Friday, October 25, 2019 - Updated: 4:52 pm
Fifteen people have committed to join the spring 2020 walking pilgrimage of the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) in Spain, sponsored by the Pittsburgh Catholic.
The journey, from April 22-May 1, will include five days of walking the route for about 100 kilometers to Santiago de Compostela, where pilgrims have venerated the final resting place of St. James the apostle for more than 1,000 years. The cathedral in Santiago is believed to house the saint’s remains, which were carried from Jerusalem after his death, according to legend.
Though people walk the Camino for many different reasons — to experience the physical and emotional challenge; to have fun with like-minded friends; to clear their mind after a traumatic personal event — this trip will highlight the spiritual benefits of the journey.
“Our aim will be to make this a prayerful trip, embracing the peace that attracted the original pilgrims in medieval times,” said William Cone, editor of the Pittsburgh Catholic and one of the tour leaders.
The itinerary includes flights from Pittsburgh to Madrid, with a quick tour of Spain’s capital city. The Camino leg of the trip will begin in the town of Sarria, with the group departing on foot April 24, bound for Santiago de Compostela.
Overnight stops along the way will be in Portomarin, Palas de Rei, Arzua and A Rúa. The group’s joyful entrance to Santiago will be April 28.
A private motor coach will be used to carry the pilgrims’ luggage from one hotel to the next, helping to lighten their load and offering assistance in case anyone has physical problems.
After completing the Camino, the group is scheduled to visit Cape Finisterre, a peninsula on the west coast of Spain that people in Roman times called “the end of the world.” Visiting the coastal town is the traditional conclusion of the Camino pilgrimage.
The pilgrims will then head to Fatima, Portugal, where Mary appeared to three shepherd children in 1917 and the miracle of the spinning sun was viewed by more than 50,000 people. They will head home from Lisbon, Portugal.
There is space in the group for nine more travelers, so anyone thinking about going on the trip should contact Cone at 412-471-1252, ext. 3574, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for a full itinerary and travel agreement.
The cost is $3,899 per person, which includes round-trip airfare; air-conditioned motor coach; hotels with private baths (double occupancy; single-room supplement is $378); breakfasts and dinners; and picnic lunches on the Camino.