• For 2024 Pilgrims: €50,- donation = 1 year with no ads on the forum + 90% off any 2024 Guide. More here.
    (Discount code sent to you by Private Message after your donation)

Search 69,459 Camino Questions

"So what was your reason for walking the way?"

Status
Not open for further replies.

Camo

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2024
These are the words asked of the pilgrims in The Way as they apply for their Compostela and other variations are

"what was the reason for having done this pilgrimage?"

"I mean did you have sort of religious or (indistinct) motivation?"

I am curious as to if that was one more case of artistic license or if one IS actually asked such questions?
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Anyone who has completed a pilgrimage and applied for a compostela will know the answer to this question: to qualify for a compostela, you need to have walked the camino with a religious or spiritual purpose. These are simply the rules and the volunteer in the pilgrim office who asks why you walked the camino is simply applying these rules.
 
In the past you were either asked why you walked, or you filled out a paper form with different options for the reason. Nowadays there's a more automated system - you pre-register online, and select from these options: not religious, other, and religious, for your reason for walking.

This is the link to the registration site:
 
Ideal pocket guides for during and after your Camino. Each weighs just 40g (1.4 oz).
I am curious as to if that was one more case of artistic license or if one IS actually asked such questions?
It is a standard question that is being asked by the Pilgrim Office of every pilgrim who wishes to get a Compostela or other document.

The answers are used for statistical purposes since at least 2004. The movie was filmed in 2009.

There was a paper form where people ticked their answers, the 3 options in recent years were religious, religious and spiritual, and other. There is a copy of the paper form in some older thread. Currently, pilgrims fill out the form online or at a kiosk in the office, and in English the options are as follows:

1709024993452.png
 
Last edited:
I am curious as to if that was one more case of artistic license or if one IS actually asked such questions?
These days it is simply a matter of ticking a box on an electronic form. You are not directly asked to give a verbal answer about your motives. That was the practice at one time. When I walked my first Camino a guide book from the Confraternity of St James warned new arrivals in Santiago to expect some questioning about their reasons for walking and what made their journey a pilgrimage. As a Protestant who had recently completed a degree in theology I spent about 20 minutes in deep conversation with the priest whose special role was to welcome pilgrims before receiving my Compostela. Wouldn't happen these days. In part because people are far more likely to see questions about motivation as "judgemental". But mostly because there are just too many arrivals for in-depth conversations.
 
I spent about 20 minutes in deep conversation with the priest whose special role was to welcome pilgrims before receiving my Compostela. Wouldn't happen these days. In part because people are far more likely to see questions about motivation as "judgemental". But mostly because there are just too many arrivals for in-depth conversations.
It does not happen these days in part because there are no priests at the computers in the Pilgrim Office who issue the Compostela but staff and volunteers from all over the world who may not be able to hold a theological discussion for any length of time … ;).

At one time, still a bit longer ago, the Compostela confirmed that the holder had gone to confession and had received the Eucharist. That is also no longer a requirement for receiving a Compostela document.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
It does not happen these days in part because there are no priests at the computers in the Pilgrim Office who issue the Compostela but staff and volunteers all over the world who may not be able to hold a theological discussion … ;)
As I recall the movie the conversation took place in the old pilgrim office in Rua do Vilar. I can recall having a much shorter and less involved conversation about motives with a lay volunteer there too. My friend Johnnie Walker used to manage the pilgrim office some years ago. He tells me that they used to ask people verbally why they walked but he can't recall anyone ever being refused a Compostela as a result of their answer.
 
3 options in recent years were religious, religious and spiritual, and other
Always good to check what you remember before you post 😄. The 3 options on the Pilgrim Office's paper form were Religious, Spiritual, and Sports or tourism. You could tick all three options. As far as I know if you did not tick either Religious or Spiritual at least you did not receive a Compostela but another document that looked very similar.

@Camo, are you asking your question just because you want to know or because you want to incorporate the answers in an online project? If the latter please make 100% sure that you provide accurate up to date information. As far as I know, these days, everyone who applies gets a Compostela, independent of what they ticked in their online form where only one single tick is possible. You can ask forum members who were volunteers at the Pilgrim Office in 2023 or now in 2024 but the best approach would be to ask the administration of the Pilgrim Office directly about current practice and hope for a reply.

form.jpg
 
Last edited:
"I mean did you have sort of religious or (indistinct) motivation?"
The (indistinct) word in this scene in the movie is "spiritual". The speaker has an accent, perhaps Spanish? The Spanish word is "espiritual". Hence ...

And as the movie "The Way" shows during this movie scene, the important thing of the Camino pilgrimage in not the spiritual or religious motivation but the transformation that they all achieved. Which is exactly what the Archbishop of Compostela, Julio Barrio, was quoted to have said during their press conference when they introduced the new format of their Compostela in 2014: "Lo más importante es la transformación que haya podido vivir (ese peregrino) a lo largo de todo el Camino de Santiago".
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I'm pretty sure I also got asked this when picking up my credencial in StJPdP.
 
These are the words asked of the pilgrims in The Way as they apply for their Compostela and other variations are

"what was the reason for having done this pilgrimage?"

"I mean did you have sort of religious or (indistinct) motivation?"

I am curious as to if that was one more case of artistic license or if one IS actually asked such questions?
They were. They still are (albeit on a form and in less detail). The format of the question has changed over time. Bradypus has described his early experience, which involved a conversation on the topic. When I applied for my first Compostela, in 2016 (long after my first pilgrimage) the choices were as Kathar1na shows above, "religious or spiritual or tourism/sport". In more recent pilgrimages, if I recall correctly, religious and spiritual were lumped together, along with "a spirit of questioning" or something like that. Now, the choices seem to be "non-religious or other or religious".

So, not really artistic license.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
They'll be swinging that Botafumiero on Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasa, and Samhain next ;)
If you have deep pockets they will probably oblige. Once the cathedral gets round to fixing it. Still out of action. I'm told the central pulley mechanism has been taken off the support frame so perhaps the problem is with that. Not the sort of item you can buy from Amazon for next day delivery!
 
If you want to bump your head on that of Master Mateo you'll need to go to the Castings galleries of the V&A in South Kensington. You are advised to keep an eye out for Security but its doable ;)
 
New Original Camino Gear Designed Especially with The Modern Peregrino In Mind!
If you want to bump your head on that of Master Mateo you'll need to go to the Castings galleries of the V&A in South Kensington. You are advised to keep an eye out for Security but its doable ;)
Went there a couple of years ago. Then made a short walk to Roncesvalles - or at least the site of the daughter house St Mary Rouncival in Trafalgar Square. :cool:
 
Here on the forum, we are trying to share our past experiences and help future pilgrims. Some chat about the movie (which is over 14 years old) may be a fun diversion for some people, but I'm afraid it may also be confusing to others.

It makes little sense to use this fictional movie as the main source of truth for information on about the Camino. Forum members are much more informed and up-to-date on the realities.

Anyone who wants information on the procedure for getting a Compostela should look at threads with the tag "credential/sellos/compostela".

With that, I will lock this thread.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Most read last week in this forum

Hi All I am leaving(Australia) on April 23 to hike a Camino combo and having extensively planned my trip am now thinking of changing it. My planned trip was as follows; Camino San Salvador -...

❓How to ask a question

How to post a new question on the Camino Forum.

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

This site is run by Ivar at

in Santiago de Compostela.
This site participates in the Amazon Affiliate program, designed to provide a means for Ivar to earn fees by linking to Amazon
Official Camino Passport (Credential) | 2024 Camino Guides
Back
Top