Paul, USA

The Camino de Santiago was more than that for which I had prayed. I am so thankful for the time God allowed for me to take this journey of heart, soul and mind. I walked alone and you should too. But you’re never really alone.

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“The Camino de Santiago was more than that for which I had prayed. I am so thankful for the time God allowed for me to take this journey of heart, soul and mind. I walked alone and you should too. But you’re never really alone.

On my first day, at the top of the Pyrenees, I walked up to the statue of our Mother Mary and began to sob uncontrollably. I attribute many miracles to praying the rosary in the past decade and I felt a deep sense of gratitude in that moment. In that moment, I also think all the anxiety of over planning my first Camino left me as I fully embraced I would indeed make it 800 kilometers to Santiago. Such a relief and release of anxiousness flowed from me in joyful tears. Within a week or so your mind begins to shift. What was important the week before becomes irrelevant, and all that matters is physical health, water, food, and shelter. Who knew life could be so simple?

The Way affords undistributed time for introspection and prayer while kindred spirits from every corner of the world plod along in unison on a common goal of reaching Santiago. Reduced to only what you carry on your back and your body will allow in a day, the sameness of all people is exemplified in meaningful conversations which continue as long as the pace remains mutual. In this and them, I saw and learned about myself while a global bonding gestated. It is amazing what is shared when you have uninterrupted time for discussion. Being and working to stay in the moment is something I will carry forward amid the distractions that make up our typical day.

Though 60% of those walking are doing it for sport, there is an incredible spiritual presence which nudges everyone closer to Christ as you walk through hundreds of small agrarian towns always centered around Catholic Churches. Where I have always evangelized about the unique longevity of our faith, being in and praying at Churches hundreds of years old, built by the sacrifices of 60 generations, and treading a path walked for 1200 years by other pilgrims has catalyzed my belief that ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail’ despite the mayhem we see here. I will do my part to perpetuate the faith while recognizing everyone’s way and pace is their own.”

-Paul, USA

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Keith, USA

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