 2017, 2018
Allow me to attach my clerical collar and presume (ahem!) to preach a sermon on pilgrimage.

Why you walk to SdeC is infinitely more important than how you get there. The Camino is the finest walking holiday in the world, without a doubt. You can walk it simply to enjoy the extraordinary experience it offers, and more power to you if you do! You'll have the time of your life! But when you get to SdeC you'll be asked if you walked the Camino for spiritual/religious reasons - and there's the rub! Merely arriving in SdeC does not make one a pilgrim.

Most of the folks I encountered on my two previous Camino walks spoke of themselves as pilgrims, and they were completely wrong. Fine folks - I relished their company! - but folks who missed the essence of pilgrimage entirely.

I more than once heard one saying "We true pilgrims are here because we choose to be, not because we have to be. This is a burden we take upon ourselves." Another would proclaim that, "We are to here prove ourselves, to purify ourselves, to separate ourselves from the lazy and shallow world out there." Another says, "And we do this by relying only on ourselves. A true pilgrim must walk the whole way to Santiago, and never use a car or bus. A true pilgrim must carry everything he needs on his back, and be as totally self-sufficient as possible.” A fourth says that "Suffering is the key to all this. A true pilgrim proves his purity, his detachment from the world, his worthiness, by suffering. The truest pilgrim would be the one who relies on no-one else, who walks all the way barefoot, who sleeps in the open air, who lives on nothing but what he can cook himself."

One thing I seldom heard is that a pilgrim talks with God, and trusts God to meet his needs. And that’s why every time these folks got going on about the true pilgrim and left God out of the equation, I’d head for my bunk. I don’t like to argue.

Walking the Camino as a pilgrim is not at all the same thing as walking it as an extreme sport.

And walking the camino as a pilgrim has nothing at all to do with "them." It has everything to do with what's going on inside you.

The purpose of walking the Camino as a pilgrim is not to prove to oneself, or to anyone else, how tough one is, how earnest one is, how superior one is to everyone else. Walking the Camino as a pilgrim is a faith exercise. The Camino provides an exceedingly precious opportunity to unplug from the grid, (at least for 100 K!) and get back to talking again with God. And the true pilgrim, in my opinion, is precisely not the one who is there because he chooses to be, he is there because, in a mysterious way reminiscent of a calling to the priesthood, he's there because he’s called to be there. It's not about self-sufficiency at all. It’s about listening to the still, small, voice! That's something most modern Camino walkers are too remote from the Faith even to contemplate.

And I suggest that one reason that so many of the walkers in Spain find this hard to understand, is that it goes completely against the whole notion of self-sufficiency, which remains a dominant value in Western/American culture. Self-sufficiency is so important in America that there’s a whole industry dedicated to equipping people to go out and test themselves. If you go into an adventure sports store like Gander Mountain or REI you're going to find everything you might want or need to make it, on your own, in the woods. And I do mean everything! You can be fully prepared for any contingency. You can take care of yourself, entirely by yourself, you won't need anything from anybody. You can be in control. You can be the master of your fate.

But - does that sound like a pilgrim? I don't think so!

A pilgrim knows that he controls little or nothing. A pilgrim puts his trust in God.

I have no wish to offend, here. I offer these my thoughts in the uniquely ecumenical spirit of the Camino. And I ask you to to pray for me, a sinner.

Pax
Well said! I agree as I quickly learned that there was an abundance of time to pray. Prayerful walking became a joy for me. Praying for fellow pilgrims I met along the way, praying for friends at home, praying for my wonderful wife as she walked with me, and praying thanks for giving me the opportunity to walk the Camino were daily occurances. I had never approached prayer in that way before.
Phil
 

Older Guy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis -May 2016 by bike---Loved it
Thank you Pax. This is why I did the Camino and why I identify as a pilgrim. I felt closer to God during those 9 days than ever before. Talking to Him for hours and relying on His strength through injury I felt a peace that's difficult to grasp in the frenetic pace of our western world......

As others have pointed out that is the key to being a pilgrim. Your statement indicates you are a "real pilgrim." That is why they offer two documents issued on behalf of the church at the end in Santiago one where the purpose of the journey was religious or spiritual and one were it was not.

I also disagree with the post that it is about not being self reliant. To a certain extent, I agree with that and understand that one needs to a certain degree surrender to the lessons that the Camino will teach you, but I also feel that God has given us minds and wills to use to further his good works. We are not sheep.

In my Camino, I wanted a balance that included a significant religious/spiritual component. That is why I attended mass at many of the Catherals and stayed overnight at some places run by religious groups. I also think that mental and spiritual reflection, as you stated, is an important part of being a pilgrim.

Enjoy your rest/recovery and the next phase of your pilgrimage.
 
My husband and I walked a portion of the Camino de Santiago Sept 25 - Oct 3 from SSJP to Logrono. It was all the time we could take from work and decided when planning to do the Camino in 3 stages over 3 years. We've been home for 3 weeks now and the high is still on. However this past week while talking to some people about our experience and our "Camino family" one person asked how it felt to walk with "real pilgrims" implying we were not because we didn't walk the entire 800 km in one go. Another person implied they agreed with that person. Has anyone else has a similar experience? I identify as a pilgrim of the way and I must say, I am normally a strong person who is not overly influenced by the opinion of others. However one of these people is someone I highly respect and frankly it brought me down and somewhat sullied my experience.
You are definitely a pilgrim. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. The effort, blisters, rain, blistering sun, companionship, friendship, love etc. were all the same whether you did 100 or 800km.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
My husband and I walked a portion of the Camino de Santiago Sept 25 - Oct 3 from SSJP to Logrono. It was all the time we could take from work and decided when planning to do the Camino in 3 stages over 3 years. We've been home for 3 weeks now and the high is still on. However this past week while talking to some people about our experience and our "Camino family" one person asked how it felt to walk with "real pilgrims" implying we were not because we didn't walk the entire 800 km in one go. Another person implied they agreed with that person. Has anyone else has a similar experience? I identify as a pilgrim of the way and I must say, I am normally a strong person who is not overly influenced by the opinion of others. However one of these people is someone I highly respect and frankly it brought me down and somewhat sullied my experience.
If you're on your way to Santiago (or another Shrine), regardless of any compromises or decisions real life may impose, you're a real pilgrim.

You don't have to be a "purist" to be a Pilgrim, even tough some pilgrims are "purists", and I'm one myself.

The "true pilgrim way" is a good one to follow ; but it's certainly NOT what defines what it means to be a proper pilgrim. It's just one way of following the Camino among many !! (besides, all us "true pilgrims" are crazy)

Buen Camino !!!
 

MCFearnley

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ponferrada to Santiago (September 2016)
The "true pilgrim way" is a good one to follow ; but it's certainly NOT what defines what it means to be a proper pilgrim. It's just one way of following the Camino among many !! (besides, all us "true pilgrims" are crazy)
What exactly do you mean by "true pilgrim"?

Isn't a pilgrim simply defined as:

pilgrim
/ˈpɪlɡrɪm/
noun
a person who undertakes a journey to a sacred place as an act of religious devotion

This goes just as much for someone going to Santiago on foot as it is for someone going to Lourdes in a luxury coach and every other place deemed sacred. The key words are journey (however undertaken), sacred place (sacred to one's own religion or spirituality), and religious devotion (again to one's own religion or spirituality).

In my humble, personal, yet biased opinion (all opinions are biased), as a Christian I undertake a pilgrimage when I visit a Christian shrine or undertake a journey with an expressed Christian motive. However, if I go to Mecca (sacred oak forest, sweat lodge, etc.), I would be a tourist. Sure, I would assist as a learning experience, but I would certainly not call myself a Mecca (or other) pilgrim. The same would go for any other religion or sacred tradition. I would not co-opt another's ritual as for me it would be hypocritical since I do not hold the beliefs underlying the tradition.
 

lunna

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
frances; lisboa-muxia; norte+bayonne; vdlp; le puy; voie d'arles+aragones; geneva to ales
I'll be the contrarian here. Pilgrim, not pilgrim, they're just words, and labels imposed on us by others. This is not a competition to see who is the most spiritual, the most with God, or whatever. What seems lost in this thread, starting with the OP, is that we are all the same, no better and no worse, we all inhabit the same earth, and we are all right - it doesn't matter a whit what ones motivation is for walking the camino (or any one of the many caminos) as long as you try conscientiously not to hurt anyone else along the way. This earth was made for all of us, whatever stripe and color. Frankly, it seems a bit presumptious, if not arrogant, to classify or divide people into groups - pilgrim, not pilgrim - that kind of 'them, us' attitude has resulted in more suffering for humankind, Christian or otherwise, than almost anything else in history.
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy
lunna, that sort of post will never get you an invitation to join the camino police. ...
Thank you for the most intelligent comment so far in this thread, and I hope to be able to buy you a glass of wine one day somewhere on the way to Santiago
:)
 

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
lunna, that sort of post will never get you an invitation to join the camino police. ...
Thank you for the most intelligent comment so far in this thread, and I hope to be able to buy you a glass of wine one day somewhere on the way to Santiago
:)
What about me ? Please can I also have a glass of wine ??
Thank you
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy
I will buy you a glass of wine with the greatest of pleasure, you and anyone else who isn't part of the Camino police. Because I'm sure the Camino police are teetotal.
 

lunna

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
frances; lisboa-muxia; norte+bayonne; vdlp; le puy; voie d'arles+aragones; geneva to ales
lol - be forewarned, though, I have expensive taste - I'll have a ribiera del duero, tinto!
 

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