Normally, one treats oneself to a vacation for body and soul. Then the motto is 'relax' and enjoy your own or other cultures. The pilgrimage is intended as a vacation for the soul, to ventilate it well with the breath of God.
The way is the goal - this phrase is the guiding slogan on the Way of St. James. This pilgrimage route has existed since the Middle Ages. In the beginning was the way. Then came bridges, monasteries, hospices, hostels, churches and cathedrals.
The path is an encounter with history. 1000 years are present at the same time. Who opens his eyes, sees the many medieval, Romanesque and Gothic buildings and enjoys them. He sees the baroque palaces and gardens, but also war relics from the two world wars. The path passes by UNESCO cultural sites. Especially on the Spanish part of the path, they have been almost completely preserved by a huge stroke of cultural-historical luck. Neither the bombings in the Second World War, nor the iconoclasts of the Reformation could do much damage here. Also, since the Middle Ages, over several centuries, there must always have been money for sacred buildings here. This is the only way to explain that many a Gothic cathedral could be completely finished.
The Way is an encounter with foreign people, fellow pilgrims from many nations and all the volunteers who take care of the Way and its hostels.
The path is an encounter with yourself. Far away from everyday life you lead a different, more modest life. You learn how little you need to live and that everything else is ballast. Everything superfluous weighs heavy and you don't want to carry it. Your thoughts become free and you find time for prayer and meditation..
If you think you make the way, you are mistaken. The way makes you!
Maybe the path for you is an encounter with God?
The pilgrimage certificate, the Compostela now hangs on my wall, but pilgrimage does not stop - it has become a passion. That's why I hike on pilgrimage routes in Europe.
Various things along the way occupy my mind.
- How to become a pilgrim?
- Thoughts on St. James - how does St. James work? -
- How can God listen to me? Where can I find him?
- Stories on the side of the Way of St. James, such as the miracle of the gallows and chickens.
- Saints that one always encounters along the way and their veneration.
This is how I became aware of Sainte Foy, Saint Fides, in Conques,,
in Austria, I kept coming across the "Mariahilfbild".
and dozens of Nepomuks line the way as bridge saints.
- Testimonies from the long history of Europe.