Martin Sheen (who is in fact Spanish – or rather Galician) has done a very moving movie on the Camino de Santiago – “The Way.” It will be released July 25 (the Feast of St James) in a Holy Year for the Camino, because this year the Feast of St. James falls on a Sunday.
I, Deo volente – Dios mediante, will begin the Camino on September 20, and arrive in Santiago on All Saints Day (La Fiesta de Todos los Santos).
The plot is heart-rending: a widower loses his son, who is killed as he begins the Camino. The father resolves to walk the Camino with the ashes of his son – and learns a lot along the way.
From the memoirs I have read, the story is all too probable. The very first day of the Camino, leaving from St. Jean Pied du Port and climbing over the Pyrenees, is in fact the most dangerous, and every year someone dies.(There is an alternative route I have promised my wife I will take if the weather looks threatening).
Sometimes people walk the Camino with a sick family member to pray for healing. The family member dies on the Camino, and the survivor comes back to complete it for him. And all along the way are the crucifixes, and the pilgrims kiss the bleeding feet of Jesus, as their feet (all too often) bleed too.