Compostela pilgrims return home
Last Thursday, 27 pilgrims from Mullingar arrived back in the parish after completing the 112 km pilgrim walk from Sarrai to the City of St James, Compostela.
Mullingar's heritage is closely associated with the Camino and Compostela as the bodies of the Augustinian monks found on Austin Friars Street in 1996 had scallop shells, suggesting they had done the walk.
Speaking at the end of the pilgrimage, Fr Michael said: "We were delighted to have finished the walk and that everyone survived the five day trek. We walked together as a group into the city of Compostela. We took every opportunity to tell other pilgrims about the links between the Mullingar monks in Austin Friars Street and the medieval camino. I was really struck by the international mix of pilgrims we met, especially the number of young adults taking the walk for a whole variety of personal reasons. In the early mornings, setting out on our walk at 7am, the silence in the hill countryside was peaceful, giving us a chance to gather our thoughts and to bring our loved ones along in our prayers. The highpoint of the pilgrimage was the Pilgrim Mass in the Cathedral of Compostela. Although we were proud to have our pilgrim passports stamped at the end of the walk, I think that our blisters and bruses were evidence enough that our pilgrimage was done."
Fr Michael thanks parishioners for the generous donations received on the Feast of St James this year which are going towards a memorial for the pilgrims buried in the Cathedral grounds.
Below are some photos from the pilgrimage.