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Pilgrimage to Heresy: Don´t Believe Everything They Tell Yo


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Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
I thought I had posted this in this section a long time ago. Anyway, be that as it may, it doesn´t seem to be here after all so am offering it as an alternative view of the Camino and with the greatest respect for the sensibilities of our hosts. It is a lot of work setting up and maintaining a Forum of any size and this one has so much to offer us all.
The philosophy of Priscillian of Avila gains more and more interest everyday as perhaps an alternative view of the "end point", if you wish, of the Camino. His message of gentleness and vegtarianism grows ever more timely. And the amount of correspondence from pilgrims and readers I have received would seem to bear this out. Please believe me, I do not do this with any thoughts of financial gain: the Dan Browns amongst us are few and far between and it will be a long time before I can even even think of a return of my "investment" in terms of time and money spent trying to bring Priscillian´s message to today's "Caminantes" whether they are able to make the pilgrimage to Compostela or not. What I offer is a fictional version of Priscillian the man as I have seen him through his writings. I am not a historian, nor do I intend to proselytise a new faith. Far from it. However, if you would like to know more about this most misunderstood of men, please do see my website at http://pilgrimagetoheresy.com
The most important part of this book (which is all too often overlooked) is that it follows some very real modern day pilgrims in search of their own answers, and I would be surprised if you do not find yourselves amongst them.
Many thanks,
Tracy Saunders

From Amapedia Article, also do Google Wikipedia for Priscillianism, and The Way of St. James.

Pilgrimage to Heresy: Don't Believe Everything They Tell You
Pilgrimage to Heresy by Tracy Saunders asks the question: "Who is really buried in Compostela?" Of course, every pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago knows the answer: St. James the Greater, of course, the Patron Saint of Spain.

Yet, there is not a shred of evidence to substantiate this claim! In fact, it would appear that the myth of Santiago is just that: founded on a politically expedient falsehood designed to unite Spain under one holy name: Santiago, y cierre España! The battle cry: "St. James, and close Spain!" St. James the Moorslayer who killed 60,000 in one battle alone.

What an abhorent thing for a saint to do!!!

All well and good, but not only has a country grown up with this story, but a whole economy and mythology has been created around it in Santiago de Compostela...the end of the Pilgrim Road.


And there’s worse to come...

If St. James’ remains are not to be found in Compostela, well, just whose bones are they? Although some exploration was done in the 40’s and 50’s the results were highly inconclusive. Carbon dating has been suggested since, but has been refused by the Vatican. In fact, the truth is we don´t know who is entombed in that silver sepulchre the object of the Santiago pilgrimage for well over 1000 years.

The most likely candidate is one Priscillian, at one time Bishop of Avila, a wealthy Roman probably of Senatorial rank who in the late 4th century received two guests bringing news from Marcus of Egypt and who thereafter became passionate about his faith, so passionate that he drew thousands to him, men and women alike, including some of the bishops themselves. Others, however, filled with a desire for power in their own sees, turned against Priscillian and launched a "witchhunt" which ultimately had the most dire consequences.

Priscillian was executed for "heresy and witchcraft" in 385 with not only the knowledge but the condonement of the newly formed Roman Church. Thus, Priscillian was to be the first Christian to actually be executed by Christians. Tortured into "confession" he and eight of his followers - including one, a woman, Eucrotia - Priscillian whose gentle message included vegetarianism and celibacy, was decapitated: the first victim of an inquisition, long before the name "Spanish" was attached to it.

Pilgrimage to Heresy, in part, tells his story. But there is more...

This "Time Shift" novel also dovetails the story of Miranda, an untenured professor of philosophy from the University of Toronto who has chosen to make the pilgramage, but (and like many, many modern day pilgrims) doesn´t really know why. Along the way she meets Kieran, a lapsed candidate for the priesthood who is carrying and translating a book, a secret book, and one he should not have! As the two walk together, Kieran tells Miranda that the stories she has been told about Compostela are false. The next day, Kieran disappears....and so does his book!

Who was Priscillian?

Who is the mysterious "Blackbeard"?

And most of all...where is Kieran?

Pilgrimage to Heresy is two love stories, one of which is doomed from the start. It is also a mystery...perhaps.

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