There is such power and value in sharing stories and legends.
Sharing our stories connects us as humans, and gives us a deeper understanding of each other, and our unique impressions of the world around us.
Some stories are enticing and entertaining and this one I am about to share always makes me smile.
Smile, in thought.
THe ghost pilgrim legend
The pilgrimage, and in particular the Camino de Santiago is steeped in history, tradition and legends. Pilgrims who have walked the various trails to the ancient city of Santiago de Compostela can attest to that.
This story of the Ghost Pilgrim is one of those legendary stories.
As the city starts to turn on its lights the shadows around the gothic, Baroque architecture of the Cathedral start to come alive. This particular shadow has a story to tell.
Or a few stories to tell.
the shadow on the wall
The title photo shows us a steely shadow of what looks like a pilgrim hiding in an outer enclave of the Cathedral wall.
Legend has it that this is the figure of a priest who had fallen in love with a nun, who was resident in the neighbouring Convent of San Paio. Over time the priest asked her to run away with him, and they planned to meet at that spot to do so.
He waited and waited and even though his love did not join him, he remains in wait today.
This is the shadow we see.
a darker version of the legend
A more macabre tale of this shadowy figure is the figure of a French pilgrim who supposedly murdered his father to gather his wealth.
After being tried and committed to prison, he was apparently sent to the Camino to walk as part of his penance. Having taken this journey, I am mindful that in those days long ago, walking pilgrimage could very well have been a punishment, as opposed to the wonderous experience I had!
In any event, and as the story is told, this pilgrim didn’t learn much about the first commandment because he was accused of committing murders along the path! Go figure?!
Upon arriving in Santiago de Compostela, he found no place to rest and fell asleep in front of the Cathedral. His father’s spirit came to him and told his son that he would be forgiven for killing him but not for murdering the others along the trail.
I imagine in anger the pilgrim tried to slay the spirit of his father, who very quickly drew a sword and plunged it into the chest of his son!
If you don’t believe in the love story, the shadow is this pilgrim who now awaits the return of those he murdered along the trail.
He still waits.
as legends and stories move through time
I wonder whether these legends will change as the face of the Camino changes?
As we know, heritage and culture from bygone eras are often diluted, changed to fit circumstances, and increase in popularity over time.
This is why telling our stories is such an important part of being a part of humanity.
They grow with us and entrench our existence through time.
people care about stories
And this is why.
- They can change the course of history.
- From nothing our imaginations create tales that form part of who we are.
- A story told is the ultimate “debrief” and has the potential to create healing.
- A story can stop us in our tracks and move us into a whole different way of thinking.
I like the love story
I believe in hope and living life with passion.
There is no doubt that the priest and the nun, saw things a little differently and aside from the unhappy ending, it is happier than those poor murdered souls.
I believe in being happy too, so I do generally always flip to the “happy version” of stories.
I love sharing stories too, and wherever and whenever you can, share yours too.
They can change the course of history.