A Pilgrims Journey

The Camino de Santiago or the Way of St. James: A curated reading list

The Camino de Santiago or the Way of St. James is a spiritual journey that pilgrims of all faiths and backgrounds have traversed for over a thousand years.

This Camino route covers 800 kilometers that traverses an idyllic northern Spanish countryside. By following the yellow painted arrows marking the road, a pilgrim can expect to walk 12-15 miles a day to reach the next town for the night. At this pace, a pilgrim can reach the Cathedral de Santiago in 6 to 8 weeks time to attend the Pilgrim’s Mass held at noon each day. Some take more time, others less. Some choose to travel by bike, and some have done the Camino on horseback. Along the way travelers encounter albergues, refugios and casa rurals that cater specifically to the thousands of pilgrims of all ages that take this journey each year, immersing themselves in the local food, culture and history dedicated to this experience.

Pilgrims guide Camino de SantiagoA Pilgrim’s Guide to the Camino de Santiago: St. Jean – Roncesvalles – Santiago  by John Brierley

This is the must have guidebook for the route. A Pilgrim’s Guide to the Camino de Santiago is in it’s 11th edition. 288 pages paperback in full color including *Overview route planner *33 daily stage maps showing optional routes *33 Contour guides *List of pilgrim hostels and alternative accommodation *14 Town plans *Practical notes on preparation including *Equipment and clothing checklist *Dictionary with basic pilgrim phrases *Historical notes and places of special interest. In addition to the physical route there are pointers to the *Mystical path with *Inspirational quotations space for *Personal reflections and a *Self-assessment questionnaire to help prepare for the inner journey. All this designed to fit easily into your pocket. The guide is now smaller than previous editions and designed to fit easily into your pocket measuring only 12 cm x 19 cm and weighing a mere 287 grams.

Now updated to include newer maps and photos — and lighter in weight to support carefree traveling, this comprehensive guidebook to the Camino de Santiago and its offshoots contains all the information needed by modern-day pilgrims wishing to walk the sacred Way of St. James.

7 Tips to make the most of the Camino de SantigoSeven Tips to Make the Most of the Camino de Santiago by Cheri Powell

Seven Tips to Make the Most of the Camino de Santiago is unique among Camino books. It is not a guide book for the trail. Instead it gives practical advice about preparing for a spiritual pilgrimage. This second edition has been updated to reflect the current needs of anyone thinking about walking or biking the Camino. Preparation covers the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and logistical requirements for a successful journey. The reader is invited to look inward, reflect on individual expectations, and set realistic goals. The spiritual journey starts with you. This book will help you get there.

A Million StepsA Million Steps by Kurt Kootz

Kurt Koontz thought he was well prepared for his 490-mile walking trip on the historic Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in Spain. He was fit and strong. He had a good guidebook and all the right equipment. His pilgrim passport would grant him access to the shelter of hostels along the way. But all that, however helpful, did not begin to encompass the grandeur of his external or internal adventure. A Million Steps climbs over the high meadows of the Pyrenees, quests through the unceasing wind of the Meseta, and dances in the rains of Galicia. While following the yellow arrows that mark the route, Koontz also navigates through his personal history of addiction, recovery, and love. With outgoing humor and friendliness, he embraces the beauty of the countryside and joyful connections to other pilgrims from around the world. Part diary, part travelogue, A Million Steps is a journey within a journey all the way to the Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela and beyond.

To the Field of StarsTo the Field of Stars: A Pilgrim’s Journey to Santiago de Compostela by Kevin Codd

“I am about to share here a story about stars that dance. . . . If the very thought of seeing stars dance piques your curiosity at some deep level of your soul, then pay attention to what follows, for the walk to the Field of Stars, to Santiago de Compostela, is a journey that has the power to change lives forever.”
– from the introduction

“Pilgrimage” is a strange notion to our modern, practical minds. How many of us have walked to a distant holy place in order to draw nearer to God? Yet the pilgrimage experience is growing these days in various parts of the world.

Seeking to take stock of his life, Kevin Codd set out in July 2003 on a pilgrimage that would profoundly change his life. To the Field of Stars tells the fascinating story of his unusual spiritual and physical journey on foot across Spain to Santiago de Compostela, the traditional burial place of the apostle James the Greater. Each brief chapter chronicling Codd’s thirty-five-day trek is dedicated to one or two days on the road. Codd shares tales of other pilgrims, his own changes of perspective, and his challenges and triumphs along the way – all told with a disarming candor.

Seen through the eyes of a Catholic priest who honors the religious worldview that originally gave rise to these medieval odysseys, “pilgrimage” comes to life and takes on new meaning in these pages.

The Pilgrimage Road to SantiagoThe Pilgrimage Road to Santiago: The Complete Cultural Handbook by David Gitlitz

The road across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela in the northwest was one of the three major Christian pilgrimage routes during the Middle Ages, leading pilgrims to the resting place of the Apostle St. James. Today, the system of trails and roads that made up the old pilgrimage route is the most popular long-distance trail in Europe, winding from the heights of the Pyrenees to the gently rolling fields and woods of Galicia. Hundreds of thousands of modern-day pilgrims, art lovers, historians, and adventurers retrace the road today, traveling through a stunningly varied landscape which contains some of the most extraordinary art and architecture in the western world. For any visitor, the Road to Santiago is a treasure trove of historical sites, rustic Spanish villages, churches and cathedrals, and religious art.
To fully appreciate the riches of this unique route, look no further than “The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago,” a fascinating step-by-step guide to the cultural history of the Road for pilgrims, hikers, and armchair travelers alike. Organized geographically, the book covers aspects of the terrain, places of interest, history, artistic monuments, and each town and village’s historical relationship to the pilgrimage.
The authors have led five student treks along the Road, studying the art, architecture, and cultural sites of the pilgrimage road from southern France to Compostela. Their lectures, based on twenty-five years of pilgrimage scholarship and fieldwork, were the starting point for this handbook.

Keeping CompanyKeeping Company with Saint Ignatius: Walking the Camino de Santiago de Compostela by Luke Larson

When Luke Larson and his wife Evie embarked on a 500-mile pilgrimage across northern Spain, their purpose was to experience walking as a way of keeping company with Jesus and his companions, of both earth and heaven, such as Saint Ignatius of Loyola. “Keeping Company” is filled with personal, luminously candid, and often amusing stories of the couple’s experiences along the Way of Saint James. More than anything, this book invites you to step off the treadmill of self-effort in your quest to experience God more intimately through the spiritual practice of walking, literally, with God.

 

 

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