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Types of Compostelas and other certificates

2020 Camino Guides

Terri B

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
1998 St Cuthberts Way, 1999 West Highland Way, 2016 & 2019 SJPDP to Santiago, 2020 Porto to Santiago
Hi all,

I've walked the Frances route twice now and have received a Compostela each time. Last year when I walked the second time I also obtained a distance certificate and the half way certificate at Sahagun. I am also aware of the certificates you can get in Muxia and Finisterre.

This year I am walking the Portuguese route and have just heard about the certificate you can get in Padron for visiting 5 sites associated with St James. I had heard that you can dedicate your journey to someone else, not sure if this is the normal Compostela or another type. I don't recall seeing any other certificates on offer at the Pilgrim's Office.

My question is this, what other certificates etc out there and is the dedicated certificate or similar available.

Thankyou in advance.
Buen Camino
Terri
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
If walking for non-religious or non-spiritual reasons, you can get a Welcome certificate instead of the Compostela.

If you wish, you can have your Compostela marked ‘in Vicare Pro’ for someone who is unable to make a pilgrimage of their own. For example, they are deceased, or too ill, or too handicapped.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
If you walk the Camino Lebaniego (part of the Camino Vadiniense that connects the Norte with the Frances), you can get a Lebaniega, certificate for the pilgrimate to the Monastery of Santo Toribio de Liebana.

There is also a certificate if you walk from Leon to Oviedoin the Salvador Route.

None of those are "compostelas", but they are pilgrimage certificates.
 

Terri B

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
1998 St Cuthberts Way, 1999 West Highland Way, 2016 & 2019 SJPDP to Santiago, 2020 Porto to Santiago
If walking for non-religious or non-spiritual reasons, you can get a Welcome certificate instead of the Compostela.

If you wish, you can have your Compostela marked ‘in Vicare Pro’ for someone who is unable to make a pilgrimage of their own. For example, they are deceased, or too ill, or too handicapped.
Thanks Northern Light.
It might be a silly question, but with the 'in Vicare Pro' does the other persons name get printed on the Compostela?
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Thanks Northern Light.
It might be a silly question, but with the 'in Vicare Pro' does the other persons name get printed on the Compostela?
It is written in at the bottom as an addition - not as a substitute for the name of the person who actually walked. An example in this blog post: https://zelanti.org/the-voice-of-god/
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
At the albergue in Huesca on the Camino Catalan (San Juan de la Peña variant) they have a certificate written in Latin on one side and Spanish on the other. A Google Lens translation of part of the Spanish is:


Pilgrims Privilege of Santa Maria de Salas

Know all that We, Jaime, by the grace of God King of Aragon, Mallorca and Valencia, count of Barcelona and Urgel, and lord of Montpelier, receive under our special protection each and every one of the men and women of wherever they come to Santa Marta de Salas, from Huesca, because of pilgrimage, and until they return with everything they carry in their coming, stay and return, so that for any debts or crimes they are not disturbed anywhere of my domains, until they have returned to their homes after such a pilgrimage, I do not know that they were manifest traitors, or locked up or committed during the pilgrimage such a crime that they deserved to be punished.

We send to the gentlemen Stewards, Vicars, Bayles, Pacianos, Zalmedina, Justices, Juries, Judges, Mayors and our subjects, present and coming, that our protection and safeguard are observing and observing all of us in a visible way. Anyone who against this safeguard fentase come, be incurred in our anger and indignation and in the ena of a thousand alfonsinas morabetinos.

Given in Huesca on August 12 of the year of the Serior of 1250

of Jaime by the grace of God King of Aragon Mallorca and Valoncia, Concha de Barcelona and Urgally do
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis SJPP April 2016,
August 2017, May 2018
Camino Portuguese
2019, May Porto, Sept Lisbo
...and by walking Santiago to Finisterre, Muxia (or Muxia /Finisterre) & back to Santiago ....that earns a Compestella as it is more than 100 + klms....yippee!
Buen Camino
Love
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
At the albergue in Huesca on the Camino Catalan (San Juan de la Peña variant) they have a certificate written in Latin on one side and Spanish on the other. A Google Lens translation of part of the Spanish is:


Pilgrims Privilege of Santa Maria de Salas

Know all that We, Jaime, by the grace of God King of Aragon, Mallorca and Valencia, count of Barcelona and Urgel, and lord of Montpelier, receive under our special protection each and every one of the men and women of wherever they come to Santa Marta de Salas, from Huesca, because of pilgrimage, and until they return with everything they carry in their coming, stay and return, so that for any debts or crimes they are not disturbed anywhere of my domains, until they have returned to their homes after such a pilgrimage, I do not know that they were manifest traitors, or locked up or committed during the pilgrimage such a crime that they deserved to be punished.

We send to the gentlemen Stewards, Vicars, Bayles, Pacianos, Zalmedina, Justices, Juries, Judges, Mayors and our subjects, present and coming, that our protection and safeguard are observing and observing all of us in a visible way. Anyone who against this safeguard fentase come, be incurred in our anger and indignation and in the ena of a thousand alfonsinas morabetinos.

Given in Huesca on August 12 of the year of the Serior of 1250

of Jaime by the grace of God King of Aragon Mallorca and Valoncia, Concha de Barcelona and Urgally do
Very excellent post!
A brief aside...
Part of the rationale to join a crusade or go on pilgrimage, for many during ancient times, was that all debts were frozen. Nobody could foreclose on your estates, so it bought some time. It’s interesting to see related documents from those eras.

End of thread hijack.
 

JLWV

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Levante (2014-2016); Levante to Toledo (2017-2018), to be continued; Fisterra & Muxia (2018);
Pilgrims Privilege of Santa Maria de Salas

Know all that We, Jaime, by the grace of God King of Aragon, Mallorca and Valencia, count of Barcelona and Urgel, and lord of Montpelier, receive under our special protection each and every one of the men and women of wherever they come to Santa Marta de Salas, from Huesca, because of pilgrimage, and until they return with everything they carry in their coming, stay and return, so that for any debts or crimes they are not disturbed anywhere of my domains, until they have returned to their homes after such a pilgrimage, I do not know that they were manifest traitors, or locked up or committed during the pilgrimage such a crime that they deserved to be punished.

We send to the gentlemen Stewards, Vicars, Bayles, Pacianos, Zalmedina, Justices, Juries, Judges, Mayors and our subjects, present and coming, that our protection and safeguard are observing and observing all of us in a visible way. Anyone who against this safeguard fentase come, be incurred in our anger and indignation and in the ena of a thousand alfonsinas morabetinos.

Given in Huesca on August 12 of the year of the Serior of 1250

of Jaime by the grace of God King of Aragon Mallorca and Valoncia, Concha de Barcelona and Urgally do
In my opinion this looks more as a Credencial than a Certificate
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
In my opinion this looks more as a Credencial than a Certificate
Here is my certificate. It is unsigned and a bit crumpled. The picture is of the side written in Spanish. The other side in Latin looks the same but the Latin text is in an italic font. You also get a small ribbon and a seal that looks like wax. The idea is that you affix these to the certificate when you get home and this helps you protect the paper better on your journey. My ribbon and seal are misplaced but I'm sure I still have them.
IMG_20200127_104113.jpg
 

Faye Walker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
If you walk the Portuguese route and stop in Padron (26km before Santiago), the tourist office will grant you a Padronia, provided that you show a stamp from one of the churches in town. I went to the church that houses the stone said to have covered the site where the remains of James were found.
 

Terri B

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
1998 St Cuthberts Way, 1999 West Highland Way, 2016 & 2019 SJPDP to Santiago, 2020 Porto to Santiago
It is written in at the bottom as an addition - not as a substitute for the name of the person who actually walked. An example in this blog post: https://zelanti.org/the-voice-of-god/
Thanks Bradypus, the friend who was going to walk with me this year has had a reoccurrence and the prognosis is not good. So I want to dedicate the Camino to her.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago 2014
Pamplona to Santiago 2017
Norte. 2018
If you walk the Portuguese route and stop in Padron (26km before Santiago), the tourist office will grant you a Padronia, provided that you show a stamp from one of the churches in town. I went to the church that houses the stone said to have covered the site where the remains of James were found.
 

Mike Blackard

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF -Sept.-Oct 2018 , CF Aug- Oct 2019
(CF or VdlP summer/fall 2020)
Call me crazy, call me stupid/ ignorant, but here's my thought for the day: All along the camino frances , and I assume along many or most of the other caminos , are the yellow conch shells marking the way. On my first camino from St. Jean, I thought the yellow conch was like an arrow pointing the way. The big yellow circle was the sun, or Santiago de Compostela. And the yellow "ribs" or "spokes" were symbolic of the various caminos, all of which ended up in Santiago. So the direction to go was to go toward the big yellow "sun". BUT, alas, I was wrong. They mark that you are on the camino, but are not pointer arrows. The further I walked the more compostelas I saw "pointing" up, down, east, west, north, south. The solid yellow arrows, typically painted on walls and curbs do point in the right direction. For me, I think they should write the names of the various caminos on each of the "spokes". One spoke for Camino Frances (790 km), one for Camino Portugues (641 km) , one for Via de la Plata (1,000 km), one for Camino del Norte (830 km) and one for Camino de Levante (900 km) etc. In the Brierley guide- stage 16- has a good picture of the yellow conch shells on camino markers. These have 7 yellow "spokes". In my idea, each yellow spoke would have a camino name etched on it.
In my dream come true world - they would orient all of these, so that they acted like a pointer arrow- follow your spoke to the sun.
And this idea may be sacriligious, but it might be a cool thing if there was a "special certificate" for those who complete 4 or 5 or (pick a number) of caminos over time. If you accomplished this, it could be "rewarded" with a small discount at all albergues , or something along those lines. Centuries ago, pilgrims would walk one of the caminos from their home to Santiago and back to home. I'm pretty sure it was not a yearly activity. Yet today, with many of us doing this multiple times, it is pretty obvious that the "tourist" element is much more prevalent. With over 300,000 pilgrims making it to Santiago last year, this has become much more than just a pilgrimage to save our souls. It has become a great revenue source for Spain, and they should encourage multiple caminos. mike
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
And the yellow "ribs" or "spokes" were symbolic of the various caminos, all of which ended up in Santiago. So the direction to go was to go toward the big yellow "sun". BUT, alas, I was wrong. They mark that you are on the camino, but are not pointer arrows.
In some regions they are oriented the way that you thought, and they are directional symbols. Unfortunately, it's not consistent on the Camino.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
In my dream come true world - they would orient all of these, so that they acted like a pointer arrow- follow your spoke to the sun.
Alas, the opposite may happen. It has already happened within Galicia where fairly new waymarkers have been installed: the "sun" is on the left and the yellow "ribs" or "spokes" point from right to left. The symbol is a logo that was created a long time ago and should always be placed in this way. The confusing array of the logo being placed upwards, downwards and symmetrically mirrored is a result of the ignorance of those who placed the markers over the years - mainly regional and local governments ...
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
And this idea may be sacriligious, but it might be a cool thing if there was a "special certificate" for those who complete 4 or 5 or (pick a number) of caminos over time. If you accomplished this, it could be "rewarded" with a small discount at all albergues , or something along those lines.
Sacriligious? I don't think so. But the idea makes me cringe all the same. There are more than enough unappealing competitive aspects to pilgrimage these days without formalising the hierarchy of "pilgrim cred" with special certificates and Camino loyalty card deals 🤢
 

Terri B

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
1998 St Cuthberts Way, 1999 West Highland Way, 2016 & 2019 SJPDP to Santiago, 2020 Porto to Santiago

Moorwalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Saint's Way, Cornwall
SNIP
And this idea may be sacriligious, but it might be a cool thing if there was a "special certificate" for those who complete 4 or 5 or (pick a number) of caminos over time. If you accomplished this, it could be "rewarded" with a small discount at all albergues , or something along those lines. Centuries ago, pilgrims would walk one of the caminos from their home to Santiago and back to home. I'm pretty sure it was not a yearly activity. Yet today, with many of us doing this multiple times, it is pretty obvious that the "tourist" element is much more prevalent. With over 300,000 pilgrims making it to Santiago last year, this has become much more than just a pilgrimage to save our souls. It has become a great revenue source for Spain, and they should encourage multiple caminos. mike
I am quite strongly opposed to that. People have all sorts of reasons for walking the various Caminos, but this suggestion would turn it into a competition. I'm not religious at all, but I still appreciate that walking a camino is just a little bit different from just going for a walk. Our modern world is far too dismissive of things that are not materialistic.
 

Moorwalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Saint's Way, Cornwall
Alas, the opposite may happen. It has already happened within Galicia where fairly new waymarkers have been installed: the "sun" is on the left and the yellow "ribs" or "spokes" point from right to left. The symbol is a logo that was created a long time ago and should always be placed in this way. The confusing array of the logo being placed upwards, downwards and symmetrically mirrored is a result of the ignorance of those who placed the markers over the years - mainly regional and local governments ...
I don't see any reason to blindly copy the past just because that was the way it used to be. Things change, sometimes things are improved and sometimes made poorer. I would rather see a living symbol that is adapted by people as they see fit than one which is set in stone and becomes just an archaic curiosity.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
I would rather see a living symbol that is adapted by people as they see fit than one which is set in stone and becomes just an archaic curiosity.
Oh ... when I said "a long time ago" I meant a few decades ago. The logo showing the stylised yellow shell on a blue background was developed by a graphic designer from Spain in the context of the Camino Frances being declared a European Cultural Route.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
I also obtained a distance certificate and the half way certificate at Sahagun.
Yes, Sahagun is at the CF's halfway point and you can get a certificate there but, while the certificate mentions that Sahagun is at the center point, it doesn't explicitly congratulate you for making it halfway through your pilgrimage. I've translated it as:


Let all know seeing this Pilgrim Certificate that [name] has passed through the Leonese lands of Sahagun, geographical center of the Camino Frances, where, as reported in the Codex Calixtinus, "... prodigous in all types of goods, one encounters the meadow, of which they say that in days gone by, the shining lances that the victorious warriors had thurst into the ground for the glory of the Lord came to life again." and it further attests that he has found rest for the fatigues of the body and relief for the spirit.

The inhabitants of this noble town give him encouragement to continue his camino and to arrive with safe passage at the house of the Lord Saint James, where we hope he retains a memory of the reception we have given him.

And for a record that can be presented before whoever demands it I sign this in Sahagun, on the [day] of [month] of the year of our Lord [year]

The Mayor.
[name]
Jacobean Pilgrims' Association Region of Sahagun
- Leon -
Pilgrim Certificate [number]
 

Moorwalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Saint's Way, Cornwall
Oh ... when I said "a long time ago" I meant a few decades ago. The logo showing the stylised yellow shell on a blue background was developed by a graphic designer from Spain in the context of the Camino Frances being declared a European Cultural Route.
I know, but in many ways that is still a long time ago. I love that it's a living tradition, that people take the symbol and make it their own.
 

Hugh Larkin

Perpetual Wanderer
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2014
Sanabria 2018
Pieterpad 2018
Kumano Kodo (2020)
I got this special one in 2014.View attachment 69038
We, too, received this certificate in 2014. It was in celebration of the cathedral's 800th anniversary. It made our first Camino a bit more special, but didn't match having our compostelas issued in our wedding anniversary (we waited 2 days to get it😃).
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
There are various others to be collected along the way, not necessarily Camino- specific.

If you pray to St Fermin in the Cathedral in Pamplona there’s a certificate to be had. He didn’t grant my request. (Forum rules, number 2 item 2)
 

Peter Fransiscus

Be a Rainbow in someone else's cloud.
Camino(s) past & future
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
And this idea may be sacriligious, but it might be a cool thing if there was a "special certificate" for those who complete 4 or 5 or (pick a number) of caminos over time. If you accomplished this, it could be "rewarded" with a small discount at all albergues , or something along those lines.
The Camino is not a competion .
That some one can think about this and even worse Wright it down.😞😢
 

Davybhoy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (August 2019)
Portuguese (planned August 2020)
Hi i have two questions relating to Compostelas or certificates......

I am planning to walk the Portuguese route from Lisbon in August, via Fatima. Is there a Compostela or certificate available for walking to Fatima specifically, or is it included on the Portuguese Compostela?

Secondly, when one walks on behalf of another, are two compostelas issued or just the one with both names as per the example above?

Thank you
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
, or is it included on the Portuguese Compostela?
There is no special Compostela for the Portugues. All Compostelas are the same and none of them mention the route you walked.
Secondly, when one walks on behalf of another, are two compostelas issued or just the one with both names as per the example above
Only one Compostela is issued with the name of the walker in the centre place.
 

Faye Walker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Hi i have two questions relating to Compostelas or certificates......

I am planning to walk the Portuguese route from Lisbon in August, via Fatima. Is there a Compostela or certificate available for walking to Fatima specifically, or is it included on the Portuguese Compostela?

Secondly, when one walks on behalf of another, are two compostelas issued or just the one with both names as per the example above?

Thank you
For Fatima, there is no particular certificate, but you can purchase sew-on badges or whatever you like from the site. But Fatima does not require that you make a trek in order to be recognized as a pilgrim for it is a modern-day (relatively speaking) site, developed well after the time when walking had ceased to be the main mode for conveyance of humans from one place to another.
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
. But Fatima does not require that you make a trek in order to be recognized as a pilgrim for it is a modern-day (relatively speaking) site, developed well after the time when walking had ceased to be the main mode for conveyance of humans from one place to another.
Until 1993 there was no minimum distance rule to receive a Compostela. At the end of my first Camino I spent 20 minutes or so talking with a priest about why I walked and what the Apostle and his legend meant to me. He barely glanced at the sellos in my Credencial. The obsession with kilometres covered on foot is a recent thing.
 

Faye Walker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Until 1993 there was no minimum distance rule to receive a Compostela. At the end of my first Camino I spent 20 minutes or so talking with a priest about why I walked and what the Apostle and his legend meant to me. He barely glanced at the sellos in my Credencial. The obsession with kilometres covered on foot is a recent thing.
Yes, but that was not my point. Indeed... for all of the history of Santiago those who live in the lee of the church have had its benefits without having to walk there at all.
Fatima has never been a pilgrimage site that one was forced *by necessity* to arrive to from great distances on foot, horseback, or perhaps in a cart. Fatima arrived well after the introduction of trains, and so was always *relatively* easy to arrive to with minimal personal transit required.
I do not valourise one over the other, but the compostela system developed out of very different economic pressures and desires along the various routes. Fatima has always been a "pay to play" single site visit, and the surrounding region -- perhaps because it is already proximal to the camino? -- has not sought to require tourism to its environs....
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
I spent 20 minutes or so talking with a priest about why I walked and what the Apostle and his legend meant to me.
Probably the km thing came into place because there was no way the priests could dedicate 20 min to everyone that was arriving anymore...
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Yes, but that was not my point. Indeed... for all of the history of Santiago those who live in the lee of the church have had its benefits without having to walk there at all.
True if you believe that the benefits are direct and spiritual and do not require the mediation of the church authorities. As I do personally. But the cathedral now applies a very specific definition of 'pilgrimage' by restricting the Compostela to those who walk or ride a minimum specified distance on an officially approved route and can prove that with an approved Credencial stamped at least twice per day in the final 100km. It is a cold and mechanistic business.
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Probably the km thing came into place because there was no way the priests could dedicate 20 min to everyone that was arriving anymore...
Probably part of the reason. But read the text and consider what the Compostela actually says. Can you really testify to a person's motives and attitude simply by measuring the distance they have walked?
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
Probably part of the reason. But read the text and consider what the Compostela actually says. Can you really testify to a person's motives and attitude simply by measuring the distance they have walked?
Of course not. Neither you can guarantee they actually walked. However, the km requirement it is a system that will allow those with real motive receive their reward in a timely manner most of the times.

For those with different motivations, well, they may still get a certificate here on Earth. But I will leave it for God to judge their merits. Meanwhile, I will just try to walk my own camino in the most respectful and happy way I can.

Back on the certificates thing, the Via Francigena to Rome also has a Testimonium for those who walked at least 100km, finishing in the Vatican.
 

Faye Walker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
True if you believe that the benefits are direct and spiritual and do not require the mediation of the church authorities. As I do personally. But the cathedral now applies a very specific definition of 'pilgrimage' by restricting the Compostela to those who walk or ride a minimum specified distance on an officially approved route and can prove that with an approved Credencial stamped at least twice per day in the final 100km. It is a cold and mechanistic business.
No, this is inaccurate. Pilgrimage was not required of those who lived near to a powerful Cathedral. They already lived within the realm of the church, and for someone from 13th to 16th C anyway with the fall in 1567 of The Church, there was no such thing as living outside of the mediation of the church.
Pilgrimages were established as a complex union of belief, social structure, and economic necessity. Creating reasons -- through the presence of important Saints' relics -- for the faithful to make pilgrimages brought economic prosperity to regions where small lords could not provide enough for the peasantry. Festivals and markets associated with particular Cathedrals brought wealth to otherwise doomed regions. And as a consequence, created systems of hospitals and hospitality that actually improved the health of those pilgrims who survived the plagues and highway robbers or bar-fights along the way.
But if one was fortunate enough already to attend weekly mass within the diocese of a powerful Cathedral, then one already benefitted from more food, more prosperity, better housing and so forth. And the blessing of the priest after confession was taken as part of the fabric of life.
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
No, this is inaccurate. Pilgrimage was not required of those who lived near to a powerful Cathedral. They already lived within the realm of the church, and for someone from 13th to 16th C anyway with the fall in 1567 of The Church, there was no such thing as living outside of the mediation of the church.
I may not have made myself clear. I was not referring to the situation in past centuries. I was referring specifically to the situation at present in which 'pilgrimage' has been redefined in a very specific form by the cathedral authorities.
 

Faye Walker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I may not have made myself clear. I was not referring to the situation in past centuries. I was referring specifically to the situation at present in which 'pilgrimage' has been redefined in a very specific form by the cathedral authorities.
And I am responding to Davybhoy to explain why there has never been any need at all to encourage or require a certain amount of distance covered to get to Fatima, and why that is not given a second certificate or special recognition on the compostela. In short, it a can be done as a day trip as a pilgrimage visit, just as one might visit Lourdes or Canterbury as a day visit.... or Cashel, etc etc.

As such when combined on the pilgrimage walk to Santiago, Fatima is just starting/stopping point along the way and the significance of the visit to Fatima has nothing to do with distances.

Symbolically for SdC it is a very different matter. There is the centuries-old tradition of walking pre-dating any kind of transit infrastructure, and there is the "new age hippy" version that says that the destination is irrelevant and the importance is in the walking. Then there are the economics of it.... the interest of "Spain" in acquiring more in tourism than just having bus-tours dumping thousands of people per day into Santiago alone.

My hope is for Dabybhoy not to feel cheated or disappointed there there is no certificate for the Fatima visit.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Yes, but that was not my point. Indeed... for all of the history of Santiago those who live in the lee of the church have had its benefits without having to walk there at all.
True if you believe that the benefits are direct and spiritual and do not require the mediation of the church authorities. As I do personally. But the cathedral now applies a very specific definition of 'pilgrimage' by restricting the Compostela to those who walk or ride a minimum specified distance on an officially approved route and can prove that with an approved Credencial stamped at least twice per day in the final 100km. It is a cold and mechanistic business.
I guess it depends on what you think of as the benefits of visiting the pilgrimage site. In terms of the indulgence to be granted (partial or plenary, depending on the year), they have nothing to do with with the Compostela or how many km have been walked. In terms of the intercession of St. James or the benefits of being in proximity to his relics, I don't believe that would have much to do with the Compostela or the distance walked, either. From a Church perspective, I think those are probably considered the most important benefits of any visit to Santiago de Compostela.

It is the personal and spiritual benefits of walking a Camino that would not be available to those who live in the lee of the church (unless they made the effort to walk there) because, it seems to me, that these benefits are a product of the journey itself.

The Compostela is only of importance as a material indication of a task completed, for those that collect such material things. A cold and mechanistic business. (I should add that, despite this, I like to collect such material things. My Caminos have not yet cured me of that.)
 

supersullivan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago 2012. SJPP-Santiago-Finisterre-Muxia 2013. Ponferrada-Santiago June 2014. Leon-Santiago-Finisterre September 2014. April-May 2015: SJPP- S de C- Finisterre -Muxia- S de C.
We, too, received this certificate in 2014. It was in celebration of the cathedral's 800th anniversary. It made our first Camino a bit more special, but didn't match having our compostelas issued in our wedding anniversary (we waited 2 days to get it😃).
Hugh, I think it was issued to mark the 800th anniversary of the date St. Francis of Assisi was believed to have walked the Camino rather than the founding of any building.
 

Faye Walker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
@David Tallan "It is the personal and spiritual benefits of walking a Camino that would not be available to those who live in the lee of the church (unless they made the effort to walk there) because, it seems to me, that these benefits are a product of the journey itself." is a very modern take on the spiritual benefits.

Going on pilgrimage certainly did provide people with benefits, but mostly in the form of getting away from the travails and ails of their home villages into a system that was obliged to provide hospitality along the way as an encouragement to see the sights (other cathedrals) along the routes. The idea that it is the walking itself that does us good is very contemporary. Those who already lived close the the church in Santiago already benefitted from the wealth (better food, more sociability in markets and festivals, greater social support from the wealthier parish etc. and all of that was believe to emanate from the relic itself... that bestowed its power not only in its reliquary but into the air like an energy.

Staying close to the Saint was, then, far more important to one's health in the medieval mind than was journeying far away only to walk back to what one already had.

For the full narrative see the medical and religious historian Robert Scott's fairly exhaustive book "Miracle Cures" -- subtitle is something like "Saints, Pilgrimage and the Power of Belief." Berkely University Press.
But also the work of the anthropologist Victor Turner on this topic more broadly.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
@David Tallan "It is the personal and spiritual benefits of walking a Camino that would not be available to those who live in the lee of the church (unless they made the effort to walk there) because, it seems to me, that these benefits are a product of the journey itself." is a very modern take on the spiritual benefits.

Going on pilgrimage certainly did provide people with benefits, but mostly in the form of getting away from the travails and ails of their home villages into a system that was obliged to provide hospitality along the way as an encouragement to see the sights (other cathedrals) along the routes. The idea that it is the walking itself that does us good is very contemporary. Those who already lived close the the church in Santiago already benefitted from the wealth (better food, more sociability in markets and festivals, greater social support from the wealthier parish etc. and all of that was believe to emanate from the relic itself... that bestowed its power not only in its reliquary but into the air like an energy.

Staying close to the Saint was, then, far more important to one's health in the medieval mind than was journeying far away only to walk back to what one already had.

For the full narrative see the medical and religious historian Robert Scott's fairly exhaustive book "Miracle Cures" -- subtitle is something like "Saints, Pilgrimage and the Power of Belief." Berkely University Press.
But also the work of the anthropologist Victor Turner on this topic more broadly.
I don't disagree. But I was responding to Bradypus who seemed to be saying that the church now limits benefits to those who walk 100 km by their rules and was thus talking about modern times. That's why I wrote "would not be" rather than "would not have been".

I think the distinction I made between the "religious" benefits (indulgence, proximity to relics, intercession of the saint) and the personal or spiritual benefits is an inherently modern one, to a certain extent. That said, one need only read the Canterbury Tales, a contemporary medieval account of pilgrimage, to see that the character and motivation of medieval pilgrims was quite varied.
 

Terri B

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
1998 St Cuthberts Way, 1999 West Highland Way, 2016 & 2019 SJPDP to Santiago, 2020 Porto to Santiago
My oh my, I ask what I think is a simple question and the thread takes on a life of its own!!
Thanks to those who actually responded to my questions before this went off on a tangent way out into left field.
Buen Camino
 

thejoker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
many
My oh my, I ask what I think is a simple question and the thread takes on a life of its own!!
... before this went off on a tangent way out into left field.
That's the beauty of forums. They go where respondents hover to. Your original question obviously interested many people and offered the chance to broaden and reflect further. Hardly 'left field' really.
 

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