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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

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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

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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?
 
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tillyjones

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Now that I know this, I am happy not to exaggerate my 'spiritual' intent and accept the Tourist Certificate.
 

Felipe

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

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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

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The Compostela and 'Welcome' Certificate

The 1976 Compostela
Compostela 2-horz.jpg
 

sillydoll

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OOops! 2 per day on the last 100km
 

Bradypus

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Too many and too often!
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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

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@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

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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/
 

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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

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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.
 
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mylifeonvacation

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1976 (Called a Diploma)

How interesting! A Spanish friend once referred to my Compostela as a "Diploma". I didn't realize that was an actual name used. As always, Syl, you are a wealth of knowledge!! :)
 

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

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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

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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

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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.
 
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sillydoll

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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
 
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epona2011

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Thanks@peregrina2000. Just a typo.
 

David Tallan

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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/
Reviving this thread to continue the discussion of the history of credenciales, out of another thread on the history of yellow arrows.

It was interesting to read: "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."

The credencial I was given in 1989 in Roncesvalles was from Los Amigos in Estella. It was clearly designed for that starting point specifically. On the front, after a space for me to fill in my name, citizenship, profession and DNI it had printed "que se dirige a Santiago de Compostela, ha recibido en el dia de hoy en esta Real Colegiata de Roncesvalles la benedicion de peregrino." Apparently they had another version printed for those starting in Jaca and were planning on expanding to other starting points. Which leads me to wonder:
1) What kind of credencial was received by those who started in SJPP at the time?
2) If the credenciales from Estella were still in use in 2002, were they still specific to the starting point or had they shifted to today's system where the starting point is written in when starting?

Incidentally, this was obviously before the "two stamps a day for the last 100 km route. There was only space for two stamps total in the last 100 km: Portomarin and Palas de Rey.

I find it also interesting that you wrote about the road routes of the 50s and 60s. Not just the 50s and 60s. As late as 1989, when I went to the Ministry of Tourism in Madrid to get information about the Camino de Santiago (which I did before all my trips when I was living in Spain), I was handed a booklet on the Camino (admittedly published in the 70s), showing the road route and all of the gas stations on the Way.
 

Marc S.

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Thank you for reviving this thread.

1) What kind of credencial was received by those who started in SJPP at the time?

My guess is that SJPP was not such a a major starting point in the year you mention (1989). In 1989, 3367 out of 5802 pilgrims arriving in Santiago were Spanish (thus not likely to have started in SJPP anyway). The other were all European (967 of whom French). It seems likely that many took a credencial issued by their national federation (whether or not they started from home)

It seems in 1989 a credencial could be achieved from the Amis du Chemin in SJPP. But I have reason to assume it was not an easy procedure. Many great stories can be read (also on this forum) about Madame Debril of the Amis du Chemin in SJPP, who already in the 1980's did not seem to be too pleased about 'modern pilgrims' as they did not walk from home. I have read several accounts by Dutch pilgrims in the late 1980;s, similar to what Dromengro wrote about his 1984 experience:

I started my pilgrimage by attending church, but the old woman who ran the pilgrim office from her house, refused to give me a credential because I hadn't walked from home and no letter from my priest, and shooed me out telling me I couldn't walk HER route.
 
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David Tallan

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2018
Thank you for reviving this thread.



My speculated guess is that SJPP was not a major starting point in the year you mention (1989), so - due to relatively low numbers - maybe there was no credencial issued by the relevant 'authorities' in SJPP.

In 1989, 3367 out of 5802 pilgrims arriving in Santiago were Spanish (thus not likely to have started in SJPP anyway). The other were all European (967 of whom French). It seems likely that a lot of them started from home and took a credencial issued by their national federation.

Even if a credencial could (technically) be obtained in SJPP I have reason to assume it was not an easy procedure. Many great stories can be read (also on this forum) about Madame Debril of the Amis de Chemin in SJPP, who already in the 1980's did not seem to be too pleased about 'modern pilgrims' as they did not walk from home. I have read several accounts by Dutch pilgrims in the late 1980;s, similar to what Dromengro wrote about his 1984 experience:
In 1989, I'm not sure how many national federations there were. :) I know that the one in Canada didn't get its start until 1994. As you say, the stories of Madame Debril are numerous. I wonder what credencial she was giving (to those who passed muster) - her own? one from the Société d'Amis de Saint Jacques de Compostelle (which was one of the first modern ones, dating to 1950)? Another?
 

Marc S.

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In 1989, I'm not sure how many national federations there were. :) I know that the one in Canada didn't get its start until 1994.

As far as I am aware by 1989 most Western European countries had national federations (which is probably related to the fact that 99 % of pilgrims were European) :)
 
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Kathar1na

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I wonder what credencial she was giving (to those who passed muster) - her own?
Perhaps none, Madame Debril just sent pilgrims off to Roncesvalles to obtain a credential there? I mean who started in SJPP in the eighties :cool:? Did they even have a local Saint-Jacques association in SJPP in those days?

And @Marc S. is right about the years when national associations in France (1950), Italy (1981), the UK (1983), Belgium (1985), the Netherlands (1986), Germany (1987), and Portugal (?) were created. What I remember is that you needed to be a paid-up member of such a national association to obtain a credential if you were abroad in those days. You couldn't just order it for 2 € and postage on the internet.
 
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David Tallan

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Did they even have a local Saint-Jacques association in SJPP in those days?
I think her name was Madame Debril. ;-)

But, my curiosity aroused, I went to my bookshelf. Laurie Dennett, who also walked in the 80s, started well before SJPP. But Ellen O. Feinberg (Following the Milky Way: A Pilgrimage across Spain) started there in, it seems, 1982. She writes:
She [presumably Madame Debril] had found two Spanish tarjetas del peregrino - pilgrimage cards - to give us. Folded in half, they were about wallet size. The front of each tan cardboard card was decorated with a black woodcut print of the sun, fields of grain, and the words Peregrino del Camino de Santiago. Inside , the card was divided into twelve squares, each with a name: St. Jean, Valcarlos, Pamplona, Estella, Logroño, Santo Domingo de la Calzada, Burgos, Frómista, León, Astorga, Ponferrada, Monasterio de Samos. On the back was more instructions: "Present this card at the Palacio de Rajoy in Santiago in order to obtain the pilgrimage diploma."

She explained that we could get the cards stamped at tourist offices listed in the squares - or at town halls, police stations, or parish offices - to prove we had made the entire pilgrimage.
So it seems that the credenciales that Madame Debril was providing may have been Spanish, not French, and they were similar but different to the one from Los Amigos in Estella that I received some seven years later. Both were tan cardboard, folded in half. But mine was significantly larger than wallet sized when folded (unless one has a large wallet), coming in at 21.5x15.5 cm. Mine had very different (more religious) iconography on the front in brown rather than back ink. It had no Peregrino del Camino de Santago. Instead of 12 squares for stamps, mine had 20, none of which was for Samos. And instead of directing me to the Palacio de Rajoy, my credencial directed me to "la venerable y Apostólica Iglesia Metropolitana de Santiago" for my "Compostelana".

I wonder if both were from Estella, which had changed its format and wording in the intervening seven years or if Madame Debril had a different Spanish source for hers.
 
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Kathar1na

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I think her name was Madame Debril. ;-)
At first, when I read this, I thought I had made a typing error in my earlier comment. Then I understood: Local camino association in SJPP = Madame Debril. ☺️

BTW, found it: Les Amis du Chemin de Saint-Jacques - Pyrénées Atlantiques - association fondée le 29 janvier 1991.
 
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David Tallan

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At first, when I read this, I thought I had made a typing error in my earlier comment. Then I understood: Local camino association in SJPP = Madame Debril. ☺️

BTW, found it: Les Amis du Chemin de Saint-Jacques - Pyrénées Atlantiques - association fondée le 29 janvier 1991.
I guess she had been joined by others by 1991. Before then it wasn't an association locally, it was just La Amie du Chemin de Saint-Jacques - Pyrénées Atlantiques.
 

Kathar1na

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The Estella amigos created a credencial in 1965 but it underwent various design changes throughout the following decades. The one described earlier in this thread must be the first incarnation (see below). Pilgrims had it stamped in the Tourist Offices along the way. F. Lalanda says in his book about the history of the credential that, in principle, one could obtain it only from the Tourist Offices in Jaca and in Valcarlos. It would not have been difficult for Madame Debril to obtain copies from the source in Valcarlos. And as indicated earlier, the "peregrino motorizado" was a given, unlike today where scorn is heaped on the mere idea that people in cars or buses could be pilgrims on their way to Saint James in Compostela, let alone be entitled to get sellos.

Credencial Estella 1965.jpg
 
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David Tallan

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Whereas this is what it looked like a few years later.
Front:
20210223_105913-jpg.94169

Back:
20210420_084804.jpg
 

Kathar1na

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Whereas this is what it looked like a few years later
That's something very special that you have there!

F. Lalanda has a very similar photo in his book and he describes this credencial as follows: fue realiza en 1986 (by the Estella association), en color crema y con los dibujos en ocre. He also states that they rushed to take (?) these credentials to the departure points of the Camino in the Pyrenees: Jaca and Roncesvalles. Based on what I read it seems to me that there was some kind of competition or slight disagreement between the various actors about how to take things forward at that time in the 80s.
 

Kathar1na

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F. Lalanda makes also these comments:

At that time [in the 80s], the concept of doing the Camino [hacer el Camino] was understood as reproducing the experience of European pilgrims on the Camino Francés in Spain. Doing the Camino was conceived as a one-time pilgrimage from the Pyrenees to Santiago.

He also mentions another "carnet" that was developed and designed by a "Comisaría del Camino de Santiago" at the same time as the Estella credencial. If I understand correctly, this credencial had a page for those who had not started the Camino with a credencial or for the few who started in other Spanish cities halfway along the route.

It was a different time and only 35 years ago! I guess many current walkers believe that a system of dozens of marked paths to Santiago, spread all over Spain, and combinations thereof, plus a system of credentials and Compostelas, more or less regulated by the Cathedral de Santiago, had existed since time immemorial. :cool:
 
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David Tallan

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That's something very special that you have there!

F. Lalanda has a very similar photo in his book and he describes this credencial as follows: fue realiza en 1986 (by the Estella association), en color crema y con los dibujos en ocre. He also states that they rushed to take (?) these credentials to the departure points of the Camino in the Pyrenees: Jaca and Roncesvalles. Based on what I read it seems to me that there was some kind of competition or slight disagreement between the various actors about how to take things forward at that time in the 80s.
I'm assuming that F. Lalanda's book is Historia de la Credencial, which I hadn't heard of until now. I'm just checking it out. Looks very interesting!

I'm thinking of bringing that credencial along with me on my next Camino Frances and finally filling in the stamps. I suspect I'd have to bring a modern one as well, to fulfill the requirements.
 

Marc S.

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So it seems that the credenciales that Madame Debril was providing may have been Spanish, not French, and they were similar but different to the one from Los Amigos in Estella that I received some seven years later.

I agree that it is quite likely that Madame Debril handed out Spanish credencials, similar to the one from Los Amigos in Estella.

It is worth noting that Jeanne Debril was the secretary of Les Amis de la Vieille Navarre. I had never heard of this organisation before, but it seemed to have played a role in the resurrection of the modern camino. It was founded in 1962 and - according to the website of Terres de Navarre (as the organisation is currenty called) it was very active since the 1960's in the modern camino revival (together with Les Amis du Chemin and Los Amigos del Camino)

According to this document (date unknown) : With regard to cultural heritage, the Association is active in several directions. Thus, it maintains all the elements that mark the route of the Way of St. James, since San Juan de Pie de Puerto is an essential point on that route;

More importantly (in this context). Les Amis de la Vieille Navarre had close contacts with Amigos del Camino in Estella:

In July 1963, the Association participated in Estella in the first Medieval Studies Week, and organized, together with the Town Council of San Juan de Pie de Puerto, the celebration of the Navarre Friendship Festival on September 7, 1963. The particularly cordial ties established by "Los amigos de la Vieja Navarra" with the Asociación de Amigos del Camino de Santiago de Estella, and the existence of numerous points in common, historical, geographical and topographical, led to the twinning of San Juan de Pie de Puerto with Estella, which gave rise for several years to the celebration of economic, cultural and folkloric exchange meetings and sporting events. The links and institutional meetings have been maintained since then, with varying intensity, always having the Way of St. James as a reference. [Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)]

Because of these close contacts with Amigos del Camino in Estella, it seems to make sense that Madame Debril also provided their credencial - at least untill the foundation of Les Amis du Chemin SJPP in 1991.

The 1980's must have been an interesting time in SJPP. I can imagine some competence struggle existed between Les Amis du Chemin and Les Amis de Vieille Navarre about how are things were to be done.

For some more background: https://www.terresdenavarre.fr/ospitalia-refuge-municipal-les-chemins-de-st-jacques/historique-2/
 
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Kathar1na

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@Marc S., this makes fascinating reading about the early days of the camino revival.

I guess that the focus of camino associations has shifted and that newer associations have a different focus than the earlier ones. Retrieving old trails or creating contemporary ones that fit the pilgrimage idea are no longer a priority for associations in regions with a pilgrimage history because this work has been largely completed although I realise that maintenance work, such as waymarking and removal of litter, is still an important task for them.

Studying medieval sources and links to their medieval heritage have lost priority which has shifted to providing information about trails and accommodation, assisting contemporary pilgrim walkers and staffing albergues with voluntary helpers.

Such developments are of course in line with changes of the demographic characteristics of the pilgrim population which is now much more global, much more heterogeneous than in the earlier days. From a remark that a friend once made who went from Pamplona to Santiago in the 90s ... she said something in the sense of "in those days pilgrims were typically people with a strong interest in medieval history / literature / art / culture / past / related educational background".
 
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Kathar1na

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Studying medieval sources and links to their medieval heritage have lost priority
In 1998, "l'Association des amis de Saint-Jacques et Comité d'études compostellanes des Pyrénées-Atlantiques" prend le nom "Les Amis du chemin de Saint-Jacques - Pyrénées-Atlantiques".
 

David Tallan

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From a remark that a friend once made who went from Pamplona to Santiago in the 90s ... she said something in the sense of "in those days pilgrims were typically people with a strong interest in medieval history / literature / art / culture / past / related educational background".
I know that was certainly the case for me in 1989. I came to the Camino out of a deep interest in medieval studies. The spiritual element of the Camino was also very different for me in 1989 and 2016. In 1989 it was very much a sense of trying to recreate and experience a more medieval spiritual experience, as pilgrimage was really seen as a medieval phenomenon. Entering the Romanesque or Gothic churches, there was a sense of interaction with the medieval builders of the churches because I thought they were built for pilgrims and there I was, a pilgrim. Overall, I did the pilgrimage because I was interested in experiencing medieval culture.

In 2016, it was very different. Then it was about experiencing the modern pilgrimage, which was well-established, and the modern, more personal, spiritual experience.
 

Dromengro

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...the stories of Madame Debril are numerous. I wonder what credencial she was giving (to those who passed muster) - her own?
I had been told that it was a must, that when I got to SJPdP to report to her and I would receive her blessing and help, neither of which I received of course. What kind of help I didn't know, although I vaguely remember it was about finding cheap accommodation. It wasn't until many years later that I learned of credentials or the pilgrims passport, and therefore presumed that they were part of the help she would have given me.
Although how I even heard of her, or knew where to find her, or even how I found out about The Way of St James, pre internet days is still a mystery to me.
 
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