Camino de Santiago de Compostela

Camino 1 -Catherdral de Santiago de Compostela - from wikimedia commons

The Camino de Santiago de Compostela – or The Way of St James of Compostela– is one of the most famous and devoutly attended pilgrimages in the world, springing to mind along with the routes to Lourdes and the Hajj to Mecca. Sunday December 1st was the annual general meeting of the Irish Society of the Friends of St James, at the Doubletree Hilton Hotel, Upper Lesson Street. 2013 marks the 21st anniversary of the Society, which was founded to raise awareness of the pilgrimage and preserve and safeguard monuments and works of art related to this venerable sacred route.


There are a variety of routes to Santiago de Compostela, the most popular being the Via Regia (the Royal Highway), a historic route much used in the medieval era when the Camino was established as a contemplative journey.


In the days before low-cost international travel, Irish pilgrims could not, of course, begin their journey in Southern France or Northern Spain. The traditional setting-off point from Ireland was St. James’ Gate, near a shrine of the Saint himself. Special passports were available for pilgrims, a tradition which continues to this day.


These Camino passports are available for purchase today from St James’s Church on James’s Street for those wishing to walk a route to the site of the Saint’s mortal remains.


For more details, contact 01 453 1143: the Sacristy is open between 9 and 12 am, and don’t forget to have your passport stamped!


By Rúairí Conneely