To be a Pilgrim

Publicado por Juan José Sánchez Lainez , martes, 16 de diciembre de 2014 10:24


What does it take to become a pilgrim? Do you need documentation in order to be classed as a “pilgrim”?
The word Pilgrim comes from the Latin words per (meaning "through") plus ager(meaning "land, field"), which were combined into the adjective pereger, used to describe a person traveling abroad. Eventually, this developed into peregrinus, meaning "a foreigner."
Appropriately enough, the word peregrinus traveled far and wide (from Latin into Old French, then Middle English, and eventually modern English). From the very earliest days of Christianity, it was customary for Christians to journey to places of religious significance. A person making such a pilgrimage was also known as a peregrinus, which in Late Latin became peligrinus. In Old French, the word became peligrin, which was borrowed into English around 1200 as pelegrim orpilegrim, becoming pilgrim in modern English.
So, the answer is no, you do not need any documentation in order to “be a Pilgrim”, all you need is a religious place of significance and mode of transportation. Driving to church on Sunday is a pilgrimage in it’s own right.
But what does it take to be recognised as a pilgrim? Well, on the modern-day Camino de Santiago, pilgrims have a wonderful array of items which all shout “I’m a pilgrim”. These range from the traditional scallop shell, a Pilgrims Passport filled with stamps, a wide-brim hat, a backpack, a walking pole, hiking boots, tanned/sunburned forearms & backs of legs, a blister, or a Compostela! These are all things that you will recognise when encountering a pilgrim on the road to Santiago de Compostela.