THE CAMINO TURNS BROKENNESS INTO BEAUTY

If you wanted to walk this year but couldn’t your prayers arrived in Santiago today…

Johnnie and Stephen ended their journey by laying your Thoughts, Intentions, Hopes and Prayers at the Tomb of Saint James. Here are their final reflections on this very special Camino…

Hello everyone. This is Stephen and John speaking to you from Santiago. Today we reached Monte de Gozo, the Hill of Joy. It was called this because it was here the pilgrims of the middle ages got the first sight of the spires of the Cathedral of Santiago. Their destination. Our excitement was no less than theirs. We have come to the end of our very long Camino. Our journey has taken us over the Pyrenees in France and across Spain to reach Santiago today. There were many adventures and we’ve had many encounters. We’ve made new friends from a lot of different countries. Now the journey ends for us… when we go to the Plaza Obradoiro and the tomb of Saint James we want that moment to be yours all of you who couldn’t walk this year, when you see the shell with your prayers we’ve carried for 33 days imagine yourself standing in front of the Cathedral and please enjoy the moment.

In addition to the many, many well wishes, 383 people sent prayers to be carried to Santiago. It has been our privilege to read them, reflect on them, pray for them and carry them every step of the way. Let’s pause for a moment, please, to remember the last prayer we received from the family of Catalin Ristea, a pilgrim who died in Burgos just one month ago. May he rest in peace.

And we remember all of those who have died, you wrote to us about. Along the way, as you know, people have laid memorials remembering their loved ones. High in the hills of Spain we prayed for all of our dead at our own memorial. 

Your prayers have been with us every step of this Camino in our rucksack and in our hearts. You sent us prayers about illness and death, concern for parents and for children, worries about the future, jobs and security but no matter the focus of your prayers a huge number of pilgrims also asked us to pray for this broken world, for the environment, for healing, for peace.

As pilgrims we walk the land, we see the cattle grazing in the field and the gossamer webs shimmering in the dawn light. We see the vast beauty of creation. It is no wonder we long for it to be better cherished for it is beautiful. 

As pilgrims our motto is to give what we can and take only what we need. We share our experiences and our food with each other willingly and we form many friendships – this is beautiful. 

And we walk the Holy Road to Santiago to achieve and maintain peace in our hearts and therefore in the world because above all peace is beautiful. 

We want to thank you for giving us the opportunity to carry your prayers, many of which are about our broken world. As we lay them before the tomb of Saint James we pray that together…

we can make beauty from brokenness.

22 thoughts on “THE CAMINO TURNS BROKENNESS INTO BEAUTY

  1. Thank you John and Stephen, I walked beside you every step. You made me laugh, you made me cry and you gave me the gift of memories of my own Camino in 2012. I know I will walk CF again, God willing in 2022 my 10 year anniversary. So much more I want to say to you both, but my cup is flowing over. Know, that you are in my prayers and I wish you well as we continue to Camino on during this pandemic. Light and Love Ingrid

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  2. Thank you! We thank God for you, for your sharing of your Camino, for your safe arrival in Santiago. Thank you for carrying our prayers for healing, for justice, for peace and for love. Many blessings.

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  3. John & Stephen, what a privilege to have shared your Camino. Daily, we have followed your route, praying that your weather stayed fair & your feet stayed strong 😊👍. Your story has been amazing & thank you Sean for assisting John & Stephen in posting their blog. Filled with daily accounts, photos, music & Stephen’s wonderful voice. We very much appreciate you walking whilst carrying our prayers & intentions with you. Sincere congratulations on your trip which will remain a lasting memory in our hearts. Enjoy your well earned rest as you hang up your boots for now. Thank you both once again. 👏👏👏👏😊😊😊👍

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  4. Magnificent effort. Well done, Enjoy your rest in the knowledge that you lifted the spirits of many. All those kilometres and a narrative and photos and videos ! Great achievement. Well done , again. D & J

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  5. John, Stephan I can not express all the feelings within my heart that I feel …. Thank You ….As I read your blogs my heart was crying , laughing but most of all felt that the love of this world still exists when you get still and give it all to God an that is what the Camino gives us a true personal relationship with our Lord…. Thank you and looking forward to seeing you in either 2021 of 2022

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  6. Did you ever see Jesus of Montreal? There was a character in that film, a woman who struggled theatrically to utter superlative superlatives… so let me just say: heartfelt thanks to you two and the supporting cast for a real, not celluloid gesture that has brought joy to all who have travelled with you.

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  7. “Jesus of Montreal” ? Yes, brilliant film !
    Thank you, John and Steve, for your roles in bringing Jesus (and so finding him) to all those places from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago. Jesus, and, of course, his best friend, James. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news !” (beautiful, but a bit blistered).
    !Buen Camino, hermanos !”

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  8. Thank you John and Stephen for walking for all of us and for carrying our prayers. Thank you also for sharing your pilgrimage with us all here – it feels like its over too soon!

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  9. Well done, our good and faithful servants! What a touching video, and fitting tribute to end your journey with. John, is that you playing “Love Changes Everything” during your narrative? A perfect choice. And, another heartbreakingly beautiful song to include at the end as well. This has provided me a lot to ponder today. There is hope for all of our future in Christ. And, I have hope for our present world, knowing that there are such good and kind people in it like you. Thank you again for walking for us, and for keeping us all in your hearts and prayers. We treasure the gift of service you have given. We hope that you will receive many blessings, and feel much joy.
    Sending love from Utah, Holly & Jeff

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  10. John and Stephen, Thank you so much for walking this Camino for us and carrying my prayer and that of all those others.
    Brokenness has turned into beauty in my life over this period.
    Thank you.

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  11. John and Stephen, thank you so much for walking this Camino for us and taking my prayer as well as all the other prayers with you.
    Brokenness has truly turned into beauty in my life over this period.
    Thank you

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  12. It has been a privilege to follow your Camino, and it has whetted my appetite to go again as soon as possible. Thank you John, Stephen et al.

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  13. Thanks John and Stephen for carrying my prayer also. Thanks for all the photos showing the electronic prayers on their journey to Santiago. Thanks for taking the time to photograph and describe your journey. Thanks for the videos, messages and blessings from those living along the Camino. Thanks for the uplifting music… We viewed one of your messages at a meeting of the Australian Friends of the Camino… Muchas Gracias for all that you did for those of us who couldn’t walk this year. Much appreciated!

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