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Madrid, Charmartin The One 8 June 2024

This is the last blog post for this Camino.

Yesterday evening we attended the Mass of the Feast of the Sacred Heart at Inglesia de San Agostino with Johnnie Walker (playing the organ) and his friend Stephan singing. The Mass was officiated by the Archbishop with several other priests assisting. While we did not understand anything it was an interesting ceremony with great vocals provide by Stephen. Paul and I had seats in the second row just in front of the organ. During the Mass John presented both of us with a copy of his book, “It’s About Time, A Call to the Camino de Santiago”

The church was full, which is unusual for most Churches in Spain with the exception of the Cathedral in Santiago which fills to overflowing every day for the midday pilgrim Mass.

After the Mass there was a procession through the streets with the statue of Jesus (with his heart exposed) leading the way on its newly manufactured carriage. Apparently the statue is very heavy and after a near disaster last year it was decided to mount it on wheels instead of carrying by the conventional method of on the parishioners shoulders.

The procession included the Archbishop and his entourage, four ladies dressed in black traditional costume, a band, various church officials and the congregation.

After the Mass we had a drink with John and Stephen followed by another with friends Tony and Johan.

Today we travelled by train to Madrid where it started to rain. The past five weeks have been dry and sunny and excellent walking weather with only a little rain at night while I was on the Aragones.

This year Paul has walked in excess of 350km and my total exceeded 450km.

Tomorrow we head for home. Paul goes to Abu Dhabi for a few days before returning to Melbourne with his son, daughter in law and grandson and I head straight for Melbourne.

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1 commentaire

Veronique Helmridge-Marsillian
Veronique Helmridge-Marsillian
08 juin

Congratulations on your successful journey: mostly sun, no mishaps, no brigands, no starvation, and reaching the end on time.

Your experience was truly traditional, as this early 19th century engraving shows. You had the storks, the hound (though your hound was a local), the hen, the wayside pillars, the occasional statues, the stones of suffering, the staff, and the weary expression. All that was missing were the ships (replaced by trains), and a pet peregrine falcon ( the "pilgrim bird").

As your reader, I have enjoyed sharing your peregrination… which I now need not do myself! Cheers to you and yours—

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