Thursday, November 17, 2016

Camino Pictures

Pictures of Roy, Tom and Emil on their way to Santiago de Compostela.
 Roy

Tom

Emil

Began their walk early each day.
They walked for 11 days and saw 11 consecutive sunrises.

Went through fields and mountains......
Hot sun and rugged roads.......
 Morning mists....
Against rains, on muddy roads, into small hamlets.....
Hard climb.........
Tough elevations......
Dangerous declines....
Rocky and stony paths......

Hot and harsh days......
Rested on communal hostels......
With blistered toes, painful ankles, aching feet and legs, sore muscles and other body pains...
Eating breakfast
Dinning with fellow pilgrims
Taking the hard Spanish bread.....
Big meals......
Drinking beers.......
Taking pictures.......
Almost lost......
Magical moments.
Better roads....
Half way through
Entering towns....
Town hall
Almost there, few more days....
4.7 kilometers to destination
Santiago de Compostela!!! They made it!!! Congratulations!!!
To the Cathedral
Inside the church
Documents of pilgrimage
Cheers and hugs from fellow pilgrims....
Buen Camino!!!


( Pictures saved and journey condensed from their facebook accounts.)


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Camino de Santiago

My children Roy, Tom, Emil went to Spain last October 22 to do the Camino Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage. They enplaned from their homes and met in Madrid. The Camino was a walking pilgrimage to the shrine where St. James the apostle was buried. It had many starting points. My children began their walk from Astorga. They sort of planned this trip two years ago. They had other commitments but they were set to do this task together for two weeks.

Emil had to shed weight for he was kind of leaning into obesity. His girlfriend Sui Ling helped him in the process and he was able to lose around 30 pounds before he embarked on this journey. Their Canadian cousin Sharleen who had been into this pilgrimage several times before gave them lots of tips. Everybody else in the family gave their moral support. This mother though, although encouraging was really scared. My children were more sickly than other kids when they were young. Roy was a severe asthmatic, highly allergic to dust, pollens, shellfish and many others. He was under asthma medication, even until now. Tom, although the more athletic boy, had problems with flat feet and bad back. Emil, my youngest son was short, stocky and clumsy. He easily hurt and bruised physically. They all had different temperaments and they had not live with each other for awhile since college. So even before their journey began, I was already admonishing them to be patient with one other and not to quarrel.

This pilgrimage was religious in nature. My boys were practicing Catholics. For one, they were all Sunday mass goers. When their plan to walk pushed through to commence this October, I was kind of comforted that they were doing the camino during the month of October- the month of the holy rosary; and in the year 2016 which was the jubilee year of  mercy. For surely God will be merciful to them.

So I followed their journey everyday........Emil and Roy were posting their daily walk on facebook, while Tom shared information once in awhile. Emil gave a more detailed account, and Roy was posting more on the highlights of the travel. I experienced joy and emotional pain and concerns for their well being. True to my prediction, Emil was having the hardest time of all. They walked through rugged road, mud, stones, wind, rain, fog, burning sun, steep elevation and deep decline, even on cow dungs etc. Emil had blisters on all his toes, Tom was walking crookedly, Roy with ankle pains, not to mention other sores and issues. They slept on communal hostel but they got to eat good meal after a hard day trek. I was wretched and miserable, afraid they might not get to Compostela on time. Their schedule was too tight, no allowance for extra days. I was so afraid they might not make it. They did not have the leisure to do another come back. So I prayed constantly for God to have mercy on my sons. I asked for the blessed Mother to assist them as she did St. James and for their guardian angels to guide them on their way. For me, it was so important for them to finish this walk. Their self confidence and faith were at stake. At one point I also asked for the assistance of Archangel Gabriel, whom my son Emil was named after for Emil's full name was Emil Gabriel.

I went to church to pray for them. Inside the church, I looked at Jesus on the cross, now I understood more clearly how hard was his walk to Calvary. He walked with thorns on his head and blood flowing on his face. His body was covered with sores and wounds from cruel scourging, blisters on his feet and to add it all, a very heavy cross to carry on his shoulder. He fell trice from the weight of the cross, scraping his knees and elbows........He suffered so on his way to Calvary.

I looked at the statue of St. Joseph. He traveled from Galilee to Bethlehem with a pregnant wife, Mary. He walked with the help of a stick and attended to Mary. So noble of him. They had no inn to stay and Mary gave birth to the child Jesus on a stable. After Bethlehem, they walked to Egypt with the infant under the harsh Middle East weather - St. Joseph, now I see more clearly why you have a walking staff on your hand,

And St. James, on your way to Spain to preach the good news of the Lord, you encountered so much pain and hardship, that you called on our blessed Mother for help and she came appearing to you on a pillar, although she was actually bodily far away living in Greece during that time. She came and promised to help. This was her first miraculous appearance according to our Roman Catholic tradition. St. James, you made it to Spain and successfully preached the gospel of the Lord - "St. James, my children are on their way to Santiago Compostela. Please help them too."

And when Roy, Tom and Emil finally reached Compostela, From the picture posted by Tom, their faces were etched with pain and so much joy, I was equally overwhelmed with joy and emotion.Their pilgrimage was my pilgrimage too. Thank you O Lord! Despite their hardship, you brought them whole and safely and soundly to their destination. Thank you our blessed mother, Thank you too to all the angels and saints. Thank you so much.

Buen Camino!