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The story of your Stone at the Cruz de Ferro


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Year of past OR future Camino
My original stone was taken away at my local airport by security. It could be used as a weapon, they said...

So I took a stone from the bed of the Órbigo, up to the Cruz de Ferro to commemorate all the relatives (my parents, older brother) I lost prior to my way.
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Michael; Camino-addicted

Take your time to enjoy a beautiful moment
Year of past OR future Camino
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino de Baztan
When I was on my way to Zubiri in 2012, I suddenly thought of my cousin. He had received the devastating news at the beginning of the year that his body was full of cancer. The doctors did not give him any hope and told him that he would not live to see next Christmas.
I bent down, picked up a small stone to lay it for him at Cruz de Ferro.

At the beginning of the walk, I prayed for his healing, but the further I walked, the more the focus shifted to a peaceful death and that it would not be such a great torment.

I went to every open church, fell on my knees and prayed. At the beginning it was still a plea but with every meter I became calmer. I felt so protected and safe as never before. At some point I was ready to kneel down, smile and say: Hello God, it's me again. I know you have other things to do, but you still think of Markus, don't you?

When I arrived at Cruz de Ferro in the early morning, only with my dear pilgrim friend Valerie, we were alone there. I put down the stone and cried bitterly.
Afterwards, I felt a deep peace within me.

Markus did not recover and died peacefully and painlessly in December 2017 in a hospice. He himself said to his wife at the end: " These five years were anything but easy, but the help of my great friends and the love of my family showed me what fantastic people I was allowed to live with. These four additional years after my "announced date of death" were the most beautiful and intense years of my life."

Things happen between heaven and earth that no one can explain, they are simply a very great gift.


Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
View attachment 12711 Coming from a remark about the varied geology of the stones which are placed at the Cruz de Ferro by pilgrims on another thread I decided to start this thread.

Where did you get your stone, what type of stone is it, how far did you carry it and a little about its story relevent to you.

When I decided to walk the Camino I was discussing the tradition of placing the stone at the Cruz de Ferro with my family, about a week later two of my grand daughters each brought me a stone from a local beach on the West coast of Clare, water polished limestone, one was of a size that I would have wanted a donkey or horse to carry it, the other was about two inches in diameter and about one quarter of an inch thick, perfect. I wrote my own name with the date of my Camino on the stone along with the names of family and friends who were deceased, ill or who I just wanted to remember. I carried this to the Cruz de Ferro and placed it there on 15/05/12, a beautiful morning. The stone shattered as I placed it at the cross, (there is another story here for another day) which I took as a bad sign, we Irish are big on signs. I was very disappointed and more than a bit sad, but the remainder of that day was probably the most beautiful day I spent on the Camino so I was happy that it was not all bad karma.

View attachment 12711
I took two stones. Both only about two inches across.

The first is from near where I live - Cumbrian green slate. I love the stone; the colour is intrinsic to the local landscape and buildings.

The second was Yorkstone (a very hard-wearing sandstone often used for paving - although ironically from a Lancastrian quarry.) (I’ll avoid the temptation to rehearse my Lancashire/Yorkshire diatribe. I’m Lancastrian and we regard the other side as ballast, necessary otherwise we would overbalance and tip into the sea*)

In the distant past I ran a business which, amongst other things, quarried and processed stone. My business paved Trafalgar Square in London in the early 19th century, and provided occasional massive replacement paving slabs. From one of these replacements I took my stone.

So my contributions were some lovely Cumbrian slate and some very functional Lancastrian-yorkstone-sandstone via London.

(* We love you really.)

André Walker

Never loosing my way: always standing on it
Year of past OR future Camino
Holland-St.Jean, Frances, Del Norte, VdlP.
My first Camino, I came prepared. I had heard about the 'custom' to carry a stone and leave it at Cruz de Ferro and it appealed to me. I had my reasons to leave a stone...

During one of my walks in Holland I just picked up a stone that was lying in the sand beside the path. At home I had this machine. I have no idea what it's called in English. It's used to drum stones (is 'drum' the correct word?): you put a small amount of stones in it, together with smaller stones. Then, like a washing machine, let it turn for a couple of weeks, until the stones become very smooth on the outside. Then another two weeks, adding polish. They come out quite shining.

Then polishing it by hand for a couple of weeks, each day about an hour, while thinking about why I'm doing this and what the stone stood for.

This way it was very meaningful for me to carry it with me and finally leaving it at Cruz de Ferro.


Camino tortuga
Year of past OR future Camino
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
Instead of a stone, on my first Camino I brought a shiny, brown chestnut. Either it will eventually decompose and re-enter the cycle of nature or some day there will grow a chestnut tree by the cross. Both outcomes will be fine.
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