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.“