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What is a pilgrim?

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Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
@kyrotheram, I would be interested to know what motivates you to ask.
So, @kyrotheram , what have you to say for yourself in response to the question posed in reply to your question? Put your head above the parapet, be ready for the tomatoes...
I will give you one. It may or not match any you might name, but it is one I learned inch by inch, centimetre by centimetre: grit. Staying power. Ability to say: I got myself into this, I can get myself out of here! Born of the realisation that there is no way back.
I sit back now, ready to dodge the tomatoes!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
Pilgrim: "a person who journeys, especially a long distance, to some sacred place as an act of religious devotion", though the Pilgrim's Office in Santiago will allow "...for religious or spiritual reasons, or at least [in] an attitude of search."

You'll note nowt about mode of travel, weight of backpack, type of footwear or chosen dietary preferences. Though if you want a Compostella some further qualifications apply.

Those familiar with the works of Sebastian Baczkiewicz will be aware that William Palmer- Pilgrim contended with a few more challenges than the Camino Frances would have thrown his way.
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Hey Pilgrims,

In your opinion, what characteristics/qualities do you think a pilgrim should possess? If not at the start of their pilgrimage, then certainly at the end.

To me a Camino is not a parallel universe next to my " normal " life ( whatever definition that is ).
So in my daily life as on a Camino I hope I can rely on my common sense, compassion and empathy.

I hope I will always open my mouth when I'm confronted with bigotry, misogyny and racism . Wherever I am or walk.

Life and Camino are also a constant learning curve for me not to get annoyed too quickly by certain individuals.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I don't wanna get into that discussion... 😁
Funny, Turga, I saw this question before any replies came in, which was early morning for me. I hadn't had my coffee yet, so had the same thought in my head as your reply. 😊 The question was a bit too serious at that hour, but I'm still gonna lurk here...that's all.
I'm sure the OP is being very sincere and many others will reply favorably to the question.
 
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Delphinoula

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C.Franconia 2019 C.Algeciras Sevillia 2019
Swabian C. (2020)
Someone who seeks the truth and lives according to his or her conscience. And here are some quotes... live is a highway...... I am the way ...... and my favorite school day’s quote Quidquid agis, prudenter agas et respice finem.
Enough wisdom after tea and before breakfast.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I'm sure the OP is being very sincere and many others will reply favorably to the question.
I see this assumption of sincerity as a fundamental principle of the engagement here. While we cannot be sure, we assume that members are seeking information in good faith that will help them in their pilgrim journey. There has always been the odd question that seeks to probe our personal views merely out of idle curiosity, but these seem to have been increasing lately with questions like this that do not explain what assistance the answer will give to the OP.

Of course, one is always at liberty to either ignore the thread, or just lurk. But this question appeared sufficiently interesting that if the OP had some good reason, somewhat better than 'I'm sitting here bored and I thought I might ask', then it would be worthwhile letting us know what it was that motivated them to ask.
 

martin1ws

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Somport to Finisterre Jul-Aug 2018; Munich to Lindau (Germany) Sep 2020

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Hey Pilgrims,

In your opinion, what characteristics/qualities do you think a pilgrim should possess? If not at the start of their pilgrimage, then certainly at the end.
My answer would be "kindness", but it would be the same for anyone, pilgrim or not.

Specific to pilgrims, I think "determination" would serve them well, but I don't think there is any moral imperative to possess it as implied by the word "should".

Which answers the quoted question and not the question in the thread title, "What is a pilgrim?". In my opinion, a pilgrim is anyone who considers themself one (and some on a pilgrimage route, perhaps, who don't recognize that in themselves).
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
To me a Camino is not a parallel universe next to my " normal " life ( whatever definition that is ).
So in my daily life as on a Camino I hope I can rely on my common sense, compassion and empathy.

I hope I will always open my mouth when I'm confronted with bigotry, misogyny and racism . Wherever I am or walk.

Life and Camino are also a constant learning curve for me not to get annoyed too quickly by certain individuals.
I am a big believer in parallel universes etc. I never thought of the Camino in that way. I have my own theories about my own beliefs that I won't bore you with. But my first reaction is although I always thought that there was no conscience knowledge of parallel universes, we have some subconscious or "cosmic" (I hate that word but can't think of another one) awareness of it and it is always there to discover but we are too full of our own junk to see it. But my second thought is that when I am walking the Camino there are times, and sometimes they have lasted for hours, that I felt I was in a different place and time and maybe could be defined as a parallel universe. I have to think about it , or better still walk about it, and see what comes up. Thanks for your post.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
A pilgrim is one who seeks; more than that, a seeker who takes steps and embarks on a journey of transformation as part of that seeking. But to be a seeker, one must have some sense of deficit/lack/insufficiency in the place where one begins. And that sense of insufficiency depends upon some humility.
 

PK Smit

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(015)Irun to Santiago
(017)Lisboa to S
2018Caminha to Santiago
(2018) Camino English Ferrol Santiago
Hey Pilgrims,

In your opinion, what characteristics/qualities do you think a pilgrim should possess? If not at the start of their pilgrimage, then certainly at the end.
I think you've got your head right in the centre of the hornets nest. You just don't ask that question on this forum, only my opinion.
 

Jean Ti

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
.
I think that you have more chance to live the Pilgrim religious and spiritual experience if you go off season.

You will be most of the time solo everywhere you go. The Camino will offert you all the calm and space to meditate and concentrate. You will forget the weight of your backpack and just become one with it.

You will discover the beauty of the forest around you in a way you never seen before.

You will ear the wind in a different way too just because you are noticing of it

At the end of your trip and at home you will discover that you are a different and a very calm person.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
kyrotheram is a relatively new member, his last thread had to be moved to the silly section because of the reply's he got. Could we please try and assume it is a genuine question and answer as such or not answer at all. This was never the way we treated new members and I sincerely hope it does not become the norm.
Thank you to those who choose to answer the OP's question respectfully.
 

Phoenix

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF
2018, CF: partial
2019, CP
Hey Pilgrims,

In your opinion, what characteristics/qualities do you think a pilgrim should possess? If not at the start of their pilgrimage, then certainly at the end.
Curious, devoted, adventurous, humble, brave, tenacious, empathetic, compassionate, encouraging ... just to name a few.

From the parent who has raised their family and wants to discover who they are now, to those at the beginning of adulthood trying to find their "true North."
From the one who comes out of devotion to support a friend/family member, to the one who has found great joy in discovering bonds with people from other cultures.
From the one who is a bit lost, to the one who has suffered great loss and is gasping for a breath of life.
From the one who has walked thousands of kilometers on Camino, to the one who has never before left their home region/country.

In 2019, more than 347,000 people from nearly every country in the world came to walk Camino to SdC. Every one of them has a unique story; in essence, your question becomes, "what characteristics/qualities should a human possess?"
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
kyrotheram is a relatively new member, his last thread had to be moved to the silly section because of the reply's he got. Could we please try and assume it is a genuine question and answer as such or not answer at all. This was never the way we treated new members and I sincerely hope it does not become the norm.
Thank you to those who choose to answer the OP's question respectfully.

I'm actually quite sad that it had to come to this. Seems @kyrotheram deleted his most recent post here because of the bad vibes he received through certain posts?

Like @wayfarer I hope snarky remarks will not become the norm on this forum.

I always thought of this forum as the communal table in an albergue.
You will not always like your fellow pilgrims or sympathise with them but at least you can try to be civil to them.
 

Theatregal

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
So far...
2012 ~ 2019
The question asked by @kyrotheram , (in my opinion) is at it's heart, a most valid question to ask on a forum dedicated to pilgrimage.

As forum members (especially long time members), we need to constantly remind ourselves that we all at some point were new members and maybe also asked questions that had been asked before or asked ones that (without intention) sparked contentious threads. I know I did early on and I became immediately cautious with the questions I would ask. Any question by a new member should be treated with respect and either answered in the spirit of support or not answered at all. There is a choice.
 

Mike Blackard

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF -Sept.-Oct 2018 , CF Aug- Oct 2019
(CF or VdlP summer/fall 2020)
This question just shows my level of ignorance - What is an "OP" ? I'm assuming the "P" is for Pilgrim, but the "O"- I've come up with Old, Original, but neither make any sense. Please educate this old pilgrim. :)
 

Anto

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2017 SJPDP to Pamplona
Hi all

I dont often post but I thought the original poster had a very valid question for what after all is an ancient Christian pilgrimage.
My view is that we are all pilgrims in this world from birth to death and to me the Camino really makes that feel real.
 

Theatregal

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
So far...
2012 ~ 2019
Hey Pilgrims,

In your opinion, what characteristics/qualities do you think a pilgrim should possess? If not at the start of their pilgrimage, then certainly at the end.
Gosh. I am deeply sad that he felt that he needed to leave the forum. In the midst of all, there are some wonderful answers to his question. This moment again, is one that serves to remind us all of the importance of allowing this forum to welcome and to thrive in kindness and empathy.
 

Jean Ti

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
.
If you go Santiago de Compostela make sure to visit the Pilgrim museum it is located not far from the cathedral. It is very interesting to discover!!!

 

Sixwheeler

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Arles Route (2013/2014 onwards)
Pilgrim: "a person who journeys, especially a long distance, to some sacred place as an act of religious devotion", though the Pilgrim's Office in Santiago will allow "...for religious or spiritual reasons, or at least [in] an attitude of search."

You'll note nowt about mode of travel, weight of backpack, type of footwear or chosen dietary preferences. Though if you want a Compostella some further qualifications apply.

Those familiar with the works of Sebastian Baczkiewicz will be aware that William Palmer- Pilgrim contended with a few more challenges than the Camino Frances would have thrown his way.
I thoroughly enjoyed the radio adaptation that the BBC did of some of those stories. I was driving a truck when they first went out and planned my journey to hear them uninterrupted. By chance last week I discovered that they're being repeated at the moment.
 

peterbells

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept 2018 (Sarria to Santiago), repeating Sept 2019
There can be no one definition of what is a pilgrim as we are all different and what is in our heart varies.

PS would thoroughly recommend the William Palmer pilgrim series, like a good book should it stirs a variety of emotions.
 

David61

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2019
Frances (2020)
Hey Pilgrims,

In your opinion, what characteristics/qualities do you think a pilgrim should possess? If not at the start of their pilgrimage, then certainly at the end.
He who would valiant be
'gainst all disaster,
let him in constancy
follow the Master.
There's no discouragement
shall make him once relent
his first avowed intent
to be a pilgrim.

Think that was how it was sold to me!
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
There are as many answers to this as there are stars in the sky....
hmmmmm, there are vastly more stars in the sky than there have ever been pilgrims ... but Quoted For Truth regardless, as we have not the faintest idea of how many more pilgrims there will be in future times.

---

Otherwise, OK, I'll bite ...

---

I have several definitions floating about in my head, even though fundamentally there's something about "True Pilgrims" that defies all definition, regardless being one myself.

But I do have a "classification" that I keep on returning to ...

Novice -- one who is kindling an interest in the Camino, discovering everything anew, and either in the heady fact-gathering phase or walking those first few days on the Way and wondering What on Earth have I gotten myself into, and who are all these weirdos ???

Pilgrim
-- it's somehow "clicked", and this crazy thing we're doing has become the "new normal".
Why ? How ? What ?
Don't ask me mate, but something in this lunatic multi-100-K-walk somehow just "feels" right ...
How are your blisters ? Where did you start ? How far did you walk today ?

Real Pilgrim -- someone who has a grip on answering those questions about why and what for he/she is in this whole silly Camino business. (answers vary greatly) (most people on this forum)

True Pilgrim -- someone so deep down diving at the deep end that he/she can even start (accurately) explaining to other Pilgrims what their own Camino is about ; unless they have already worked it out for themselves, in which case the True Pilgrims instead listen avidly to these Pilgrims' fascinating explanations with sincerest attention, interest, and care. They are also permanently trapped on the Camino, and couldn't leave it even if they wanted to (they don't). Going down to the shops is part of the Way, bus trip to work, church on Sunday, going to bed, everything is the Way. Total deep end, Danger Will Robinson !! These people are seriously weird, and you might not want to invite them over for tea & biscuits if you value your sanity ...
 
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martin1ws

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Somport to Finisterre Jul-Aug 2018; Munich to Lindau (Germany) Sep 2020
It is difficult to answer the question "What is a pilgrim?" to a non-pilgrim.

It reminds of "What is time?"

If you do not ask me what time is, I know it; if you ask me, I do not know.
— Saint Aurelius Augustinus Augustine
 

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
A pilgrim is anyone who goes on any pilgrimage and by any means of travel, typically for a religious purpose.

A foot pilgrim is one who does so on foot.
A friend doing the pilgrimage of Santiago wanted to give me e a lift, so he took me by plane to Santiago de Compostela, when we arrived we put ours rucksack on our shoulder and we went to the pilgrim office for the Compostela. It has been a very distressing pilgrimage but very satisfying one and I thought we were the true pilgrim. In the end James was very happy.

Buen Camino
 

Sharonn

La peregrina lenta
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015
Camino Portugues 2017
Camino Frances 2019
This is a question I myself have pondered quite often. Can I really call myself a pilgrim? Thanks for all the wise as well as the humorous answers.
A pilgrim is One who travels light. One who seeks, and while seeking, grows.
And so much more.....
As for qualities of a pilgrim, I would venture to say kindness, gratitude, perseverance and humility.
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
Apologies in advance as I am going to provide the shorter list of what a pilgrim, in my humble experience, is not.

A pilgrim is not;

1) A party every night kind of person. When the body needs rst, they give it rest.
2) Plan every day into stages or distance. It is a pilgrimage, not a race.
3) Make albergue reservations. Really? The Adventure quotient just about disappeared.
4) Carrying a plane ticket home on a specific date. Just not the way a pilgrimage goes.

The last point I need to take some time to explain.

A trip or vacation is never open ended. It is predictable. Rest, relaxation are the key goals. If consciousness can be broadened by exposure to new places and different people, great, but even in this context, it is somewhat predictable.

Knowing this is not for everyone, I cannot go on pilgrimage with a return ticket in my pocket. Two one ways, that is me. Reservations? No. A pilgrim will see no adventure, no spontaneity, definitely a major reduction in presetting things each day as they go.

"A pilgrim carries no datebook."

Some cannot fathom doing this. Sorry, I wish they could. What price, true freedom?
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
Apologies in advance as I am going to provide the shorter list of what a pilgrim, in my humble experience, is not.

A pilgrim is not;

1) A party every night kind of person. When the body needs rst, they give it rest.
2) Plan every day into stages or distance. It is a pilgrimage, not a race.
3) Make albergue reservations. Really? The Adventure quotient just about disappeared.
4) Carrying a plane ticket home on a specific date. Just not the way a pilgrimage goes.

The last point I need to take some time to explain.

A trip or vacation is never open ended. It is predictable. Rest, relaxation are the key goals. If consciousness can be broadened by exposure to new places and different people, great, but even in this context, it is somewhat predictable.

Knowing this is not for everyone, I cannot go on pilgrimage with a return ticket in my pocket. Two one ways, that is me. Reservations? No. A pilgrim will see no adventure, no spontaneity, definitely a major reduction in presetting things each day as they go.

"A pilgrim carries no datebook."

Some cannot fathom doing this. Sorry, I wish they could. What price, true freedom?
Sorry but that has nothing to do with what a pilgrim is or is not, it is about winging it or not winging it IMO.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Apologies in advance as I am going to provide the shorter list of what a pilgrim, in my humble experience, is not.

A pilgrim is not;

1) A party every night kind of person. When the body needs rst, they give it rest.
2) Plan every day into stages or distance. It is a pilgrimage, not a race.
3) Make albergue reservations. Really? The Adventure quotient just about disappeared.
4) Carrying a plane ticket home on a specific date. Just not the way a pilgrimage goes.

The last point I need to take some time to explain.

A trip or vacation is never open ended. It is predictable. Rest, relaxation are the key goals. If consciousness can be broadened by exposure to new places and different people, great, but even in this context, it is somewhat predictable.

Knowing this is not for everyone, I cannot go on pilgrimage with a return ticket in my pocket. Two one ways, that is me. Reservations? No. A pilgrim will see no adventure, no spontaneity, definitely a major reduction in presetting things each day as they go.

"A pilgrim carries no datebook."

Some cannot fathom doing this. Sorry, I wish they could. What price, true freedom?
A pilgrim is anyone who considers themselves to be a pilgrim, regardless of what anyone else thinks.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
Apologies in advance as I am going to provide the shorter list of what a pilgrim, in my humble experience, is not.

A pilgrim is not;

1) A party every night kind of person. When the body needs rst, they give it rest.
2) Plan every day into stages or distance. It is a pilgrimage, not a race.
3) Make albergue reservations. Really? The Adventure quotient just about disappeared.
4) Carrying a plane ticket home on a specific date. Just not the way a pilgrimage goes.

The last point I need to take some time to explain.

A trip or vacation is never open ended. It is predictable. Rest, relaxation are the key goals. If consciousness can be broadened by exposure to new places and different people, great, but even in this context, it is somewhat predictable.

Knowing this is not for everyone, I cannot go on pilgrimage with a return ticket in my pocket. Two one ways, that is me. Reservations? No. A pilgrim will see no adventure, no spontaneity, definitely a major reduction in presetting things each day as they go.

"A pilgrim carries no datebook."

Some cannot fathom doing this. Sorry, I wish they could. What price, true freedom?
Wow. If your formula works for your pilgrimages, I have no objection. But these blanket statements are not commonly accepted truths, in my experience!
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
Wow. If your formula works for your pilgrimages, I have no objection. But these blanket statements are not commonly accepted truths, in my experience!
Your experience satisfies you. My experience satisfies me. It is all good.

I find that, as you say, the blanket statements have become more common practices. But being common practices does not make them appropriate in this context, again, for me, not for everyone.
 

Jean Ti

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
.
Apologies in advance as I am going to provide the shorter list of what a pilgrim, in my humble experience, is not.

A pilgrim is not;

1) A party every night kind of person. When the body needs rst, they give it rest.
2) Plan every day into stages or distance. It is a pilgrimage, not a race.
3) Make albergue reservations. Really? The Adventure quotient just about disappeared.
4) Carrying a plane ticket home on a specific date. Just not the way a pilgrimage goes.

The last point I need to take some time to explain.

A trip or vacation is never open ended. It is predictable. Rest, relaxation are the key goals. If consciousness can be broadened by exposure to new places and different people, great, but even in this context, it is somewhat predictable.

Knowing this is not for everyone, I cannot go on pilgrimage with a return ticket in my pocket. Two one ways, that is me. Reservations? No. A pilgrim will see no adventure, no spontaneity, definitely a major reduction in presetting things each day as they go.

"A pilgrim carries no datebook."

Some cannot fathom doing this. Sorry, I wish they could. What price, true freedom?
I like very much what I read! I think that you are very close to Pilgrim definition!
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
A Pilgrimage - for me - is a spiritual and religious journey where each step is geared toward meditation or prayer. That journey is toward an actual and physical location. It is a location that marks or symbolizes something of religious significance to me. . . not because of a specific dogma or theology, but because it allows my spiritual self an outward expression of accomplishment, within that spiritual realm.

That all sounds so. . . so. . . focused. The reality is, that what I described is the goal, but the day-to-day process of walking means that meditation and prayer take place in-between life on the Camino. Nope, no constantly bowed head, furrowed into a deeply transcendental and hypnotic state.

Yeah. . as with all things in this physical realm, the spiritual side is Apart from this world, while I am still Part of this world.

But I would still avoid the 'Orisson Experience" like a plague of boils. :)

For me, Pilgrimage and walking a Camino are quite different than recreational walking. If all I want to do is to go on a long distance walk, I will stay home and spend a month in the Rockies or Cascades backpacking. I do not need to travel to Europe to do that. :)
 

Delphinoula

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C.Franconia 2019 C.Algeciras Sevillia 2019
Swabian C. (2020)
I think all qualify..... in my experience God or however you may call this entity will always find a way to talk to you no matter how sincere or vain or faulty you yourself are. So to converse with the universe what better place than a pilgrimage.
 

Dromengro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP - Leon 1984
Frances (2021)
We travel the dusty road till the light of the day is dim,
And sunset shows us spires away on the world’s rim.
We travel from dawn to dusk, till the day is past and by,
Seeking the Holy City beyond the rim of the sky.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Apologies in advance as I am going to provide the shorter list of what a pilgrim, in my humble experience, is not.

A pilgrim is not;

1) A party every night kind of person. When the body needs rst, they give it rest.
2) Plan every day into stages or distance. It is a pilgrimage, not a race.
3) Make albergue reservations. Really? The Adventure quotient just about disappeared.
4) Carrying a plane ticket home on a specific date. Just not the way a pilgrimage goes.

The last point I need to take some time to explain.

A trip or vacation is never open ended. It is predictable. Rest, relaxation are the key goals. If consciousness can be broadened by exposure to new places and different people, great, but even in this context, it is somewhat predictable.

Knowing this is not for everyone, I cannot go on pilgrimage with a return ticket in my pocket. Two one ways, that is me. Reservations? No. A pilgrim will see no adventure, no spontaneity, definitely a major reduction in presetting things each day as they go.

"A pilgrim carries no datebook."

Some cannot fathom doing this. Sorry, I wish they could. What price, true freedom?
And people have been saying that the number of pilgrims has been increasing in recent years. With such stringent requirements, I'm sure there are very few on the route. Just a lot of mistaken people who consider themselves pilgrims. Fortunately, we now know better.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
I don't know if anybody has mentioned the origin of the word here, if yes, my apologies:

Pilgrim comes from the Latin word peregrinus.
Which is a compound noun 'per' (over/through) + 'agrum' (field) = Somebody who walks over the fields.
It predates Christianity and originally meant in Roman legislation, a free person that was not a Roman citizen.

Everything else came later ;-)

BC peregrinus! SY
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdeP-FIN(09/2018)
PORTO-SANT(11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe(01/2019)
SJPdeP- SANT(09/2019)
Madrid(7/2020)
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2022)
Hey Pilgrims,

In your opinion, what characteristics/qualities do you think a pilgrim should possess? If not at the start of their pilgrimage, then certainly at the end.
I really don't care, sorry. :eek:

This question seems to presuppose that there are 'qualities' one must possess to be a Pilgrim.

I don't believe there are. It's an inner journey.......... only you will know........ and only you will care ;)
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
Respect and understanding.

But then, those should be qualities for any human being - maybe in a pilgrim's case, the journey will teach/refine those qualities?
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco(2017) Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(2019) CF
Apologies in advance as I am going to provide the shorter list of what a pilgrim, in my humble experience, is not.

A pilgrim is not;

1) A party every night kind of person. When the body needs rst, they give it rest.
2) Plan every day into stages or distance. It is a pilgrimage, not a race.
3) Make albergue reservations. Really? The Adventure quotient just about disappeared.
4) Carrying a plane ticket home on a specific date. Just not the way a pilgrimage goes.

The last point I need to take some time to explain.

A trip or vacation is never open ended. It is predictable. Rest, relaxation are the key goals. If consciousness can be broadened by exposure to new places and different people, great, but even in this context, it is somewhat predictable.

Knowing this is not for everyone, I cannot go on pilgrimage with a return ticket in my pocket. Two one ways, that is me. Reservations? No. A pilgrim will see no adventure, no spontaneity, definitely a major reduction in presetting things each day as they go.

"A pilgrim carries no datebook."

Some cannot fathom doing this. Sorry, I wish they could. What price, true freedom?
@MichelleElynHogan , Sorry, not at all a fan of this response. It implies that pilgrims who have special needs in order to facilitate their walk are not, by your definition, pilgrims at all. There are some who NEED to plan the day in order to manage it. There are some that absolutely have to send a bag ahead because they are physically unable to carry it, therefore necessitating a reservation. And there are some who need to buy their ticket home...well, because they need to go home to meet life obligations. I walked after a mastectomy, would you have had me carry a heavy bag? I walked after breaking a bone in my foot, should I have simply not planned the alburgue to rest in certainty? I walked with a tumor in my knee, knowing I faced surgery two days after my return. Should I not have secured a ticket? In all reality pilgrims do carry a datebook...it's called the datebook of life.
I want to say I'm insulted by this response, but in my heart I know its simply a short sighted pious view and not authentic for those who know that the camino is for everyone who is called to walk. Even those who have to climb mountains to manage it. I'm every bit a pilgrim as others are. I don't at all meet your definition of 'what a pilgrim is not'...I'm all of those and I feel blessed that I've been able to go at all. A pilgrim is not judgmental.
Food for thought.
 

martin1ws

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Somport to Finisterre Jul-Aug 2018; Munich to Lindau (Germany) Sep 2020
...
2) Plan every day into stages or distance. It is a pilgrimage, not a race.
3) Make albergue reservations. Really? The Adventure quotient just about disappeared.
4) Carrying a plane ticket home on a specific date. Just not the way a pilgrimage goes.
...
I think I know what you mean.

On my first Camino I went as far as I wanted every day.
I made no albergue reservations (that is not exactly true. 2 or 3 times other Spanish pilgrims made a reservation for themselves and for me on the Camino Aragones and on the Camino de Invierno because there was a Fiesta or something like that and they thought it would be better with reservations. And there were so few albergues that there was no other albergue anyway).
And I had no plane ticket home... I booked it after arriving in Santiago de Compostela.

It was a great luxury as a pilgrim to have no fixed date for returning home. And I think it is helpful for being in the moment and forgetting the non-pilgrim life and stress and requirements.
If I have enough time I will do my Caminos like that every time.

But... on my next Camino in 2020 I will have a fixed date for returning home. And probably it will be like that most of the time as long as I am employed in a firm and have my children at home.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
2015 entire CF, Porto and CF again in Feb 2020
On my last camino i questioned the same thing. What is a 'real' pilgrim. One afternoon I saw two people drive up to an Alburgue (couple blocks away) in a luxury car, pull out their backpacks and walk into the Alburgue as if they had walked all day. i was upset. Another person explained to me: 'we are all pilgrims, whether you take one step or a million - we are all pilgrims.' that's one of the big learnings i had: to stop judging, stop evaluating and accept what is given. Buen Camino...
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdeP-FIN(09/2018)
PORTO-SANT(11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe(01/2019)
SJPdeP- SANT(09/2019)
Madrid(7/2020)
'When I'm drivin' in my car, and the man come on the radio he's tellin' me more and more about some useless information supposed to fire my imagination
When I'm watchin' my TV and a man comes on and tells me how white my shirts can be
But, he can't be a man 'cause he doesn't smoke the same cigarettes as me'
'Cause I try…🤠
 
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Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
They are seekers. Most find healing.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Just realised the OP has gone 😳
Yes, very sad that a site which is for pilgrims cannot answer a pilgrim question about pilgrimage but instead seems to have led him/her to leave.
It does not give a very good impression does it? All very friendly so long as the questions only relate to hiking/gear etc but not so good on pilgrimage questions any more. It really does make me feel sad :(.
Buen Camino to the OP if you actually read this :)
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Yes, very sad that a site which is for pilgrims cannot answer a pilgrim question about pilgrimage but instead seems to have led him/her to leave.
It does not give a very good impression does it? All very friendly so long as the questions only relate to hiking/gear etc but not so good on pilgrimage questions any more. It really does make me feel sad :(.
Buen Camino to the OP if you actually read this :)
Unfortunately, these sorts of threads devolve into "true pilgrim" territory with too much judgement being passed by some. I saw the first follow up post by @Turga alluding to that.

The "what is a pilgrim?" question has as many answers as there are pilgrims, and is very personal. I stand behind my thought that a pilgrim is one who identifies as a pilgrim. No one else's definition is important.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Unfortunately, these sorts of threads devolve into "true pilgrim" territory with too much judgement being passed by some
The "true pilgrims" and the "real pilgrims" are all just pilgrims -- simply with a qualifier in front, like "foot pilgrim", "horse pilgrim", "bike pilgrim".

Try not to see "judgment" where there isn't any.
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
The "true pilgrims" and the "real pilgrims" are all just pilgrims -- simply with a qualifier in front, like "foot pilgrim", "horse pilgrim", "bike pilgrim".

Try not to see "judgment" where there isn't any.

I do not have problems with the content ( individual expression of an individual emotion ) of some of the posts here on this thread. I do have serious issues though with the tone of some of them.
Like I said earlier in post #21 :

"
I always thought of this forum as the communal table in an albergue.
You will not always like your fellow pilgrims or sympathise with them but at least you can try to be civil to them."
 

Delphinoula

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C.Franconia 2019 C.Algeciras Sevillia 2019
Swabian C. (2020)
I read somewhere it’s your Camino.
So however you choose it’s your choice there is no right way or wrong.
Some get it some don’t some get it on the Camino some years later.
You do your best and that’s it more nobody can ask with or without reservation for more.
On foot on bike on horse or your Buddy’s back on boat with a donkey or a dog or a cat with poles and braces in a chair with wheels or any kind of other wheeled transport.
With a book or flute or song with tears and blisters and pain bad mood good mood with smiles with frowns. Yes and rain sunshine wind coming from all directions mud and copplestone sand. Up and up and down down in snow or flood.
Did I forget anything......
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
On foot on bike on horse or your Buddy’s back on boat with a donkey or a dog or a cat with poles and braces in a chair with wheels or any kind of other wheeled transport.
With a book or flute or song with tears and blisters and pain bad mood good mood with smiles with frowns. Yes and rain sunshine wind coming from all directions mud and copplestone sand. Up and up and down down in snow or flood.
Did I forget anything......
I'm pretty much ok with everything... except for the flute 😱!!

I recently had a heated discussion about musical instruments on the Camino. That didn't end well either 😅
 
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