11 October, 2017Wishing for A Botafumerio
SONG: Alléluia – Any version will do but I love kd Lang’s best
BOOK: Finishing Stay With Me and it is a very well written and powerful story
I got up, knowing I was heading into Santiago and would be there early enough in the day that I could find my Albergue and still get to the office to get my papers. Of course it was more convuluted than that…I was in Santiago long before I figured it out, and then of course my albergue was all the way across town and up a whole lot of stairs. It was one of those days for meeting a lot of people who did or did not know what I was saying, but did try to help keep me going towards my destination.
The hospitalière who welcomed me and signed me in when I finally arrived just put a huge dollop of love on top of everything with his really sweet welcome! I put my things in the lockers provided in the basement of the Monasterio Menor (which I think is still partially an operating monastery.)
With many more directs and redirects, I got to the Pilgrim’s Office which is poorly marked and off the beaten path. I was not the only one to have the bad time…and sharing bad times is such a special thing!
It was 2 hours standing in line (much more painful than walking) before I arrived in front of the guy from Oregon who was volunteering for the week and making us, one by one, true and verified pilgrims.
I got two certifications and will be able to give one to Kim Nees and one to Mary Pieszko who now have more than a million steps banked for them to use whenever they need them! Lucy will get my Passport which will hopefully served as inspiration for her own adventures, however they take form. This will remind her that there always is A WAY!!!!!!
I ate fried calamari and had a most delicious glass of white wine to celebrate, and then made my way back to the albergue. I got completely lost, not once, but twice…so I circled Santiago almost 3 times in the same day…sad face emoji…
The next morning I headed back to the Cathedral center and the hope that there would be the giant incensing event with the Botifumiero that is so incredible. It is chance-y as it is only a guaranteed occurence on the high holy days and after that it is dependent on sponsorship by some group who is willing to pay for it…to the tune of $400 per event. There are groups that do sponsor it and my hope was for one to have done so for this very day…
I got there early just to see the interior of the cathedral and got a nice seat in the general seating area. I was next to a Polish woman with a wheeled walker and she spoke a little English. We both agreed that we were truly excited.
Well our hopes were met and tripled…someone pretty important was in town, as we got a High Mass, concellebrated by 24 priests and led by a Bishop/Cardinal…he actually had 2 hats and I was not sure which on was the higher ranking one. The little red silk cap I think trumped the bishops miter…so I am going for Cardinal. And very happily, the sponsoring important group had a full-on Bota…
I will try to attach the video but am not sure if that will work for the blog. Suffice it to say that I was a pretty happy pup and the Polish lady believed she was in fact in heaven. Since she had to go for her communion with her walker, the important folks let her sit in the front row for the Bota… Afterward, we had a heck of a hug…even if I had to go back to my regular seat for it. I had Grandma’s rosary out, sang in my best ever full alto voice and remembered the Latin (effectively mumbled what I was not sure of in a proper rhythm and tone).
All part of your everyday 500 mile walk!