In the year 40AD the Apostle James was in Spain and having difficulty converting souls to Christianity. He prayed to Mother Mary for help and guidance, and miraculously she appeared to him in Zaragosa, Spain. She instructed him be as strong as a pillar and thus began the reference to Mary of the Pillar. St. James later returned to Rome and was martyred. His body was brought back to Spain and buried at Santiago de Compostela.
For the past 2000 years, millions of Pilgrims have walked the path of St. James and found peace, received absolution for sins, or received answers to their prayers. Ironically, we can now see that what St. James was unable to accomplish during his lifetime was accomplished after his death.
After seven years of prayer, my wife Gloria and I were able to make this Pilgrimage of Penance. For this we are very grateful and wish to share with you some of the highlights of this journey – both the physical path and the spiritual journey.
We began our journey at the Shrine of our Lady of Fatima where we asked for her blessing as we began our pilgrimage. Throughout our journey we carried prayer rocks and petitions on behalf of many who had asked us and others whom we knew were in need.
Our Coastal Portuguese Camino was uphill, downhill, through forest glades, flowing brooks and along the ocean shores. We prayed many Rosaries and hundreds of Hail Marys. We met people from far away countries such as South Africa, Paraguay, Switzerland, Australia, and many others. We hailed each other with the standard greeting of Buen Camino. Each pilgrim carried their own cross, seeking answers to prayers. In the midst of the numerous people there was a constant prayerful silence in each of us. After placing the prayer stones in a flowing brook, my backpack felt light; but the reduction in physical weight was nothing compared to the spiritual weight that lifted.
A Miracle Revealed:
On the 4th day we entered a Church
and prayed for someone undergoing a major surgery. We lit a single candle but after a few seconds, all 5 rows (64 candles) spontaneously lit up. Later we come to know that the surgery was successful! The rewards of this St. James path are a deep mystery. We were witnesses to numerous miracles and signs of God’s Grace revealed to Pilgrims in many ways. Many Pilgrims shared testimonials of miracles and prayers answered.
This journey is a wonderful and rewarding experience which words alone cannot express. It is both physically and spiritually uplifting. We encourage anyone who would like to experience The Camio to Do It! It’s not about getting there; it is about being there.