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Camino Frances Certificates.

sillydoll

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There are a number of certificates pilgrims can earn on the Camino Frances.

1. The COMPOSTELA: based on a 14th c document which has changed many times, with long periods where it was not issued, especially in the modern era. To earn this certificate you must walk the last 100 km to Santiago and you must attest to having walked for religious or religious/spiritual reasons. If you don't tick one of those two you can ask for the other, Tourist certificate. Walking 5000 miles doesn't count towards a Compostela; the Cathedral fathers make it clear that mere walking, or going on a long hike is not the goal. Walking to the tomb of the Saint and revering the remains are the goal, and you only need to do 100 km to earn the Compostela. If you can't prove that you have walked the last 100 km you won't get a Compostela. This rather arbitrary mileage was introduced in 1999 to ensure some 'suffering and effort' on behalf of the pilgrim. You will need 2 stamps per day in your pilgrim passport on the last 100 km. Where you start on the last 100 km is also important. You can't start walking from any 100 km road marker and hope to earn a Compostela. It needs to be from an identifiable Camino route. A few years ago there was much debate when people started arriving at the cathedral having walked the Invierno route and the staff didn't recognize the route.

Ferrol – 118 Camino Ingles
Lugo – 101 Camino Norte
Sarria – 114 Camino Frances
Tui – 117 Portuguese Caminho
Ourense – 108 V de la Plata

2. The TOURIST certificate is given to those who walk for cultural, sporting or any reason other than religious or spiritual. [IMHO it is just as attractive as the Compostela]

3. HALFWAY certificate: You can get this in Sahagun at the Sanatorio de Virgen Peregrino church for €3 which includes visiting the museum.

4. DISTANCE certificate: If you walked more than 100 km and you'd like some recognition for your long, hard trek, you can ask for a distance certificate (€3) at the pilgrim office.

5. CATHEDRAL certificate: The Cathedral of Santiago offers all those who visit the Basilica of St. James a Certificate of Visit that provides evidence of the stay in the Cathedral. This document, which costs 3 euro, can be ordered at the headquarters of the Confraternity of St. James, at the praza da Quintana, by the Holy Door. The certificate, printed on parchment paper, is personal, and is decorated with an image of the Apostle of the Portico de la Gloria and a detail of the Breviary of Miranda.

6. FISTERANA: issued at the albergue in Finisterre. You must have at least 3 stamps in your pilgrim passports.

7. MUXIA certificate: issued at the albergue in Muxia, you will need to have a stamp at Linares.

(I tried to post photos here but each one resulted in an error message)
 
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Christian Hiriart

The Camino keeps calling.
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Frances September (2016) St. Jean to Leon
Planning for the next...
Interesting information, I did not know that there were that many certificates available. I'm planning to walk from Leon to Santiago in March 2018 and will most definitely be requesting a Compostela. Is a great keepsake to show family and friends.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
There are a number of certificates pilgrims can earn on the Camino Frances.

2. The TOURIST certificate is given to those who walk for cultural, sporting or any reason other than religious or spiritual. [IMHO it is just as attractive as the Compostela]
I agree with you that the certificate is just as pretty as the Compostela. One thing I've never understood is why people with no religious grounding would even want a document that is essentially a prayer in Latin.

I'm not at all sure about this, but I wonder if one of the Cathedral's motivations for coming up with that beautiful "non-Compostela-certificate" was so that people would feel less compelled to shade the truth in order to get the Compostela. If that was part of the thinking, I don't think the statistics would show that it had that effect. In my experience, it still seems that nearly everyone wants the Compostela, and the staff at the pilgrims' office really bends over to give good "customer service" on that one. Do you think the compostela will always be the favorite, for religious and non-religious people alike, because it is considered the "real deal" while the certificate is just seen as a substitute?
 

tillyjones

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances June 2015
VDLP May 2017
del Norte Sept 2018
Now that I know this, I am happy not to exaggerate my 'spiritual' intent and accept the Tourist Certificate.
 

Paddington Bear

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017
I thought you o get th compostela you were required to
have two collected two stamps a day.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
The official name of the alternative is "certificado de bienvenida" ("welcome", not "tourist" certificate). Maybe they sound as synonymous, but they are not.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
I'm not at all sure about this, but I wonder if one of the Cathedral's motivations for coming up with that beautiful "non-Compostela-certificate" was so that people would feel less compelled to shade the truth in order to get the Compostela.

Do you think the compostela will always be the favorite, for religious and non-religious people alike, because it is considered the "real deal" while the certificate is just seen as a substitute?
I remember the times when the Compostela for spiritual/religious reasons was brown, and the other certificate had a different look. Some people said "get the non religious one: it's prettier".

Now they both have a similar look, so easthetics shouldn't play into things. This could mean that the Cathedral made the Compostela prettier so that more people would ask for ot, skewing numbers up?

I think that if the Cathedral really wanted people "not to shade the truth" it would not combine religious with spiritual reasons.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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The Compostela and 'Welcome' Certificate

The 1976 Compostela
Compostela 2-horz.jpg
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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OOops! 2 per day on the last 100km
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!

sillydoll

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Long post:

Before the Autentica, or the Compostela, pilgrims collected a scallop shell as proof of their pilgrimage to Santiago. (Paper was costly and scarce). After the decline in pilgrimages it seems that the issue of a certificate stopped for a few centuries, was revived and then stopped again at the end of the 19th century.

When Walter Starkie walked to Santiago in the 1920's, 1930's and 1950's he wrote about collecting his scallop shell before continuing to the cathedral.
"We proceeded along the narrow streets to the offices of the Confraternity of St. James and I was given my scallop shell, which for eleven-hundred years had been the badge of kings, prelates and beggars alike."


The 'La Autentica' (as it was first called) was originally an 18" X 20" parchment, hand-written in Latin with a small wooden Santiago pilgrim attached to its upper left corner. A requirement for earning this document was confession and communion (but this requirement seems to have been stopped from the 18th century). The oldest copy available is dated 1321 and can be found in the archives of the Pas-de-Calais in northern France.

The name changed to the 'Compostelana' and during the transition between the handwritten document and the advent of printing (which only reached Galicia in 17th century) there were two documents issued - one handwritten, carrying a 'Bula' or seal, and a printed one. There were many forgeries of this document which prompted the pope to threaten excommunication of anyone was found to be in possession of a forgery.

In the early 20th century, Cardinal José María Martín Herrera encouraged the return of organized pilgrim groups to Santiago. A medal replaced the Compostela in Holy Years (which saved printing costs and earned them some money). These were only issued in the Holy Years of 1909, 1915, 1920 and 1926. For many years thereafter, pilgrimage was affected by the Spanish Civil War and in 1938, the Compostelana bore the words of Franco - "Prince of Spain and its supreme leader of the army."

In 1963 three members of the newly formed association of "Los Amigos de Camino de Santiago" in Estella made a pilgrimage to Santiago. They are warmly received and were issued with new Compostelana certificates. The wording was different from the previous certificates: "Certifying pilgrims will be true pilgrims, not thugs or homeless, received wide acceptance in the Hospital of Reyes Católicos".

In the late 1950's and early 1960's a well posted tourist road route from the Pyrenees to Santiago was developed with information on churches, monuments, hotels and restaurants along the way. A credential was issued so that travelers could obtain a stamp at the places stopped along the road. Once they arrived in Santiago they could ask for the pilgrim diploma which was funded by the Ministry of Information and Tourism and signed by the Archbishop of Compostela. This was issued in the Holy Years of 1965, 1971 and 1976.

Until 1965 there was a special Maritime Compostela for pilgrims who sailed 40 nautical miles to Padron and then walked to Santiago from there. (In 1985 the name of the certificate was officially changed from a Compostelana to the Compostela.)

Some stats claim that in 1974 only 6 Compostelas were issued. Records prior to the 1970's were lost.
Today one can download and print a 'virtual' Compostela from the cathedral website: http;//www.catedraldesantiago.es/webcatedral.html
You can also apply for a memorial Compostela for a departed pilgrim.


Information from the website of Fernando Lalanda - with permission.

http://fernandolalanda.blogspot.com/2011/12/sin-titulo-2.html

More info on the Compostela and the Credenciales here: http://amawalker.blogspot.co.za/2013/11/credenciales-and-compostelas.html


Not sure how the 2014 photo landed at the top!?


P1030352.JPG
1797
03 Compostela de 1797.jpg

1801
05 Compostela de 1801.jpg
1820
04 Compostelana de 1820.jpg
1938
1938  Compostelana de 1938.jpg
1976 (Called a Diploma)
19 Diploma.jpg
1991
15 Compostela de 1991.png
2002
Compostela 001.jpg

2014
P1030352.JPG
 
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A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
@sillydoll , could you address the history of the sellos, as they were put on bornones back in the day, if you have the info. I enjoyed the story told by Jaco in Villafranca. Thank you.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
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I'm not sure that there is a long history about the sellos. I think they were introduced in the 1950's and expanded on in the 1980's together with the introduction of the modern 'credenciales'

The ‘Credencial’ or pilgrim’s passport evolved from letters of safe passage granted by the church or state (and sometimes the King) to people going a journey through foreign lands. Prospective travellers, both clerics and laymen, combining business with pleasure and/or pilgrimage needed a ‘licencia’ to leave the country. If pilgrims needed royal protection for their retinue, their lands, possessions and so on, they would travel with the king’s leave, ‘peregre profeturus cum licencia regis.’ A pilgrim would need to visit their priest and make confession before being given a letter stating that he is a bona-fide pilgrim, requesting safe passage, exemption from the payment of taxes and tolls and hospitality in the monasteries or ‘hospices’ along the way.

Jump to 20th century - Spain:
You have read that Walter Starkie describes being awarded a scallop shell at the end of his 'Caminos' in the 1920's 1930's and 1953.

The five road routes developed in the late 1950's and early 1960's were promoted together with a map and a 'credential' in which travelers could obtain stamps at the places they stopped along the road.

The 'credenciales' used by foot pilgrims (like the one I used in 2002) were designed in 1963 by the Estella members of "Los Amigos de Camino de Santiago" when they made their pilgrimage to Santiago.

It the Holy Year of 1965 , the press picks up on the credenciales, and as if it were a prophecy, the words of then Secretary of the Central Board for the Holy Year, Don Jesus Precedo Lafuente. Referring to the pilgrims to Compostela on foot he says, " We will have to start thinking for future jubilees, to create a card certifying the pilgrimage and pilgrim in need, which should be endorsed in the first place by the pastor of the place where he has his home, and to establish some places where they can stay for free, or for a small fee, when they arrive here. Discrimination will be difficult, but there is no doubt that we are facing a real need . "

In 1985 the cornerstone for the resurrection of the current Jacobean pilgrimage was sponsored by Archbishop (of Santiago in 1984) Antonio Rouco Varella when Bishop Don Eugenio Romero Posé hosted the "Meeting of the Priests of the Road" to promote, among others, four key actions for the revival of pilgrimages, one of them being the creation of the "Pilgrim's Carné".

There is a website that displays 2672 sellos. http://www.lossellosdelcamino.com/
 

Attachments

sillydoll

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Thanks for the Compostela!

There is also a University 'credencial' and 'Compostela'.
Known as the Jacobean University credential it is issued by the University of Navarra as part of an initiative launched in 2002 with the aim of extending the Camino of Santiago among the university community on an international level.

The university Accreditation can be requested over the Internet, or can be collected in Pamplona in person, from the Central de la University de Navarra. On this document, and aside from the usual stamps collected by walkers on the traditional credential, pilgrims are asked to have the credential stamped by the universities along their walk. In this way, and, after arriving in Santiago, the walker will be entitled to, not only the traditional Compostela, but also the Jacobean University Certificate (the University compostela) to certify having completed the university pilgrimage to Santiago.

To acquire the University Compostela pilgrims should send by post, email, or alternatively, they can visit the student Office in person (Campus Central building of Pamplona) and submit the original or, a photocopy of the university credential complete with the university stamps, the traditional stamps collected along the Way, the stamp of their University of origin and that of the pilgrim Office which collected the Compostela at the end of their journey. Once the office has received all the necessary documentation from the University of Navarra, the Jacobean University Certificate will be sent to the home address of the pilgrim.
libro.png libro.png MG_9722.jpg
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
The sellos actually go back 100s and 100s of hears ago. At the time they were engraved or burned on the wooden staffs and there reason for being was to ensure people kept moving forward.
 

sillydoll

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The sellos actually go back 100s and 100s of hears ago. At the time they were engraved or burned on the wooden staffs and there reason for being was to ensure people kept moving forward.
I would love to learn more about the staff 'sellos'. There are many references to pilgrims collecting badges, brooches, ampullae and pins whilst on pilgrimage (like Piers Plowman who never found a saint called Truth) but I have never heard of the 'sellos' engraved on wood to ensure they kept moving. Can you share some of the sources for this?

0__6947_l_ms1.rvf_2.jpg

f6be15e9f16c5f0230a5bc0b7df4d640.jpg
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
I would love to learn more about the staff 'sellos'. There are many references to pilgrims collecting badges, brooches, ampullae and pins whilst on pilgrimage (like Piers Plowman who never found a saint called Truth) but I have never heard of the 'sellos' engraved on wood to ensure they kept moving. Can you share some of the sources for this?

View attachment 33257

View attachment 33258
My source was Jaco, the owner of the Ave Fenix albergue. Nothing published alas.
 

Christian Hiriart

The Camino keeps calling.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances September (2016) St. Jean to Leon
Planning for the next...
For me, the best keepsake is my stamped credential, because it contains many memories.
Agree, getting all those stamps is cool, my problem (because am an old guy) I only remember where i got just a few and the rest is somewhat of a blur... Perhaps this is a good reason to do it again...
 

epona2011

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago-Fisterra 2011
Norte 2014
Inglés 2016
Portugués (Tui-Santiago) 2017
I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask but is it possible for me to do a Camino and have someone else's name put on the Compostelana? Hoping to walk later this year in honour of a deceased friend.
Really enjoyed the historical background above.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
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I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask but is it possible for me to do a Camino and have someone else's name put on the Compostelana? Hoping to walk later this year in honour of a deceased friend.
Really enjoyed the historical background above.
I walked in May in remembrance of a woman who passed away in 2002. They will put your name on the certificate and write "In memory of ....." on it as well
 

epona2011

Member
Camino(s) past & future
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Thanks a million. Much appreciated.
I walked in May in remembrance of a woman who passed away in 2002. They will put your name on the certificate and write "In memory of ....." on it as well
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
If I'm not mistaken two years ago Cathedral recognized Camino de Invierno as one of the official routes to Santiago and starting point to obtain Compostela is Monforte de Lemos.

I'm also sure (not from my experience though) that one can be issued Compostela if walking Fisterra-Muxia-SdC or Muxia-Fisterra-SdC. So I heard not only on this this forum but also by some people in Santiago.

Really enjoy reading about history of the Camino de Santiago and its symbols.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
Does one have to be on an officially recognised route? I thought the requirement was that you walked the last 100km into Santiago de Compostela, having collect two sellos each day as proof that you have walked that last 100km. That would mean you could walk any way you liked.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask but is it possible for me to do a Camino and have someone else's name put on the Compostelana? Hoping to walk later this year in honour of a deceased friend.
Really enjoyed the historical background above.
Hi, epona,
A "compostelana" is a girl or woman from Santiago. You mean the compostela :), which is the certificate given by the pilgrims' office. As Sil says, you can easily do this. The compostela must be in your name, but at the bottom, they will write "vicarie pro" plus the name of the person in whose honor or memory you walked. Buen camino to you, Laurie
 

epona2011

Member
Camino(s) past & future
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Norte 2014
Inglés 2016
Portugués (Tui-Santiago) 2017
Thanks@peregrina2000. Just a typo.
 

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