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True Pilgrims and Kindness

PortlandKa

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (Winter 2012-13)
Hello all! I'm writing my undergraduate thesis in anthropology on the Camino Frances, and I have a couple of questions. I walked from Pamplona to Fisterra in December/January of this year, but I'd love to collect as many opinions as possible.

1. What does it mean to be a 'true pilgrim'?
2. I'm collecting stories of kindness, vulnerability, and/or transformation. Please share any that come to mind!

Many thanks!
 
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tyrrek

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP-SdC (4-5/2011), Ferrol-SdC (9/2011), Pamplona-SdC (3-4/2012), Camino Finisterre (10/2012), Ourense-SdC (5/2014)
Gosh! You're the anthropologist! Trawl through this forum and you'll get many insights written from the heart and not specifically for study.

My 2c worth are that there isn't really a definition of a 'real pilgrim' in terms of the Camino. As far as I'm concerned someone who walks off a plane at Santiago airport and gets a taxi to the cathedral is a real pilgrim if that is the purpose of their journey. Even if they're on a business trip and just take the time to pop into the cathedral to pay their respects they're a pilgrim in my eyes.

The Camino gives a sense of vulnerability, especially if walking alone, or with limited funds, limited language skills, injuries etc, and that's where Camino families form and where people share skills etc. I am fortunate to speak reasonable Spanish so if I see someone struggling at a restaurant/hotel etc I'll try to help out. I think it gives the impression to any awkward staff (which are very unusual) that we're a kind of family and support each other. The local people in villages along the way generally seem to love it as much as we do, I think, even if just as spectators. I like to greet them whenever appropriate with a 'Buenos dias' and a smile. They always greet back.

Buen Camino!
 

waveprof

Enthusiast
Year of past OR future Camino
May-June 2013, Camino Frances
PortlandKa said:
1. What does it mean to be a 'true pilgrim'?


If I were to posit my .02 (and my thoughts probably arent even worth that much) I'd say:

1) There hasn't been a "true" pilgrim at least since the Middle Ages, and probably not even then.

2) The peligrinos that are most concerned with discussing what a "true" pilgrim/pilgrimage is are typically the furthest removed of anyone from being a true pilgrim


Good luck on your thesis. It sounds interesting!
 
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whariwharangi

Guest
This is from Rolf Potts 'Vagabonding'.

This is his definition of vagabonding:

"Its an ongoing practice of looking and learning, of facing fears and altering habits, of cultivating a new fascination with people and places."

I think that describes a true pilgrim in a nut shell.
 
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PortlandKa

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (Winter 2012-13)
Thank you to everyone who has responded so far!

To AlexWalker, I am indeed looking through the forum as thoroughly as possible. I simply thought that asking a couple of questions might help give yet another angle. Based on some of the answers so far, perhaps asking about 'true pilgrims' wasn't necessarily the best way to go. It caused quite a bit of controversy while I was on the trail, as well as a lot of comments such as "you get the real pilgrims in the winter," which is why I asked it. I am not trying to formulate a definition of the true pilgrim by any means, and one of the most interesting things about that phrase is the fact that no one gives me the same answer on what it means to them or even if there is such a thing as a 'true pilgrim.' However, maybe a better question would be something along the lines of "In your experience, what aspect of being a pilgrim left the most profound impact on you?"

As for walking the pilgrimage again, I got extremely lucky to be able to walk it once on a research grant. Believe me, I fully intend to walk it again, but it won't be as part of this project. As this is a document due in early May, I will not have time to walk it again, so I am resorting to this forum (on the advice of several pilgrims and hospitaleros I met) for additional perspectives. I meant no disrespect to those who have worked hard and weathered much. I admire what you have done! This is an undergraduate thesis; the goal is not for it to take me far in the academic community or as a vehicle for me to be "taken seriously", but for me to write a coherent piece that is as thorough as I can make it.

I am grateful to any stories or opinions that anyone wants to give me as to why the Camino is important to them or how it changed them. And if you don't want to chip in, that's fine with me! I chose the Camino as my topic because I think there is something profound about this journey and because I felt that I could stand to write about it for a year, not because I want to put on my social scientist hat and study a bunch of people who call themselves pilgrims. I really hope no one took offense at my question. Once again, thank you for all your help.
 

julie

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Both an online dictionary and my print version define "pilgrim" as someone who journeys (usually a long distance) to a sacred place as an act of religious devotion. It says nothing about the mode of transport. You can go on pilgrimage to Lourdes and, though some do, there is not the expectation that you would walk there. Why then do we become bogged down in whether someone heading to Santiago is a "true pilgrim"?

I think being a pilgrim is a state of mind. Each person decides for themselves whether they would call themselves "pilgrim". It's not up to anyone else to form that judgement. For that reason, I don't think there is such a thing as a definitive answer to your question.

Sometimes I go long-distance walking and at other times I go on pilgrimage. To my family they are the same thing yet they are totally different to me. My walking holidays involve walking with friends and they do not take part on the pilgrim routes. Pilgrimages are, for me, introspective journeys best taken alone.

Pilgrimages are full of kindness e.g. dressing a stranger's blistered feet, sharing your food, giving up your bed to someone whose need is greater and sometimes just listening to someone who needs to be heard. While this type of thing can also happen on a walking holiday, it doesn't tend to. The regular barriers to interaction are in place and these restrict the contact with strangers.

There are numerous examples of kindnesses on pilgrimage. The thread entitled "Generosity on the Camino" has a number of them.

All the best with your thesis. You've chosen an extremely interesting topic.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
PortlandKa, I think your surprisingly provocative post has been met with some disgruntled answers. Undeservedly so. I think your topic is an interesting one for discussion and for dissertation. Plus, you walked in the winter along the CF so, as far as I'm concerned, you've earned the right to ask!

One of the first questions in the Brierly book asks about one's idea of the difference between a pilgrimage and a hike. I think it is a valid question and one i've been struggling with in prep for my first CF this Spring.

If, as has been suggested, the difference is the goal of having a religious experience at the end of/during a trip (is religious and spiritual the same thng??) then everyone who steps into a Church on Sunday morning could be considered a pilgrim, yes?

Kathy
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Via de la Plata 2010, Camino de Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo 2013, Olvidado, Invierno 2014
julie said:
Both an online dictionary and my print version define "pilgrim" as someone who journeys (usually a long distance) to a sacred place as an act of religious devotion.

I think that is a good definition.
 

hecate105

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
'09 Portuguese Estellas '14 Aurelia '16 St Davids '17 Via Augusta/V dl P. '18/'19 Michael Mary Way
I would of agreed that being a pilgrim is undertaking a journey to a specific place with a spiritual motive for doing so. As a pagan i made a pilgrimage through 5 countries that included routes to and from Santiago de Compostela, and ended in Scotland. BUT, when training for this bike ride, I ended up on a 'pilgrimage' route. When walking or cycling since the 'pilgrimage' I have found myself still in pilgrim mode, and I have constantly come across artefacts that linked with my former 'pilgrimage'. It is like I was a pilgrim before I knowingly took on that mantle. And having become a pilgrim I cannot stop! Even when I have not planned it - I find links, clues and remnants of my 'quest'.
Perhaps we are all pilgrims, perhaps it is just waking up to our true nature.
So many pilgrims talk of the kindnesses shown to, and by, them whilst on pilgrimage, BUT, do we stop when we return home? Do we deny others our kindness because we are not 'on the road'! I hope not! I think being a pilgrim can open our hearts, and once opened, they should stay open.
I thought I was quite a compassionate person before I went - but maybe because of the lessons learnt on the road, maybe because I woke up to being compassionate to myself as well as others, I definitely feel a better person because of it.
Once you start - there is no going back!
 
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Pieces

Veteran Member
being a pilgrim is undertaking a journey to a specific place with a spiritual motive for doing so.

I agree on that one, however I do not necessarily believe neither the journey or the place needs to be physical...

all pilgrims are true pilgrims..
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
Wiki defines a pilgrim as " A Pilgrim is someone who goes on a pilgrimage which is a visit to a place that is religious or has historic significance." and I think that covers it for most of us whether we do our Camino for religious, spiritual or any other reasons. Your Camino is yours for whatever reason.
 

Ian Holdsworth

Active Member
I think that there is something missing from many of the discriptions of a true pilgrim. Yes it is someone who undertakes journey to a place of religious devotion, but the pilgrimage is not complete at that because the journey has to be with the view to returning home in a different and better state that at departure. It must have had an effect. Anyone can undertake a journey, some become better human beings as result. In Christian terms they progress along the way of holiness a little. Without this it is mere tourism.
 

Olivares

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May 1997 (Leon to Santiago); Sections Camino Frances: May 2011, May 2012, May 2013, October 2013, June-July 2014 (Sahagun to Santiago).
Portlandka-- my best advice to you is either recalibrate your approach to the topic or that you change the subject of your thesis. By wanting to explore the idea of a "True Pilgrim" you are embarking from the premise that there is such an animal. There is not.

A person reading a book could be going on a pilgrimage as could a person walking to visit a friend. I think you would better serve your field by exploring the concept of pilgrimage in the modern era. Just a thought.

All the best.
 
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hieudovan

DoVanHieu
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
PortlandKa, I think it’s great that you’re writing a senior thesis on the Camino. Though it’s not a “dissertation,” it still takes lots of time, work and dedication. I’d love to be able to read it when you’re finished. If it’s possible, I think it would be nice to post a link on the Forum as follow-up for those of us who might be interested in the final product.

Not to be a contrarian, but though I had walked the Camino from SJPDP to Finisterre and Muxia (by myself, meeting people along the way) and was quite "contemplative" during the journey, I did not and do not consider myself a “true pilgrim.” (BTW, for me to be a pilgrim is to be a true pilgrim.)

I consider myself to have embarked on a journey, with no particular purpose except to have a new experience, and to “better myself” physically and mentally. Lo and behold, I did accomplished all that I had set out to do. I plan to walk again, this time the Le Puy route in France. Actually, I was going to walk at the end of this month, March. However, due to family’s life events, I will have to wait until September.

Since I do not consider myself to be a pilgrim, I’d leave it to those who consider themselves pilgrims to give you their thoughts and definitions. Best wishes and Buen Camino to you (when the time comes for you to walk again). -Hieu
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
I think there is a lot of resistance to the notion that being a "true pilgrim" involves suffering. Yet that is often what one hears in the discussion: true pilgrims carry their own packs, true pilgrims walk every inch of the way from SJPP to SdC, true pilgrims walk in bad weather, true pilgrims lodge only in alburgues, etc.

There is a lot of support for the notion that pilgrimage is a state of mind, a journey to a different self - healed, connected, transformed in some way.This is a journey that does not necessitate a particular route, or even a particular distance or mode of travel.

So then, why walk the Camino/Chemin/Jakobsweg? Because the change of circumstances, and the omnipresent community, facilitate this sought-for transformation.
 

nreyn12

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Walked (2005) (2007) (2008) (2009) (2010) (2011) (2012) (2013) (2014) (2015); Guide 2013-2016
Hi PortlandKa,
Such an interesting discussion! I think you are wise to ask the question rather than troll through the forum for previous posts. This way you have the implied permission of the authors to use their responses and stories.

Pilgrimage exists in every religious tradition. It might be relevant to your research to explore the core elements of the Hajj of Islam, Shikoku in Japan, Sri Prada in Sri Lanka, the Kumbh Mela in India, and others. Some themes begin to emerge: rituals, difficulty of the task, a standardized wardrobe, a written record of the journey, a significant destination and/or way-points, and a stated intention or purpose for the pilgrimage.

I find it interesting that many pilgrimages other than the Camino are not taken alone but rather in groups. I prefer to walk alone, but it is the shared connections with other pilgrims that move my spirit and touch my heart. In this way we come to share the burdens and joys of our journey.

What I love the most about the Camino Frances - it's inexplicable - is that somehow it brings out the best in me. It is the perfect venue for kindness, graciousness, tolerance, and generosity.
Nancy
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
On kindness: One might expect if not kindness, at least consideration, from a member of that 'pilgrim cadre' one signs up to by walking any Camino. We are after all part of a temporary community and one that shares very closely our living and walking spaces, uniform aims (on a broad or deeper level) and commitment to purpose.
As a habitual pilgrim I witness numerous acts of kindness in this context but what impressed me, and continues to do so as I walk less travelled routes, are those acts of kindness shown by members of local populations towards pilgrims. Time and again I've been 'put right' as regards directions, given little presents of cake or fruit, been gifted with smiles and words of encouragement, had people offer me lifts or the money for a bus (they thought that this was the quickest and most effective way for me to get to wherever I was going and In fairness, with my average pace, they have a point!) had people get up early in the morning to 'see me off' from their town or village and/or contact others on the road ahead to alert them that I'll be heading their way and request that they 'look out for me'. And these people do this year in and year out with a constantly changing group of transients who will probably never walk that way again. All I've ever been asked for in return for these acts of kindness is for me to carry theirs prayers to the shrine of the Saint. Of course there is the matter of the financial benefit that pilgrims bring to an economically depressed region-though this is not always factor on some routes- in spite of that the 'day in day out ' flow of general goodwill towards pilgrims is really truly remarkable.
 
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mralisn

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPdP-SdC (2005), Camino Norte-Fisterra (2010), SJPdP-Muxia-Fisterra (2012), Camino Norte w/Primitivo-Muxia-Fisterra (2014), Camino Portuguese (2016)
Whoa.

Never thought the Camino was this difficult.

Simply some dude who arrives, walks west for a few weeks, stops when reaches ocean.

Meets the most beautiful people, plays with some pups, shares chocolate/wine/smiles/tears.

Sometimes more complicated, yes. Most of the time, no.

Will always respect those who walk with much more purpose, a pilgrim.

I am happy we all are there no matter.

Keep a smile,
Simeon

 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
There is no simplistic answer to this question.

When Nancy Frey wrote PILGRIM STORIES - ON AND OFF THEROAD TO SANTIAGO as a part of her thesis for a doctorate in anthroplogy, the definitions those she interviewed about 'true pilgrims' depended on a multitude of different view points.

Whether you were Catholic, Spanish, religious, walking or cycling; walking a long distance or a short distance; walking for a long period of time or a short time (no matter what the distance); walking successive sections over a period of years, or all at once; carrying a backpack, not carrying a backpack; carrying a heavy backpack or going 'lighgtly' with a minimum of 'stuff'; staying in traditional shelters or in commercial albergues/hostales/pensiones etc; Everyone had their opinion.

At the end of her chapter 4, titled 'Landscapes of Discovery' she concludes:

"The point is that there is no authentic pilgrim but there are many authenticities. Each person creates his or her personal meaningful experience. ... With almost complete certainty, one can say that there is no 'best' or 'most authnetic' way. These ways change with time and the social, geographic and religious circumstances that revolve around the Camino"
 

RENSHAW

Official Camino Vino taster
Year of past OR future Camino
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks on the CF frequently.
Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
Try one of my old threads: Generosity on the Camino - you should get some more ammo there. :mrgreen:
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
sillydoll said:
There is no simplistic answer to this question.

At the end of her chapter 4, titled 'Landscapes of Discovery' she concludes:

"The point is that there is no authentic pilgrim but there are many authenticities. Each person creates his or her personal meaningful experience. ... With almost complete certainty, one can say that there is no 'best' or 'most authnetic' way. These ways change with time and the social, geographic and religious circumstances that revolve around the Camino"
sillydoll, I have come across this issue several times now and I for one still do not know what an authentic pilgrim is or even if I came close, (I don't believe I did).
It would make a good new topic for discussion if you would consider starting it.
 
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AJ

Guest
sillydoll said:
"The point is that there is no authentic pilgrim but there are many authenticities. Each person creates his or her personal meaningful experience. ... With almost complete certainty, one can say that there is no 'best' or 'most authnetic' way. These ways change with time and the social, geographic and religious circumstances that revolve around the Camino"

I yam wot I yam.
 

PortlandKa

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (Winter 2012-13)
Thank you all so much for the wide variety of answers! As a clarification, I am indeed more focused on the Camino as an example of what a modern pilgrimage looks like. The question of 'what makes a true pilgrim' is not a central question to my whole investigation, but rather a problematic issue that has arisen time and again though my research without my needing to elicit it. Honestly, the fact that this question sparks such a debate is just as interesting, and perhaps more useful, than the debate itself.

Also, thanks for the lead on the 'generosity' thread! What a beautiful collection!

I will consider posting the thesis when it is finished. This will depend on the norms of my school, etc. However, I will also be looking into putting together a radio series based on some of the insights and stories that come up in this process. I will definitely let everyone know if I manage this!
 

Madidi

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2012 & 17: Fisterra Muxia 2013 & 2015: Ingles 2014: Madrid 2015: Salvador & Primitivo 2016
I walked from SJPdP to Santiago and on to Finisterre during September last year and witnessed many acts of kindness on the road. One in particular stands out as a highlight of my camino: it happened in the little town of Bercianos del Real Camino.
I was leaving the town when I realised I had only a little water left. I looked around a saw what looked like a fountain but it didn't appear to have been used recently: as I considered my options a young family appeared and when I asked it the water was drinkable, they responded positively. However when the young woman approached she could see as I did that it didn't look too appetising!! She immediately asked if I preferred cold water and when I replied I would appreciate anything drinkable, she asked me to follow her. She and her little daughter walked to a nearby house and after opening the front door, she insisted I enter: she took me into the kitchen and taking my old water bottle, she washed and rinsed it before filling it with cold water from a container in her fridge. Walking me back to the door they wished me 'Buen Camino!'...I walked off in tears.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
The term 'Little things mean a lot" takes on greater proportions on the Camino.

Offering pilgrims a jug of cold water when arriving at an albergue on a hot day or offering a hot drink and biscuits on a cold day is met with almost pathetic gratitude!
Hot water in the shower is cause for jubilation.
A pillow and blanket on a bed can reduce a pilgrim to tears.
Telling hungry pilgrims that dinner will be prepared for them is like offering manna from heaven.
Offering to massage aching feet turns you into some sort of saviour!

There is something almost gospel-like watching a group of pilgrims sitting in a field, sharing blister plasters, sunscreen or breaking bread and sharing wine.
 
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Ra3150Bc

New Member
Reflections from along the trek . .

Equivalent_OPUS 25.jpg
"Equivalents, Opus 44"

Defining a "True Pilgrim" is like trying to define the sound of one hand clapping. Touching that fleeting moment of stillness of mind, being sensitive enough to hear the sound of the wind or that of the ocean as the solitary hand passes through the air. A sky filled with clouds, ever changing. A moment passed, a lifetime yet to live. We are all pilgrims in our own way. The path we walk, a Rite of Passage for our soul.

"Remaining open to all possibilities of life's experiences and challenges, without passing judgment, prepares us to recognize the pilgrim in everyone we encounter."

"Selfless service to those who sit at the left of us is the single most important thing we can contribute to the circle of life. It defines our humanity. If each of us could just embrace this one basic truth, in time when we least expect it the act will circle back. All we'll have to do then is trust, open our heart and right hand, humbly receiving the returning gift."

"It doesn't get any simpler than this. So why is it so absurdly difficult?"

"Is this the purpose of a pilgrim’s journey? Such ramblings of mind. I cannot say for you, I only know what truth is for me, revealed in what I have personally experienced along the way of my life's journey. All else becomes speculation."

"Who am I to believe I have the right to pray for what I think is best for another? Instead, should not my prayer be for that which is the highest choice for the path of their soul?"


As Leonard Cohen once wrote:
". . . the dove is never free. Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in."

Thank you PortlandKa for your thoughtful post and the question posed?

Mitakuye Oyasin
 

Annie Little

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances Sept-Oct 2016
I think that there is something missing from many of the discriptions of a true pilgrim. Yes it is someone who undertakes journey to a place of religious devotion, but the pilgrimage is not complete at that because the journey has to be with the view to returning home in a different and better state that at departure. It must have had an effect. Anyone can undertake a journey, some become better human beings as result. In Christian terms they progress along the way of holiness a little. Without this it is mere tourism.

Just my opinion but I do not totally agree.

"Definitions" "Descriptions" are peoples way of quantifying, explaining, understanding...etc... mere words. The deeper meanings of our lives cannot be explained .

Our whole lives are pilgrimages whether one sets out that way, intends it that way, thinks it that way or not...... one does not necessarily have to have the "intention "
""to returning home in a different and better state that at departure ""... we all will nevertheless return home from any journey ( all different types of journeys not merely the physical..... journeys can be to do with health, loss, grief, walking......) changed in some way whether we recognize it or not....maybe we will be a better person.. maybe we will be more enlightened on some matter... maybe we have uncovered more questions........ no matter.. change is not in our control.... it is inevitable......

"""Without this it is mere tourism """ I don't agree.... no "tourist" travels without learning something about life , themselves, others etc etc ... and return home changed in some way by their experience... . To apply tags is to lessen the meaning for all .

""Anyone can undertake a journey, some become better human beings as result"" I wonder who makes the determination as to who is the better being..?
Annie
 

soch

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camiño Portugués 2012
" Impart as much as you can of your spiritual being to those who are on the road with you, and accept as something precious what comes back to you from them. "
Albert Schweitzer
 

pilgrim b

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Caminos Frances 2013-Ingles 2014-Frances 2015
St Cuthbert's Way 2017-Via Francigena 2018 & 2019
Little Things is so right, Sillydoll.
On our Camino's we did the Little Things, so then to remember it's the 'Little Things ' on our return home! I remember the day after I returned home I could not believe myself crossing the street to help someone in need of assistance it only took me a second and their reaction was so amazing!
Since I returned home I have been asking myself :what I needed to remember in my 'Camino mind' as my pilgrimage life continues?.......
Look at the world and do the Little Things that will help others.
Thank you, little things mean a lot so simple.
 

stopley

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Salvado 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, (2016)
Camino Frances 2012 (2016)
Camino Ingles 2013
Hello all! I'm writing my undergraduate thesis in anthropology on the Camino Frances, and I have a couple of questions. I walked from Pamplona to Fisterra in December/January of this year, but I'd love to collect as many opinions as possible.

1. What does it mean to be a 'true pilgrim'?
2. I'm collecting stories of kindness, vulnerability, and/or transformation. Please share any that come to mind!

Many thanks!
 
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stopley

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Salvado 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, (2016)
Camino Frances 2012 (2016)
Camino Ingles 2013
I'm on my third Camino Santiago, and have walked several others.
I have no idea where I heard this definition but I hold it to my heart:
A true pilgrim accepts every kindness offered.
X
 

Nanc

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (Sept 2016)
SDC/ Finesterre/ Muxia (2016)
I belive a pilgrimage is defined by an intent. There is intimation of distance but that gets iffy since who determines a qualifying distance? 100km? A thousand? A thousand days? A walk can be a walk, an exercise, a therapy, punishment (think the death marches) or a pilgrinage .
It is my intent that sets it apart (IMHO)
Nanc
 

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