Friday, October 8, 2010

Hugging the Saint

Hello everyone,

We received our Compostela (certificate of completion) today from the pilgrims office in Santiago.  We also received our final two stamps of our trip on our pilgrim credentials.  Throughout the journey to Santiago we stopped in many towns, large and small, and at each one we received a stamp that was unique to either the town, bar, church, or albergue where we stopped.  I had just enough room for one final space on my credential, which I will try to upload in a future post, and then a spot next to my name certifying completion of the Camino.  It was pretty cool to get the final stamp and the Compostela, but I think I am still trying to process the fact that we are actually done with the journey.

It is hard to believe that exactly a month ago, today, we began our journey, not quite sure of what it was going to bring us.  I think it will be the type of thing that will hit me once I arrive back home and I can process it there.

As for now, we still have 5 days or so left in Europe and we aren´t going to let them go to waste.  We just got back from a trip to the bus and train stations in Santiago where we purchased our tickets to and from Fatima, Portugal.  We are leaving Santiago tomorrow morning by bus and arriving in the early evening in Fatima.  We booked a room at the Domus Pacis, the hotel of choice for the Fatima Peace Pilgrimage coordinated by The Te Deum Foundation every summer.  We leave Fatima on Monday evening for Madrid via Lisbon.  We bought night train tickets to Madrid but unfortunately didn´t get a bed, so I am going to have to pop an ambien :-)

We are off to grab a little bit to eat before meeting up with a Slovenian couple who we met on the Camino.  They are a great couple and a lot of fun to hang out with, so we are going to go get some dinner with them.  The wife is particularly funny with her frequent use of "I keel you" when speaking to her husband.  Pray for them.  They, like many people we met, are fallen away Catholics who because of ridiculous stuff have been pushed away.  Their priests have preached some pretty terrible things from the pulpit in regards to charity towards one´s neighbors.  It has to do with the wars and strife that have been a problem in the region for the past 20 years and the hatred between the countries.  Anywho, because of this being preached, and some other things, they haven´t been to Church on a regular basis in a long time.  Pray for them.

Alrighty, thanks for continuing to check out the blog.  One more week or so before I sign off.  Looking forward to being back home.  Much love.


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