by Rev. Kerry Smith

I am going on a pilgrimage! I will be walking the Camino de Santiago with my mom in Spain.  My mom and I love to walk and we have walked 60 miles in the Komen 3-Day many times. The entire Camino is 491 miles, but we are only walking the last 91 miles. We’re walking the Portuguese Camino which starts in Portugal and goes along the west coast of Spain.

The Camino de Santiago is known in English as the Way of St. James and leads to the shrine of St. James in the cathedral where tradition says his remains reside. Legend says St. James traveled to Spain to share the good news of Jesus and he returned to Jerusalem when he had a vision of the Virgin Mary. Legend says two of his followers, Theodore and Athanasius, went with him back to Jerusalem where James was martyred by Herod. James’ two followers stole his body and carried it onto a rudderless boat. The boat drifted to Spain where James’ body was laid to rest. In the 800s James’ tomb was rediscovered. Recent excavations under the nave of the cathedral has found an ancient cemetery with graves dating from the first century B.C. until the end of the sixth century A.D. In the 830s a simple chapel was built over James’ tomb, and work began on the present-day cathedral in 1075.

The pilgrimage has been around since the 10th century, and in 1492 it was declared one of the three great pilgrimages of Christendom by Pope Alexander VI.  200,000 pilgrims walk the Camino each year. A friend told me going on a pilgrimage like the Camino de Santiago is like going on a long walk with someone you love. I guess she could have meant that someone you love was God or yourself, but I am blessed because I will be walking with my mom!

The longest we will walk in one day is 16 miles, and we have a day off in the middle at the beach! We have been training, wearing our hiking boots and walking with poles as we walked more and more miles. We have walked around White Rock Lake a few times and we are ready (we hope!). My prayer is that it will be a time of growing closer to God. If you could go on a pilgrimage, where would you want to go?


Kelly Drake - April 27th, 2023 at 1:40pm

Simply wonderful. Enjoy your time together. Enjoy the the time of reflection & contemplation. Hugs to you both!!!

Suzanne Snow - April 27th, 2023 at 5:15pm

Definitely treasure this time with your mom! Mine has been gone for 20 years and I miss her every day.

Larry Pennington - April 27th, 2023 at 5:56pm

Enjoy your pilgrimage with your mother and your time together. St James, also called James, son of Zebedee, or James the Greater, (born, Galilee, Palestine—died 44 CE, Jerusalem; feast day July 25), one of the Twelve Apostles, distinguished as being in Jesus’ innermost circle and the only apostle whose martyrdom is recorded in the New Testament (Acts 12:2). James was beheaded by order of King Herod Agrippa I of Judaea; according to Spanish tradition, his body was taken to Santiago de Compostela, where his shrine attracts Christian pilgrims from all over the world.