Rachel Zamarron is a staff member for the Register. She often works behind the scenes, but she also touches our readers through customer service. Recently married to her sweetheart Sam, they enjoy the adventures of life hand in hand.
Why does one go on a pilgrimage? That question has been asked and answered by countless people throughout history. Today we especially ask the question when people travel the Camino de Santiago. For our EWTN crew, the question is quite simple. We are here to shine a light on the Apostle Saint James.
The Camino de Santiago, also known in English as the Way of St. James, is the name of any of several pilgrimage routes to the shrine of the apostle St. James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. We are walking it to give you a taste of the Camino, but especially to reintroduce this great saint at the heart of this famous pilgrimage.
More than 200,000 pilgrims make this journey each year. The number has fluctuated over time, but the pilgrims have arrived in a steady stream since the tomb of St. James was rediscovered in the the 9th century.
The stories behind our pilgrims are wide and varied. Ruth Eby of Whitehouse, Ohio made her to decision to go on this Camino in part because she will soon be an empty nester. She is on the journey here with her husband Paul. This is a time of transition for them and they are hoping to discover what new path Christ may be calling them to. The two of them have been involved with Eagle Eye Ministries for several years, as their seven children have all worked on that apostolate with Father Nathan Cromley. When they heard about the Camino they signed up immediately. Ruth tells me that she is especially looking forward to time away from thinking about dishes, laundry and other chores, and instead having time just to be with Christ. Ruth has enjoyed getting to know her fellow pilgrims as the journey has gotten underway. “I love them all”, she tells me, “especially the ones I have had a chance to walk with and talk with and get their prayer intentions.” She says she is “just happy to love new people”. She is also carrying with her the many prayer intentions of her friends and offering this trip especially for her children. Her beautiful wish for the Camino is to give back more then she gets out of the trip.
Renee Polka is also carrying with her many prayer intentions. Before she left her home state of Texas, she posted on social media that she was going on a Camino and would be taking prayer intentions. She tells me she couldn’t believe the number of responses she got from people sharing their deeply personal struggles. She feels so honored to be able to take all of those prayer intentions with her and honor the people who entrusted them to her. What initially brought her on the Camino was a sense of adventure. She feels if she walks into it with that idea, then “miracles are going to happen”.
Prayer is the main thread holding this whole adventure together. If you would like to be a part of the daily Masses offered from this Camino journey, please join the EWTN Facebook group and comment on a prayer intentions post. We are remembering all of you on our journey and in each daily Mass!
Please pray for us to have a Buen Camino!
Register Staff member Rachel Zamarron is writing from the Portuguese (Central route) Camino. She is journeying with EWTN’s team as they film a new documentary on Saint James, Apostle of the Way.