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Leaving stones at the Cruz de Ferro?

Camino(s) past & future
(2001) (2018)
#1
We arrived in St Jean yesterday and about to begin our walk starting tomorrow but I have a question.
I just read about people leaving “stuff” at the Cruz de Ferro. I did the Camino in 2001 and at the time it was “tradition” to carry a stone from home and leave it at the base of the cross. Is this now frowned upon?
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#2
We arrived in St Jean yesterday and about to begin our walk starting tomorrow but I have a question.
I just read about people leaving “stuff” at the Cruz de Ferro. I did the Camino in 2001 and at the time it was “tradition” to carry a stone from home and leave it at the base of the cross. Is this now frowned upon?
No. New stones arrive daily. "Litter" gets removed regularly.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2001) (2018)
#4
I'm going to say that if you are thinking of leaving a stone just because of the tradition then don't. If the ritual will actually have real significance to you then do leave one. I request that you please don't leave anything other than a stone as a symbol of leaving your burdens behind.
Thank you. I understand the disrespect of a historic place by graffiti, balancing rock piles, trinkets, locks...and Yes, my stone has a deep significance to me, but if there is a greater good done by not leaving it then that is what I’ll do and take it home with me again.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#5
Thank you. I understand the disrespect of a historic place by graffiti, balancing rock piles, trinkets, locks...and Yes, my stone has a deep significance to me, but if there is a greater good done by not leaving it then that is what I’ll do and take it home with me again.
I left a stone at the Atlantic in Finisterre; the ocean has taken it.
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - Burgos, Camino Frances (2012 - 2018)
#6
To be blunt, no-one local is interested in your detritus - it's just rubbish that someone has to be paid to remove.

Take nothing but photographs. Leave nothing but footprints.

We come like water, and like wind we go - well, that's my motto, anyway!
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#7
I have left stones for myself and others (on request at Cruz de Ferro on several occasions. It signifies leaving your burdens, problems, and challenges at the foot of the The Cross. That is the metaphor for this practice. The stones are not detritus. They are an expression of faith, and a hope for the future.

You are free to disagree, we all disagree from time to time, But people should be allowed to express their faith in such a manner. It harms no one.

I also deposited a stone from home, complete with a private, naval 'at sea' burial ceremony (abbreviated as it was just me), off the girder bridge over the Rio Minho, between Valenca, Portugal and Tui, Spain to commemorate my late father. He was a sailor in his earlier years and served our nation as a sailor in the Second World War. It was a fitting tribute...

Hope this helps.
 

Bobolink

Time well spent pays dividends.
Camino(s) past & future
Walking the French Way Sept.-Oct. (2017)
#9
I brought a smooth stone from home that my mother gave me to carry. Each day I reached into my pocket and it reminded me to pray, reflect, and to be grateful for God's grace and protection. I left it at the foot of the cross and felt a comfort and connection with all who walked before me. It was a symbol of my love and faith to the one who was sacrificed for me, for all. It was an emotional and spiritual moment that I will always cherish and should I walk again, I will carry a stone.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); February/March (2019)
#10
I’m all for “leave no trace” in our dealings with the natural world. To me that basically means leave no waste. I don’t view rocks as waste. For me, the spiritual significance of Cruz de Ferro isn’t the cross, it’s all those burdens and memories left at the foot of the cross. Those emotions create a swirl of spirituality around that cross. The rocks are the source of the emotions.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
#11
I'm going to say that if you are thinking of leaving a stone just because of the tradition then don't. If the ritual will actually have real significance to you then do leave one. I request that you please don't leave anything other than a stone as a symbol of leaving your burdens behind.
Thank you, Rick, for acknowledging the fact that the stones left at the Cruz de Ferro have real and tangible meanings for many pilgrims. For me, it was truly the spiritual highlight of my Camino. I wondered if not having a special "thin place" like the Cruz de Ferro on other routes made a difference, and after walking the Camino Portugués a couple of years later, I can say that for me at least, I missed the spiritual experience of carrying a stone and leaving it a place like that where so many thousands who preceded me had left their burdens, sins, or prayers behind.
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...stone-at-the-cruz-de-ferro.21624/#post-168472
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2003) Francés, (2014) Francés, (2016) Portugués , (2016) Aragonés, (2018) del Norte to Primitivo
#12
The last time I walked the CF (2016) there was a cross at the entrance to Foncebadon on a raised plinth. There was a sign in, I think, four languages, saying 'Please do not leave stones on this cross'. I have seen a similar sign on a memorial to a dead peregrino not far from Roncesvalles. I agree wholeheartedly with Rick. Could anyone explain why some people feel the need to leave stones on random marker posts on the caminos?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
#13
There must be something in the human genome that causes us to mark our territory like dogs or wolves. At least we leave stones or these monuments would look like other portions of the Camino which are littered with tissue. Here's the Cruz dos Franceses near the Alto Portela Grande on the Portuguese central route:

IMG_0714.JPG
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Camino Frances
2014 Camino Frances again
2015 The Rheinsteig
#14
Just leave a small stone there if you like.

I'd love to know where some of the big rocks came from. No need for that......
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
#15
...I'd love to know where some of the big rocks came from...
I've heard that the entire Cruz de Ferro structure was moved closer to the highway in the fairly recent past so that it would be easier for the tour buses to access. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than me can confirm or correct this. But if true, the larger stones are probably part of the relocation process.
 

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