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The Irish College at Santiago de Compostela, 1605-1769

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I found this book at one of my favourite book sites http://www.betterworld.com. Looks interesting if not a bit esoteric-and pricey at 45 euros for 164 pages.also available from four courts press

The Irish College at Santiago de Compostela, 1605-1769
Patricia O'Connell

The Irish College at Santiago de Compostela, 1605-1769 covers the history of this important college with its associations with the early Irish exiles who came into Galicia, the north-west Celtic regions of Spain. It follows the lives of hundreds of Irish clerical students who were forced to leave Ireland because of the Penal Laws against Catholics at the end of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th. These seminarians were trained as priests in the six colleges set up between 1590 and 1649 - five in Spain (Salamanca, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Madrid and Alcalá de Henares) and one in Portugal, in Lisbon.

Based on material from several archives but primarily from the Salamanca Archive manuscript source in the Russell Library, NUI, Maynooth, this unique source includes the records of many of the colleges repatriated to Ireland in the 1950s and gives a vivid portrait of life in the Compostela college where the students studied philosophy before going on to the Irish college at Salamanca to follow their course in theology and be duly ordained before travelling back to Ireland to conduct their underground ministry.

Patricia O'Connell is a former librarian of NUI, Galway and the author of The Irish College at Alcalá de Henares, 1649-1785 (FCP, 1997), and The Irish College at Lisbon (FCP, 2001
 
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The Irish college in Salamanca is still there, but it´s now a fancy hotel/restaurant. You can go into the huge cloister and have a look around if you like. It´s a beautiful place.
 
omar504 said:
a vivid portrait of life in the Compostela college where the students studied philosophy before going on to the Irish college at Salamanca to follow their course in theology and be duly ordained before travelling back to Ireland to conduct their underground ministry

This sounds fascinating, and thanks for drawing it to our attention. I'm going to pass a note to the librarian here at the Pontifical Beda College in Rome, and see if it might be possible to order it for the library. Some of the students here at the Beda have come from a preparatory year in Valladolid (for the Catholic Church in England & Wales) or Salamanca (for the Catholic Church in Ireland and Scotland), so there is a continuing tradition today that connects with that pre-19th century time before Catholic emancipation.

It is a great privilege to be part of this continuing tradition of ex-pat seminarians studying abroad in preparation for returning to work as priests in England. Here in Rome we have various English-speaking colleges, and our college helps form priests for English speaking countries in Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Australia, the Philipines, Indonesia, and also forgotten parts of the world like Scotland... :D

It is important to be reminded of a time when Santiago de Compostela provided refuge and priestly formation during a time when Catholics were persecuted in their home countries. Compostela was for centuries a beacon of Catholic faith, and your post about the Irish seminary is just another reminder. Those who wish to divorce the pilgrimage to Santiago from its religious history need to remember that the relatively recent phenomenon of the popular walking pilgrimage, rightly enjoyed by people of every faith and none, grows from a Christian tradition with roots that are sunk deep into the Galician soil.

At times - such as the history you have recalled - the Church in that place provided shelter for the persecuted and sent men into the mission field. The Franciscan house in Santiago did that until relatively recent times. The OFM brothers there have now sadly given the house over to rich guests in a 5-star hotel, and provide a shoddy little ten-bed basement for pilgrims. (Wake up and get back to the charism of St Francis, brothers... This is, after all the provincial headquarters of the present Minister General of your order. :wink: )

It is interesting, isn't it, that the Minor Seminary in Santiago de Compostela, with all those hundreds of beds where pilgrims stay, was until relatively recently filled with young seminarians. When I stayed there in August, recovering at the end of my walk from England, I was astonished at the size of the place and I could not help thinking of all the thousands of men who had passed through that place to become priests. And how few vocations there are today, and how dead the Church seems to be in so many places along the Camino Frances, with few - so very few - pilgrims even bothering to attend Mass in the places where it is sometimes available.

Yet in the end, it is not about numbers. It is not about popularity! (And we see even on this Forum how unpopular it is to express any religious sentiment :D ) In the end it is about authenticity, and a certain ability to remember the tradition, and above all to see that the tradition is rooted not in a pilgrim path or in a box of bones, but in a relationship with He who comes from the place of pilgrimage to meet us on the road.

Gareth
 
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Gareth said:

the tradition is rooted not in a pilgrim path or in a box of bones, but in a relationship with He who comes from the place of pilgrimage to meet us on the road.

About 1650 years ago, Jerome said pretty much the same in defense of pilgrimage:

“We do not worship, we do not adore for fear that we should bow down to the creature rather than to the Creator, but we venerate the relics of the martyrs in order the better to adore Him whose martyrs they are.”
 

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