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Response to Father Christopher Howse’s article in the Telegraph on the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela


I am pleased to see someone underlining the risk of spiritual pride that a pure works-religion thing like a pilgrimage can bring. If my understanding is not wrong, pilgrimages started in Spain after the moors got cleared out and the common people needed to be appeased as that was one thing they had appreciated under Islam – a bit like the way in East Europe newly westernised states keep the communist holidays but rename them, as the communists did previously in some cases to the religious ones. The charm of pilgrimage in the mediaeval times was that it was the one time the feudal system was cast aside, and both serf and master would tread a road together. Relieved from their onerous chores and welcomed with refreshments along the way, the medieval pilgrimage was the nearest thing they had to the company outing, and the fashion spread out across the Catholic world from Spain. Read the rest of this entry

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